SAN DIEGO — Goodwill San Diego is gearing up to reopen seven locations throughout the county to accept donations again.
“When COVID-19 hit San Diego, the first thing Goodwill San Diego did was extend a two-week pay period to all of our ambassadors,” explained Darlene Cossio, Director of Communications for Goodwill San Diego.
After the two weeks passed, Goodwill San Diego ended up laying off 90% of its workforce. In addition to cutting staff, it had to close its doors, pressing pause on all sales and donations, including at drop-off sites that were overflowing and starting to become a health and safety issue.
“We depend upon the revenue from our stores to fund our programs and pay our people,” explained Cossio.
As we inch closer to Stage Two of reopening in the state of California, Goodwill is setting a date for restarting its operations: Wednesday, May 13. In total, seven locations will be open throughout the county seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The locations include: Point Loma, Lakeside, Bonita, Carmel Valley, Mira Mesa, La Costa and Oceanside.
Donations will be strictly drive-thru for now, and the Point Loma location will be the only one accepting furniture donations.
As far as any new rules during this time, Goodwill says donors have never been required to sanitize items before donating, and the responsibility will remain on the customer to wash anything they purchase.
Though stores aren’t set to open back up just yet, preparations are under way to do it as safely as possible.
“The stores are very full and ready to be opened. Of course we want to see our shoppers again, but we are putting in sneeze guards, we are putting in markings to let people know where they need to stand for a check out for social distancing,” Cossio said.
In the meantime, focus will remain on drive-thru donations, which are expected to get busy — so prepare to be patient or come back at a later date when there is less of a line.