‘It’s disappointing’: Goodwill of Greater Washington to close donations centers over lack of storage

Goodwill's Brendan Hurley on the impact of coronavirus.

Goodwill of Greater Washington, which closed retail outlets in March due to the coronavirus, is now shuttering all of its 18 regional donation locations because there is no additional room to house the items.

The closure is effective at 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 6.

Even after renting a 25,000-square-foot warehouse for more storage, the nonprofit said even that space filled up and simply could not keep up with the generosity of donors.

“We’re just very disappointed that our stores are closed and that we can’t resell those goods to fund our mission,” Goodwill of Greater Washington’s Chief Marketing Director Brendan Hurley said.

“We have a lot of clothing, housewares, furniture,” Hurley said. “Our community’s been very generous. As a matter of fact, even though all of our retail stores were closed, we were still getting about 40% of the same volume of donations that we received during the same period last year.”

Hurley said they’re trying to offload some of the items to other Goodwill partners outside the D.C. region in places such as West Virginia, North Carolina and parts of New England.

Still, Hurley said there is one positive in the group’s effort to help during the coronavirus crisis: It’s offering free online workshops on managing finances and finding a job.

“We can’t provide face-to-face training programs, but we did launch a virtual career center,” Hurley said. “We’ve only started it about two weeks ago, and we’ve already had well over 200 people who have registered for the programs.”

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Ken Duffy

Ken Duffy is a reporter and anchor at WTOP with more than 20 years of experience. He has reported from major events like the 2016 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, 2016 Election Night at Trump Headquarters in Midtown Manhattan and the 2007 Super Bowl in Miami.

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