Goodwill Omaha is asking for the assistance of Omaha-area communities regarding donation drop-offs at Goodwill locations. Because our Goodwill stores and donation centers are temporarily closed while the threat of the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 is high, we are asking our generous donors to please hold off on dropping off donations until we reopen our donation centers.

“We want the community to know that we deeply appreciate their generosity and support; we just don’t have the resources to collect donations right now,” said Tobi Mathouser, Goodwill Omaha’s president and chief operating officer. “This is a trying time for all of us, and for the time being, we’re operating with a limited staff. We want our employees to be safe, and that means staying home right now. The few people who are working from home are performing essential tasks while trying to clean up the piles left outside the donation centers.”

Mathouser said she’s heard many people say that they and their families are using this time at home to clean out closets, playrooms and storage areas — and collecting items to donate to Goodwill. She stressed that the organization is immensely grateful for these donations — they fund Goodwill’s employment training, certification and placement programs for people with disabilities and other disadvantages. However, we’ve had problems with people dumping donations outside our donation centers, which poses public health and safety hazards, including:

  • Piles, boxes and bags attracting rodents and insects looking for places to nest
  • Rain causing mold and damage to items so we can’t sell them in our stores
  • Other people looting these donation piles
  • Items blowing away from the pile, and our properties becoming eyesores to our neighbors and the community

The citizens of Omaha and the surrounding communities have demonstrated time and again their generosity and eagerness to help Goodwill Omaha and the people we serve. Now, we ask for their cooperation in helping us control donation dumping during this unprecedented pandemic.

Once Goodwill Omaha reopens — tentatively set for April 23, depending on the coronavirus threat — our donation centers will be fully staffed and ready for high volumes of donations. We’ll also start offering our donation pickup service again, which is another option people can use. And, of course, we thank the Omaha community for their continued generosity and support of Goodwill and our mission programs.