‘It’s like our Super Bowl’: Thrift stores see major uptick in donations after Christmas 2020

Coronavirus

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — While many like to decorate their homes for the holidays, another tradition this time of year is people cleaning out their closets to donate shoes, clothing and other belongings.

But the pandemic has changed things for the organizations who normally accept those donated items.

Every year when Christmas is over, donation sites like Goodwill get their busiest rush of the year.

“The week between Christmas and New Year’s is kind of like our Super Bowl,” said Laura Faison, Director of Marketing and Communications for Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia. “We can see anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 donations a day at all of our locations across Central and Coastal Virginia.”

Cars were wrapped around the Goodwill location near Alverser Plaza in Midlothian on Wednesday while people waited to donate their items.

Diversity Thrift in Richmond has also seen an uptick in donations all year — and right now they are not accepting clothing due to the lack of space to store donations.

“For the past several months, we have not been accepting clothing,” said Bill Harrison, Executive Director of Diversity Richmond. “We have also been able to use the clothing that’s been donated before the pandemic to keep the clothing rooms filled with merchandise.”

Harrison says that anything donated to Diversity Thrift will be quarantined in a pod for about three days before it is put on the sales floor to keep the items from being contaminated.

Since they are not accepting clothes presently, he is urging people to call ahead before making donations.

“For anyone that wants to donate clothing to any thrift store, they need to call before they drop off a donation to make sure that the store is accepting donations at this time,” Harrison said.

Goodwill stores are still limiting normal hours of operation to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Faison requests that people separate and organize items before donating to help keep the workflow process flowing for staff.

Laura Faison, Director of Marketing and Communications for Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia

“And if you wouldn’t give it to a friend or neighbor as a gift, please don’t donate it. We do incur the cost of that as trash, unfortunately,” Faison said.

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