Archive for Saturday, December 31, 2005

Donors should not have been turned away, Goodwill says

December 31, 2005


Wait, come back.

Some people who've tried to donate clothing to the Goodwill store were turned away recently after being told the store was full.

"That should never happen," said Cathy Nolan, spokeswoman for the Helping Hand of Goodwill Industries regional office in Kansas City, Mo.

Nolan said reports of donors being turned away from the store at 2200 W. 31st St. were under investigation.

"We never have enough clothing," she said.

A donor alerted the Journal-World to being turned away on Tuesday, and on Thursday a reporter who called the store with an offer of clothing was told donations weren't being accepted because the back room was full.

Reports of donors being turned away were especially upsetting, Nolan said, because today - the last day of the year - is a traditional peak for donations.

"Everybody wants that last-minute tax deduction," Nolan said, noting that Helping Hands of Goodwill Industries had rented several trailers for storing today's overflow.

Helping Hand of Goodwill Industries operates thrift stores in Kansas and Missouri.

The stores sell secondhand clothing, housewares, furniture, books, CDs, tapes and records.

Proceeds are used to help and employ people who are homeless, unemployed or disabled. On average, clothing accounts for about half of each store's revenue.

When storage becomes a problem, Nolan said, store managers are supposed to call the regional office for help.

"I don't know why we weren't called," she said, "but I'm going to find out."

Store employees are not allowed to talk to reporters. Instead, media inquiries are forwarded to Nolan.

Generally, the stores do not give clothing to the poor.

"We refer people to either the Red Cross or The Salvation Army," Nolan said. "If someone there reviews their case and contacts us, then, yes, at that point we step forward. It's handled on a case-by-case basis."

The Lawrence store is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday; noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.


Ragingbear 12 years, 2 months ago

They have had signs up saying they aren't accepting donations for 3 months now.

corporate_sleaze 12 years, 2 months ago

I'm glad this made the local news as my family experienced the "turn-down" at the Lawrence Goodwill this past week, too. It was very disappointing because my entire family makes a huge annual Christmas donation of good quality clothing. Not this Christmas.

Solti 12 years, 2 months ago

Yes, Ragingbear is not exaggerating!
We gave up because every time we went there the "not accepting clothing today" sign was up. I'm glad they put up the bins in the parking lot at 25th and Iowa. That's where we ended up taking our donated clothes.

hk45 12 years, 2 months ago

This has happened to me 2x in the past two years. First, I was told I could only give 4 bags one year and then I was told they were not taking any donations because the room was full.

I'm glad the regional office is looking into this, because I was trying to figure out what to do next year with my donations since Salvation Army closed.

Jean1183 12 years, 2 months ago

Take them to Penn House. I donate there because they do not resell your donated items. They give them away.

mwfields 12 years, 2 months ago

I had only been shopping at Goodwill a couple of weeks. I was there Thursday night and saw that sign saying no more clothes donations. Thought that was weird. A place like Goodwill could never have too many clothes. Also I miss the Salvation Army store. It always was on my way home from work.
About shopping at Goodwill, I have been lucky. I needed some dress pants and found two pairs of Dockers. Each under $4. Fit me fine. I don't think I could find $4 Dockers at the bigbox discount chains on their racks. Maybe a lucky shopper, I guess. Thanks and have a Happy New Year!

acousticcontrol 12 years, 2 months ago

Their backroom AND their dumpsters are full. Goodwill throws away tons of perfectly good stuff that people donate because they don't have room in their store. That's right, they don't donate it to someone who could use it, or move it to another store. They throw it away!

trueninetiesgirl 12 years, 2 months ago

the penn house is at 11th and pennsyvania(sp) open m-f.and yes they give everthing away free.

kansasernie 12 years, 2 months ago

In addition to bad management, our local Goodwill store has a "front door" personnel problem. I took a large load of high quality children and adult clothing there last week and was verbally abused by the person accepting donations. I unloaded my car while he was helping the man in front of me and was waiting to place my donations in the white canvas bins. (There was a line of five cars behind me so I wanted to be quick.) When it was my turn, the Goodwill employee was yelling at me (this is no exaggeration) because I was so "impatient." His behavior was so outrageous and bizarre that it was comical. Needless to say, I received no receipt nor a "thank you" for my donation.

bearded_gnome 12 years, 2 months ago

Pennhouse: 1035 Pennsylvania, just north of 11th and penn. they're always very good folks there!

kansasernie 12 years, 2 months ago

I certainly will go to Penn House from now on. I've heard from other friends that they are very friendly and well run.

emdeees 12 years, 2 months ago

first of all, the prices for the crap at goodwill are absurd. salvation army on mass street: r.i.p. second of all, since i'm moving, i've been donating a rather obscene amount of clothes, knick-knacks, books and music to goodwill. sometimes i meet a sign that says "no clothing until tuesday" or what not. but that just means that the goodwill trucks that haul around the goods hasn't showed up yet to lighten the load. folks, it isn't that hard to just leave your goods in your car and come back on tuesday, donate them somewhere else, or like solti said, use the bins at 25th and iowa.

dion5jones 12 years, 2 months ago

The good will do throw away allot of the stuff that gets donated to them. I've found 2 25 inch tv's in the dumpster before, and you can find better quality stuff in the dumpster than whats in the store because the bags that they throw out, they dont go through them to see whats inside. I've found coats, jackets and some very nice clothing in the dumpster in the past.

Some of the employees in the past at the goodwill do lack customer service skills. Rude or unhelpful. I'm glad that this issue is getting some exposure

kansasnative 12 years, 2 months ago

I was turned away with a HUGE amount of clothing, and Christmas items (a great tree etc) just before Halloween and several times thereafter. I could NOT believe it! I also noticed them tossing perfectly good stuff in the DUMPSTER! I will forever go to Penn House now.

Ragingbear 12 years, 2 months ago

Turn the now closed Food 4 Less into a Mega thrift store.

Too bad we aren't in Mormon Territory. Say what you will about the church itself(I know I will), but they know how to make a thrift store that not only offers voc rehab to everyone from the poor to the mentally handicapped, but they also have really reasonably prices, as well as school supply programs, and in addition there are ways you can make an appeal for free stuff.

Furthermore, a number of years ago, they started to make real furniture, like beds and stuff. And I am talking real, like real quality wood, designed to support a small elephant (The way furniture should be made). My family bought a handmade new quilt for 10 dollars, and a solid wood double bunkbed (The type that can be seperated into seperate beds, full size) for 90 total.

Lawrence could use a place like that.... But you only find Deseret Industries in high Mormon areas, Idaho, Nevada, Utah (duh), Arizona, and even some in a bit further out, but they get sparse.

Anon_30 12 years, 2 months ago

I've tried to donate and have been turned away before. No big deal really. If they're not getting enough trucks then how are they supposed to take everything in? Sounds like the upper management is just passing the buck so they don't take any heat for this.

decadeONE 12 years, 2 months ago

The funny thing about the Good Will is that most people who donate there act like it's some sort of right or that their stuff is God's gift to the poverty stricken. I've witnessed this attitude from others each time I've donated. It's a large coorporation and I'm pretty sure none of the employees at the Lawrence Good Will have anything to do with why they have no room for donations.

And if they don't have room for your donations just get over yourself or start supporting the business and actually shop there rather than just dumping your trash on it.

raine 12 years, 2 months ago

The Social Service League is a wonderful place to donate to, in addition to practically giving things away(and if you need it they do) they also provide glasses for people who can't afford them.. i wouldn't donate anywhere but there or penn house, especially if you want to keep your donation in Lawrence.

Godot 12 years, 2 months ago

The article states that Goodwill provides jobs to the homeless and disabled. That might explain the "customer service" problem.

Go easy on 'em.

Ragingbear 12 years, 2 months ago

Goodwill doesn't provide jobs to the homeless and disabled. They can work there to work off community service hours, and that's about it.

tubbydelacroix 12 years, 2 months ago

Often times, places that take donations have more donations than they have storage space. Plus, many use donation drop offs as a way of disposing of items that should NOT be passed on to others. So, I'll bet the worst stuff is being disposed of so that way the best items will re-distributed.


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