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Goodwill of Central Iowa Announces Store Re-Openings and Closures As Result of COVID19

May 14, 2020

Goodwill of Central Iowa, a non-profit organization providing jobs and job training opportunities to people facing barriers to employment, re-opened 10 of its retail stores this week with additional safety protocols in place to protect employees and shoppers.

Today, the Ames, Johnston, Indianola, Ottumwa, Jordan Creek, West Des Moines, Marshalltown, Urbandale, East Des Moines and Ankeny retail stores have re-opened with new safety protocols in place, as the non-profit works to seek more sustainable financial arrangements with building management across their retail footprint.

All ten stores are accepting contact-free donations as well. Goodwill of Central Iowa is hopeful that it will be able to obtain favorable rental terms for the stores that are kept open as the organization recovers from the financial impact brought on by this recent health crisis.

“We are relieved to bring employees back to work who rely on their income to pay for essential expenses. Goodwill provides access to low cost clothing and other goods and re-opening our doors to our customers and donors is a great step forward for establishing a new normal,” Jackie Norris, Goodwill of Central Iowa’s President and CEO said.

Regretfully, due to the impact of COVID-19, the organization is permanently closing its stores in Grinnell, Oskaloosa, Waukee and it’s South Des Moines locations.

Goodwill of Central Iowa is using a phased-in approach to re-opening stores and donation doors and will announce the re-opening dates of its Boone and Newton stores soon. 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.

Additional safety precautions the organization has implemented for retail shopping include:

  •  All employees and customers will be required to wear face 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 sanitizers will be readily available to customers and employees
  • Fitting rooms and drinking fountains will remain closed until further notice

Goodwill of Central Iowa is asking the public to now, more than ever, consider donating unused items. The non-profit relies on donations to fund its mission and due to COVID-19 closures, is in great need of donations as it begins re-opening retail stores. In addition, Goodwill of Central Iowa is committed to continuing its mission of keeping unused items out of local landfills. As one of the largest recyclers in the area, Goodwill keeps over 20 million pounds of items out of landfills each year.

Like many other businesses, COVID-19 and the resulting store closures during March and April caused financial hardships for the non-profit organization. This had a significant negative impact on Goodwill, since the non-profit organization receives over 80% of its funding through retail sales.

Norris said, “We will continue to re-evaluate our locations to make sure we have retail stores and mission programming in place where they need to be. We have a large real estate footprint and ultimately, it’s imperative that we make some reductions now that will allow us to weather this storm so we can continue serving the community for years to come.”

Goodwill of Central Iowa is working to re-deploy as many impacted employees as possible to fill other positions 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,” Norris said.

Goodwill of Central Iowa is asking for the community’s continued support as the non-profit organization begins to recover from the impact of COVID-19. People and businesses can help support the non-profit 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.

“We know our community needs us now, more than ever, and we have to make sure we can survive this crisis to continue delivering on our mission of providing jobs and job training opportunities to people facing barriers to employment,” Norris said.

About Goodwill of Central Iowa

Goodwill of Central Iowa is a non-profit organization that uses a donated goods retail infrastructure to support programs improving the quality of life for anyone facing a barrier to employment across its 22-county region. The organization is dedicated to changing lives of Central Iowans with barriers to employment by helping them earn and keep jobs through workforce training in our businesses and your communities. In 2019, Goodwill of Central Iowa served 6,790 individuals through mission programming, including placing 558 in employment. In the last 10 years, Goodwill has served over 40,000 Central Iowans, with more than 5,000 placed in jobs. Learn more about Goodwill of Central Iowa through our website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.