As if spring cleaning wasn’t already a cliche, a few months of social distancing have given households plenty of time to sort through unused belongings.
So, now that social limitations imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic are gradually being lifted in Luzerne County, what can be done with unwanted items?
As always, a number of thrift stores and donation centers around the area are welcoming support from the community. In at least one case, there are just a few extra steps put in place between the donation and purchase of items.
The Goodwill Industries of Northeastern PA opened its Hanover Twp. store location on Monday, its Edwardsville store on Tuesday and its Hazleton location on Thursday. Dickson City and Scranton’s facilities will open its doors again today.
If the reopenings resemble anything like what Goodwill has seen at its other NEPA locations, like in Bloomsburg, there will be plenty of support.
That’s a good thing for Goodwill. But it does come with minor complications because, in the interest of everyone’s health, all donations to Goodwill are being put on a 48-hour hold in its back rooms before items are placed on shelves.
“With that 48-hour hold, though, it’s kind of backing up our back room,” Rachel Santoro, the director of marketing and PR for Goodwill Industries of Northeastern PA, said.
That’s not to discourage more donations, however. Santoro said Goodwill is simply asking that donors with larger items call ahead and let donation centers know what they’re planning on bringing.
“We’ll make room. We’ll try to make it work,” Santoro said. “We just need a heads-up so we’re prepared for that.”
Other than that, Goodwill is mostly operating as it typically has. There are some reduced hours to take note of, and such updates can be found on the company’s social media platforms.
Acceptable items for donations still include blankets, clothing, glassware and sporting goods, among many others. As always, items like weapons, TVs and major household appliances are not accepted for donation.
More information on donation policies can be found online at GoodwillNEPA.org/donate. Santoro asked donors to keep up to date with store hours so items aren’t left outside in the elements.
Santoro also encouraged the community to consider donating because every effort helps Goodwill deliver services, including employment services, behavioral support, group homes and more programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“Everyone seems to be really happy that we’re back. Donations are up, and we’re very happy for that,” she said. “We’re grateful for them at this time. These funds are helping us get these special programs back in action.”
Other donation centers like the Salvation Army can also be found around the area. However, the Volunteers of America thrift store in Wilkes-Barre permanently closed last week.
Eric Shultz, a Penn State University graduate, is a national award-winning sports writer who has worked for the Citizens’ Voice and the Hazleton Standard-Speaker. When it comes to high school sports, Eric has you covered. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-821-2000; @CVEricShultz