Goodwill’s COVID-19 Response Plan

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Dear Friends:
These are unprecedented times. After much consideration and review of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our organization, we have developed the following response plan:

Retail stores temporary closure

Out of an abundance of caution and commitment to the health and well-being of our employees, donors, shoppers, program participants, and the community at large, we are temporarily closing our retail stores effective March 18 and will remain closed through April 5.

This has been a difficult decision, however, we are following the advice of public health officials to help stop the spread of the coronavirus as it enters our West Michigan community.

E-commerce remains open

Our e-commerce department will remain open and with no interruption to online sales. Visit us at http://www.shopgoodwill.com and http://www.ebay.com/usr/goodwillindustries_wm

Donation drive-thrus remain open

The majority of our donation drive-thrus (all but four*) will remain open, staffed, and accepting of community donations Monday through Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm.
To protect our employees and ensure that our product is safe, donations will be quarantined for a minimum of 72 hours prior to staff sorting and pricing.

Goodwill Career Center limited services

The Goodwill Career Center at 271 E. Apple Avenue has temporarily suspended face-to-face services at this site. Goodwill staff are available for consultation assistance via phone at (231) 722-7871.

Tax preparation service reduction

Due to site closures and reduced staff, Goodwill’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program will suspend some of its services beginning March 23 until further notice. Clients with appointments are being contacted individually. For more information call the VITA hotline at (231) 722-8482, ext. 8482 or email vitataxes@goodwillwm.org

GoodTemps temporary staffing services

GoodTemps continues to service its business customers and place workers. Job seekers can apply online at http://www.goodtempsmi.com

Industrial and Janitorial Services continue

Our industrial and janitorial B2B lines continue to service and honor their contracts with local businesses.

Achievers of the Year luncheon

Our tenth-annual community celebration event originally scheduled for May 6 has been postponed to a future date to be determined.

We are all in this together!

At a safe and appropriate time, we will resume our normal activities and work together to rebuild stronger, more resilient communities.

We will continue to share more information on our website at http://www.goodwillwm.org and social media channels. We ask for your understanding and patience. Stay safe and healthy!

*Donation drive-thrus that will be temporarily closed: Coopersville, Zeeland, Holland-Washington Ave., and Muskegon-Sherman Blvd. All 14 other locations remain OPEN.

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Jeanette Hoyer
President and CEO, Goodwill Industries of West Michigan

A message to our store shoppers regarding COVID-19

Dear Valued Goodwill Customer:

Goodwill cares deeply for our many donors, shoppers, volunteers, and team members that allow us to help others in our communities every day.

As our communities work together to keep you and your family safe, we would like to reassure you that your health and well-being are top priorities for Goodwill as well.

We are taking precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of our customers and staff by increasing the cleaning and sanitation of all hard surfaces within our stores.

You may see our employees wiping down the shopping carts and cashier areas, or wearing gloves when you checkout or donate. Please don’t be alarmed by these measures, as we are following recommended steps to help prevent the spread or exposure of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Our goal is to keep you safe.

So why are our stores and donation centers still open? Because we are needed.

Goodwill is committed to continuing our mission of helping people facing challenges build skills, find jobs, and grow their careers. This is true now during these difficult times as well as in the weeks, months, and years ahead. Our programs and services rely on the funds generated from the sale of your generous donations and we thank you.

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve we may adjust our approach and response. Until then we will continue to follow the guidelines provided by the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control, as well as state and local governments. We are committed to maintaining a safe and clean shopping environment.

We will communicate any changes in services. Thank you in advance for your patience as we determine how best to continue serving our communities, our team members, and you.

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Jeanette Hoyer

President and CEO, Goodwill Industries of West Michigan

Good people doing good at Goodwill

By Kimberly Harsch, Resource Development Coordinator

Last Saturday I was fortunate to be part of Goodwill’s first book sorting volunteer day in partnership with Read Early. Read Often. (RERO). Our goal was to get 500 gently used books in the hands of disadvantaged grade school children in Muskegon County. I was not prepared for the generous events that would unfold.

Goodwill President and CEO Jeanette Hoyer wants to help improve literacy rates for kids in our community where less than 40% of students reach adequate literacy level by third grade. Literacy directly affects education. And education is a pipeline to high wages, and a powerful tool in the fight to end poverty. Literacy improves when kids have books. And Goodwill has plenty to give.

We quickly found a strong partner in Allison Keessen at RERO who when asked if she could use free books responded, “Boy could we ever!”

We knew we needed to inspect, clean, and sort the books first. This takes manpower. RERO recruited 28 volunteers made up of high school students from “Reading Buddies United” which is comprised of area high school students from four schools: Orchard View, Oakridge, Mona Shores, and Muskegon. There were also volunteers from Rotary Interact, Pathfinders of Muskegon, and United Way of the Lakeshore.

On the day of book sorting at Goodwill’s headquarters in Muskegon, the positive energy was everywhere. Volunteers laughed, danced, and did the work while learning more about each other. Every once in an “Oh! I LOVED this book!” arose above the chatter and volunteers would rush to celebrate the title.

Two hours flew by in a flash. As we were packing up, I heard some of the kids talk about books that THEY were taking for their communities. Some were for book drives at school or for reading to grade schoolers. Nefertoria from Pathfinders of Muskegon took nearly 200 books to deliver on the streets. “I fill my trunk and when I open it, kids come running for books,” she said.

As we closed our first day together, Allison did a final book tally … 1,333 books were ready to go! These will be distributed wherever kids need them. Jeanette closed the day with a warm “thank you” for this group of generous people who truly are helping us “Change lives through the power of [their] work.”

If you would like to volunteer, or have locations that could use books for children contact Kim Harsch of Goodwill at (231) 722-7871, x1057.

For more information visit our website!

32 Goodwill Outlet FAQs and shopping tips

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By Nanci Penland, Goodwill Outlet and Store Manager

The wait is finally over! Our new outlet store in Muskegon is open for business.

Rolling up your sleeves and sifting through unsorted textiles and wares isn’t for everyone, but avid thrifters LOVE discovering hidden gems and the low, low price.

IMG_7369.jpgIf you’ve never visited a Goodwill outlet, you are in for an experience. Serving as a “last chance” clearinghouse for our donated goods, items are placed unsorted in large bins and sold by the pound. The bins are rotated with fresh content throughout the day.

If outlet shopping isn’t your cup of tea, visit our regular retail store right next door in the same building!20191113_141234.jpg

Goodwill Outlet Shopping Tips

  • Bring bags or boxes to transport your purchases home.
  • Wear sturdy gloves when sorting through merchandise due to potential sharp objects.
  • For your safety, when merchandise bins are rolled onto the sales floor, please move out of the way. Please stand back until a Goodwill team member indicates “okay to shop” before approaching the bins.
  • The outlet is strictly “cash and carry” meaning we cannot hold or set aside your items. If shopping for furniture or other large items, please make sure you have a vehicle that can transport your purchases at the time of sale.
  • Monitor your cart and personal belongings! You are responsible for safeguarding.
  • Test electronics in designated areas.
  • Bring batteries to test toys and measuring tape if purchasing furniture.
  • Be patient and be courteous to fellow shoppers.
  • If bringing children, please do not leave them unsupervised; they must be accompanied by an adult.
  • If you plan on visiting our regular store afterwards (located next door!), please take your purchased items to your car first.
  • Clean your treasures when you get home. Wash what you can in hot water and use disinfectant wipes on toys, books, and other items. Rent a steam cleaner at your local hardware store to deep clean soft furniture.

20191113_155344Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Goodwill outlet?
The Goodwill outlet serves as a last-chance clearinghouse for items that did not sell at our 17 Goodwill Industries of West Michigan stores after a four-week period of time on the shelf. Wonderful bargains can be found!

How is the outlet different from a traditional Goodwill store?
Visiting a Goodwill outlet is a very different experience from shopping a regular store. Items are not sorted, hung, or organized but rather offered on large rolling tables for shoppers to sift through. Items are sold priced by the pound at a deep discount. Furniture and oversized items are individually priced. It’s the perfect experience for the bargain hunter who likes to roll up their sleeves.

How does the outlet operate?
Unsorted clothing and other merchandise are put on rolling tables and rotated on and off the sales floor throughout the day offering continuous fresh selections. Shoppers place items in a shopping cart that is then weighed on a floor scale.

What is the pricing?
Clothes, shoes, toys, electronics, glassware, and household goods are sold at $1.29 per pound. Furniture and other oversized items are priced individually.

What happens to merchandise not sold at the outlet?
Items not sold during their time on the sales floor are then responsibly recycled or sold to a recycling partner.

Is the merchandise sorted?
No. Items are heaped unsorted onto rolling carts.

How do my items get weighed?
Shoppers place their cart onto a floor scale and the weight of the cart is subtracted.

Does the outlet supply bags for purchased items?
Goodwill does provide some boxes but we encourage shoppers to bring their own bags.

What payment methods are allowed?
Cash or credit cards are accepted; checks are not.

Can I return items purchase at the outlet?
All items are sold as-is and there are no returns.

Do you accept donations at the outlet?
Not in the outlet itself, but there is a convenient donation drive-thru in the same building.

Are Goodwill vouchers accepted?
No

Where is the outlet located?
1501 East Apple Avenue in Muskegon Township right next to US-31

What are the days/hours of operation?
The outlet is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information visit our website!