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With Goodwill donations on hold, York County thrift stores happy to take items

Ron Musselman
York Dispatch
Goodwill associate Richelle Shawkey sorts through items in the donation area of the Shrewsbury store Thursday, August, 20, 2020. Goodwill Keystone Area, which serves a 22-county region of central and southeastern Pennsylvania, including York County, said all of its donation centers are full and it has temporarily stopped accepting items until next month. Bill Kalina photo

Goodwill isn't accepting any donations for now in York County, but two other area thrift stores will be happy to take your unwanted items.

“We are always looking for donations,” said Judy Vance, donations coordinator for LifePath Thrift Stores, headquartered in York City. ”I don’t think we’ll ever quit taking them.” 

Richard Packett, assistant manager at CommunityAid thrift store in York Township, said they will accept most donations as long as they fall within the guidelines established by the Mechanicsburg-based organization. 

“We pretty much take any kind of donations except anything with stuffing in it,” Packett said.  “That means no pillows, no comforters and no couches with padding.”

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Goodwill associate David Walmsley stocks shelves at the Shrewsbury store Thursday, August, 20, 2020. Goodwill Keystone Area, which serves a 22-county region of central and southeastern Pennsylvania, including York County, said all of its donation centers are full and it has temporarily stopped accepting items until next month. Bill Kalina photo

Goodwill Keystone Area, based in Harrisburg, announced Thursday all of its donation centers are full, and it has temporarily stopped accepting items until at least Sept. 15.

The nonprofit organization serves a 22-county region of central and southeastern Pennsylvania. 

Goodwill said it suspended donations in order to get its current inventory sorted and distributed to the organization’s 44 retail stores, which remain open. Four of those locations are in York County.

“Our decision to temporarily stop donations is the result of an overwhelming amount of goods we have been receiving from our generous donors,” Goodwill spokesperson Mark McGaffin said. 

“This brief halt will allow us to sort and process the backlog of donations and open needed space within our donation centers.”

A sign sits at the donation area door of the Shrewsbury Goodwill store Thursday, August, 20, 2020. Goodwill Keystone Area, which serves a 22-county region of central and southeastern Pennsylvania, including York County, said all of its donation centers are full and it has temporarily stopped accepting items until next month. Bill Kalina photo

Donations typically increase in the summer, but officials said business has escalated in their stores since they reopened May 22 when York County went to the yellow phase of reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The York County stores, which also include another CommunityAid in Penn Township, were shuttered for more than two months during the coronavirus pandemic as part of Gov. Tom Wolf’s statewide lockdown on nonessential businesses. 

“Since we reopened our stores, we have experienced a steady flow of customer traffic,” McGaffin said.

“It’s been normal operations here for us,” Packett said. “We’re just rolling along.”

Vance said her organization has 125 bins throughout the area to accept donations. Drop-offs also are available, as well as pickups three days a week.

“We’ve just been absolutely slammed,” she said. “Basically, our donations have increased because people were at home because of COVID-19 and finally they had time to clean things out.”

— Ron Musselman can be reached at rmusselman@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @ronmusselman8.