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Charities ask people to wait to drop off thrift store donations

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) You may be using some of the time at home lately to do some spring cleaning. But if you have things you plan to donate charities are asking you to keep those items at home. A seemingly good deed could end up creating a hardship for area groups.

“Folks are coming through and just ravaging through and taking what they want and leaving an absolute mess,” said Jason Quintrell, president of Union Mission Ministries.

Donations meant to help raise funds to aid the needy are instead creating a serious problem at places like Union Mission.

“There were piles and piles of clothes everywhere. I saw at least two cars of people getting out and grabbing an arm full of clothes and throwing it in their car and taking off. At least twice I saw that this morning,” Quintrell said.

The Union Mission and many other area charities are following state and federal guidance and closing their stores. But right now they do not want the public to drop off items because there is no one there to safely receive and sort them.

“Right now people are coming in and kind of making a mess of our dock and it is not helping anybody out,” Quintrell said.

Kathy McKinley with Goodwill Industries of Kanawha Valley said they are facing a similar problem. They’ve had a skeleton crew in to pick up some of the donations left outside of their closed facilities.

“We want to be good neighbors and good community members so we are making sure that we are maintaining our rubbish all we can,” McKinley said.

Goodwill Industries of Kanawha Valley says donations will no longer be accepted at individual stores, with the exception of its Huntington Store. Goodwill’s Recycling Center will be accepting commodities such as cardboard, metal, linens, stuffed animals, computers and their accessories, electronics, books, and white paper. The organization says once stores reopen it encourages the public to visit again as shoppers and donors are crucial in helping fund credit counseling, family counseling services and employment programs for individuals with barriers to employment, including individuals with disabilities, veterans, youth, the reentry community, and individuals experiencing homelessness.

Leaders of those charities said they will need your donated items once things get back to normal.

“You know, take this time to clean out your closet and keep that stuff until we can all come back out together and support the community,” McKinley said.

In the meantime, you can best support area charities by giving financially while staying safe at home. 

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