ELLICOTT CITY, Md. — The cars and trucks encircle the building at the Goodwill on Baltimore National Pike in Ellicott City, but they’re not here to buy things, they’re trying to get rid of them.
“Since the pandemic started, people are home and they cleaned out their closets and they missed the spring cleaning so as soon as we opened our first stores, we were just inundated, which is a great problem to have for us,” said Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake President & CEO Lisa Rusyniak.
It’s estimated when Goodwill reopened the first of its nearly three dozen stores a week or so ago, some unloaded a hundred vehicles per hour.
“Some of our back doors where we take our donations, we’ve seen the same individual three and four times,” said Bob Prosser, the vice president of Retail Operations. “So they had a lot of cooped up and ready to give to us, which we’re again very grateful for.”
In fact, despite being shut down for a few months, Goodwill has now seen 10,000 more donors this year, than it did last year at the same point, and for a company devoted helping people with barriers find employment, it means increased sales will enable it to help an ever increasing number of people who have lost jobs during the pandemic.
“A lot of people are going to need re-training. They need new skills, and we provide those skill trainings in the IT field with Microsoft and Google. We work with all the apprenticeship programs and we even have a CVS Pharmacy in our building downtown and we’re doing pharmacy technician training,” said Rusyniak. “The more donations we get, the more we’re able to sell, which enables us to help people get jobs."
Goodwill is scheduled to reopen the last of its retail stores next week on Wednesday, June 24.