Why Goodwill is begging all of us: Stop leaving your stuff at our door!

Goodwill Industries Orange County
Goodwill Industries Orange County in Santa Ana prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
(Kevin Chang / Times OC)

March is normally the month when people start to think about spring cleaning, but nothing is normal right now as the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the country.

As people are forced to stay home and shelter in place, the pandemic has prompted many to tackle long-overlooked decluttering projects.

So much so, in fact, that Goodwill SoCal has been overwhelmed by dropoffs at stores and dropoff centers in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

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On March 18, Goodwill SoCal closed its doors in compliance with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s sweeping order for Californians to stay home and all nonessential businesses to close.

By Tuesday, the nonprofit was so overwhelmed with dropoffs that it appealed to Los Angeles residents to stop leaving discarded items at storefront entrances.

“As much as we love to accept donations, we can’t take them right now,” said Goodwill spokesperson Marla Eby. “People are dropping things off and it is becoming a health hazard, especially in the rain. We are asking people to organize their items at home and have them ready when we reopen.”

Last year, Goodwill had a record year following the debut of Marie Kondo’s Netflix series “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.” Donations, however, often slow down in the summer when many people travel. Eby hopes that people will put things away now and donate them later.

“People often don’t understand that we help disadvantaged people with employment,” adds Eby. “Veterans, people who have been incarcerated, the homeless. This is going to impact everyone. It’s really important for people to know that when they donate, they are helping people get jobs.”