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Store re-openings, closures and safety protocols

  • Sarah Wilson |
  • | News

5/14/20 – Goodwill of Central Iowa Announces Store Re-Openings and Closures As Result of COVID19 [PRESS RELEASE]

Learn more about how you can support Goodwill during this time

DOWNLOAD our Community Resource Guide for general assistance and employment resources

UPDATED 05/14/2020
Goodwill of Central Iowa Community Members, 

Today is bittersweet. We’re excited to announce the re-opening of many of our stores, allowing us to bring people back to work who rely on their income to pay for essential living expenses and making low-cost clothing and other items accessible to our community again.

In that same breath, we are incredibly sad to announce that, due to the negative impact of COVID-19, Goodwill of Central Iowa has been forced to close some of its locations.

This crisis has challenged us to re-focus and re-align our organization and we’re committed to coming out of this stronger than ever for the people we serve.

Today, the Ames, Johnston, Indianola, Ottumwa, Jordan Creek, West Des Moines, Marshalltown, Ankeny, East Des Moines and Urbandale retail stores are open for shoppers, with new safety protocols in place:

  • All employees and customers will be required to wear masks at all times
  • Stores will be operating at reduced hours to allow for additional time for deep cleaning
  • Carts, counters, doors, bathrooms and other commonly touched spaces will be cleaned frequently
  • Maximum capacity will be limited and regulated to allow for social distancing while shopping
  • Employees will be surveyed at the start of each shift to assess for illness and exposure
  • All donated items will be quarantined for at least 72 hours before being placed on the sales floor
  • Hand sanitizer will be readily available to customers and employees
  • Fitting rooms and drinking fountains will remain closed until further notice

We’re hopeful that we are able to obtain favorable rental terms with building management for these open stores through this health crisis so we can sustain our retail presence. We’re opening stores using a phased-in approach, so additional store openings will be announced at a later date.

Closures
Like many other businesses, COVID-19 has caused extreme financial hardships for us. We receive over 80% of our funding through retail sales so with March, April and May’s store closures, the impact was significant.

We have a large real estate footprint and it’s imperative that we make some incredibly difficult decisions now so our organization can get back on its feet and continue serving our community for years to come.

As a result, we’ve made the difficult decision to close the Grinnell, Oskaloosa, Waukee and South Des Moines locations. In addition, the South Des Moines Outlet and Career Connection Center will be closed, with plans to relocate the outlet to Johnston’s Headquarters locations by mid-year 2021.

As we move forward, we will continue looking for ways to provide services to these communities, even with our stores closed. In addition, as we continue to recover from this crisis, we will continue to re-evaluate our locations to make sure we’re showing up where we need to be for you, our community.

We are working hard to re-deploy as many impacted employees as possible to fill other roles throughout the organization. We care deeply about our employees and have continued to provide them support and services while they’ve been away from work. Continuing to pay for the employee share of their health insurance, offering assistance with food and essential living expenses and following up with them regularly through text messages, videos and personal phone calls are just some of the ways we’ve supported our employees through these past few months.

We need your support
We are so appreciative of the support we’ve received from the community during this crisis. Even though our stores have been closed, we’ve still been able to serve by donating needed items to our homeless population and essential workers and offering virtual job training services.

We need your donations now, more than ever. Our organization is primarily funded by sales from retail stores, fueled by your donations of unused items. What we don’t turn into revenue for mission work, we responsibly recycle, keeping over 20 million pounds of items out of local landfills each year.

You can help support Goodwill by shopping at the stores or online at shopgoodwill.com/desmoines, by donating items and unused electronics, by making a financial contribution, or by working with our Business Solutions team to outsource business processes and workflows.

Just like we need you, we know our community needs us now, more than they ever have before. We are doing everything we can to make sure we’re able to survive this crisis to continue delivering on our mission of providing jobs and job training opportunities to people facing barriers to employment.


What to expect when shopping

In order to protect both shoppers and employees, we’ve implemented new safety policies for our retail stores. Both employees and shoppers are required to wear a mask. We also ask that you maintain at least six feet of distance between you and others in the store.

The number of people allowed inside the store at one time has been reduced and will be monitored. We appreciate your patience! In addition, plexi-glass dividers have been installed at the registers. Even though we’re behind a shield and a mask, we’re smiling. We’re so happy to see you!

You will notice that drinking fountains and fitting rooms are temporarily unavailable. Due to fitting rooms being closed, we will temporarily be allowing returns within 7 days of purchase if a receipt is presented and the colored tag is still on.

If you have a fever, are feeling ill or have been in contact with somebody who has tested positive for COVID-19, we ask that you please do not enter the store. But please do return once you’re healthy and have no known risk of exposure. Thank you for doing your part in keeping us all healthy!

What to expect when donating

We’ve implemented a number of safety protocols and processes that make the donation process contact-free and safe for donors and employees.

When you show up with your donations, please wear a mask and follow the directional signage to the donation drop-off spot. Once you arrive, there will be bins set up for you to drop your donations into. 

Be patient and observant to those around you. We ask that you wait your turn to drop your items and always keep at least 6 feet of distance from those around you.

We need your donations now, more than ever, as we prepare to gradually re-open our retail stores again. Your donations help us fund our mission work, while providing jobs and job training opportunities to people facing barriers to employment. In addition, we work hard to keep unused items and donations out of local landfills, making our community a better place to live, work and play.

Thank you, again, for holding your donations for us. We know this has been a difficult time for many and we are so excited to come together again, even if it has to be from a distance for now.

For up-to-date and accurate information, please reference the following resources:


FAQs:

Is it safe to shop?
We are taking precautionary steps to reduce the risk for shoppers and employees. Our new safety procedures and protocols go above and beyond what has been recommended by the Iowa Department of Public Health and the CDC. We are doing everything we can to create safe access to low-cost goods for our customers and safe jobs for our employees.

What precautions are being taken inside the stores?
Employees are required to wear a mask and gloves at all times. Shoppers are required to wear a mask at all times. In addition, fitting rooms and drinking fountains have been temporarily closed off. Plexiglass shields have been installed at all of the registers. We will be enforcing social distancing between customers and employees. The number of shoppers allowed into stores at one time will be limited and regulated. In addition, all employees will be surveyed daily about any symptoms and possible exposure they might have had.

Are masks required for everyone?
Masks are required for all employees, customers, and donors. In accordance with CDC recommendations, we will NOT be requiring masks for those under the age of two.

Will carts be wiped down? 
Carts handles, as well as other commonly touched surfaces such as counters and door knobs, will be wiped down regularly.

Are restrooms available?
Yes, restrooms will be available to shoppers and employees. Please wash your hands thoroughly to prevent the spread of germs.

Will dressing rooms be open? If not, is there a return policy?
Dressing rooms will not be open. Due to the closure of dressing rooms, we will be temporarily allowing returns of clothing purses. Returns must be made within 7 days, the clothing item(s) must still have the colored tag on and you must present your receipt.

Is the outlet open? 
We don’t currently have an opening date for the outlet, due to challenges with social distancing and safety protocols that come with an outlet shopping experience. We know the outlet provides a great deal of value and do plan on re-opening an outlet at a later date, when we are confident it is safe to do so. 

Can I still use my calendar coupons?
We will be honoring the April coupon through May, but only one coupon can be used at a time. That means both April and May coupons can be used until May 31st.

Will you continue to run colored tag sales?
At this time colored tag sales will not be run. However, we will be offering a 20% cash and carry discount on all furniture items that are paid for and taken within the same visit. As a reminder, Goodwill staff will not be able to help you transfer furniture at this time.

Are there one-way aisles?
At this time, there are not designated directions for aisles. We do ask that all shoppers keep at least 6 feet of distance between themselves and others. We will be limiting the number of customers allowed into the store at one time to make it easier to create distance between shoppers.

Will you enforce six feet distancing between shoppers? If yes, how?
Yes, we will enforce social distancing between shoppers. Each shopper who violates this rule and is reminded more than twice will be asked to leave the store. There will be floor markers in the checkout line to enforce a 6-foot distance from one another. 

What will the hours be for donations?
Donation hours will be every day from 10 AM – 6 PM  (7 days a week)

What items can be donated?
You can find the full list of items accepted for donations here. Please note that our staff will not be able to assist in transferring your donations into the bins at this time, which may limit the ability to accept furniture items.

How will donations be handled?
When you arrive at your local Goodwill, you will see a sign directing you to the donation area. From there, we will provide bins for you to place your items into. Please wear a mask when you donate and keep six feet between you and others.

Should I put donations in my trunk to be taken?
Because you will place the items into the bins and our staff will not be assisting in transferring items, you can place your donations wherever you’d like in your vehicle.

Is a mask required to make a donation? Are gloves required?
Yes, wearing a mask is required to make a donation in order to keep our staff and community safe. Gloves are not required, but recommended.

What locations are open for donations?
Ames, Indianola, Ottumwa, Johnston, Jordan Creek, West Des Moines, Urbandale, Ankeny, East and Marshalltown. 

Will the donations go to the shelter still? / Will you be doing another donation drive for the homeless?
At this time, the donation drive in partnership with Central Iowa Shelter and Services has ended and as a community, we were able to provide them with an overwhelming supply of items needed to furnish apartments for the high risk homeless population! We need your donations more than ever so we can generate revenue to fund our mission as we continue looking for ways to have a positive impact in our community. Learn more about the impact of your donation to Goodwill.

Will I interact with employees?
We have designed our new donation process to be as contact-free as possible.

Is it safe to bring in donations?
We have created a contact-free process to donate your items and have implemented additional safety protocols that go above and beyond what has been recommended by Iowa Department of Public Health and the CDC.

Will there be people there to help me transfer large donations (furniture, etc)?
Unfortunately, our staff will not be able to assist with large donation items at this time in efforts to protect the safety of both donors and employees.

Are you able to pick donations up at my house/office?
Not at this time.

How will I get my receipt?
Our team will still hand out receipts. To estimate the value of your donation, please visit this webpage.

What if it’s raining?
Donation bins will remain available between the hours of 10 AM and 6 PM even if it is raining. However, there may be a tarp or other rain shield protecting the bins.


ARCHIVE: GOODWILL OF CENTRAL IOWA COVID-19 UPDATES

  • Visitors at HQ are limited. Download: A Message to our Visitors
  • Download: A Message to our Customers – 3/16 communication
  • Effective immediately, we are allocating more resources toward amplifying the number of items available on our online e-commerce site, shopgoodwill.com/desmoines. Please consider shopping online and helping us continue to fund our mission.
  • Effective 3/18, the Newton and Des Moines Career Connection Centers will be temporarily closed.
  • Effective 3/18, our Outlet located at 6345 SE 14th St, Des Moines will be temporarily closed.
  • We will be temporarily suspending our mission programming in order to ensure our most vulnerable populations are safe. This includes skills training, supported employment services, career connection centers and Day Services programs.
  • Effective 3/18, we’ve temporarily decreased our store hours: Mon-Sat 10am-6pm and Sun 12pm-5pm
  • Help us collect donations through Sunday, 3/22 at 5pm for the homeless population – a partnership with Central Iowa Shelter and Services (CISS)
  • We are temporarily closing our retail stores effective 3/20.
  • As of 3/24, we are also temporarily closing donation doors.
  • On May 8, we are opening contact-free donation centers at select locations

COVID-19 Symptoms:

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is characterized by mild symptoms including a runny nose, sore throat, cough, and fever.

Illness can be more severe for some people and can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties.More rarely, the disease can be fatal.

Older people, and people with other medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), may be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill.

The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure.*

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Download: Goodwill of Central Iowa Hand Washing Flyer

If you have Coronavirus symptoms or believe you may have come in contact with somebody infected, call 211 first before going into a clinic.

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