Economic slump outpaces demand for Goodwill services

Citing the challenging economy, Tacoma Goodwill CEO Terry A. Hayes today announced an urgent need for donations, especially of gently used clothes and household items.

“Donations have slowed as a result of these tough times,” Hayes said. “Even one box of donated goods helps support Goodwill’s job training and placement services, which are seeing record public need.”

Hayes said the amount of increased need for services is unprecedented in the agency’s history. Goodwill expects a more than 20 percent increase over the 5,200 people who received services last year — the previous record.

Donations of ready-to-sell clothes, shoes and household items such as furniture are tax-deductible and kept in their communities. Last year, Goodwill received 48.7 million pounds of items from across its 15-county service area. Hayes said donations this year simply haven’t kept pace with need. A complete list of donation locations, including Goodwill stores, is located at .

More shoppers than ever have been coming to Goodwill stores to stretch the value of their dollar as a result of the economy — and also increasing the need for donations.

Goodwill is making it easier to donate through new donation sites.

Tacoma Goodwill has partnered with Walmart to open attended donation stations in Bonney Lake, Covington, South Hill/Puyallup, Yelm and Federal Way. Another station could be open at the Shelton Walmart by mid June.

The hours of operation for donation stations have expanded for the summer. Donation stations are open from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

Residents of North Tacoma will have the opportunity to donate starting June 8 at a new store location at 5401 Sixth Ave. The donation hours are the same as store hours, Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 0.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The North Tacoma Goodwill Store will formally open June 18.

In Pierce County, South King County and portions of Thurston County, Tacoma Goodwill also will provide free pickup of large furniture items. Call (253) 573-1333 ext. 306 for information.

Goodwill is also partnering to collect donations at a variety of community events. Events include Dupont Community Cleanup at Northwest Landing June 20 and Sept. 12. Partnerships with the city of Tacoma and Olympic Environmental Resources of Seattle will allow Goodwill donation stations to be located at schools across Pierce and South King County on selected dates.

Goodwill is also a certified collector in the E-Cycle Washington campaign. The program allows free drop-off of laptops, TVs, computers and monitors. With the federal deadline to go digital coming this month, Hayes said it would be a good time to not only recycle but bring clothes and other items for donation. In general, she said if an item is something a donor would give a friend, it’s likely it will be easy for Goodwill to resell.