CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — While many places like Goodwill and Salvation Army have closed their brick and mortar stores during the stay-at-home order, there is an organization in Champaign and Urbana that is still accepting clothing and furniture donations during this time.
“It has been pretty crazy over the last month with people dropping stuff off here,” said Director Nathan Montgomery. People are packing the parking lot of Salt and Light Grocery and Thrift Store, lining up to donate their used items. Unlike other organizations that normally accept clothes and furniture for resale, this business was given the all-clear to stay open during the pandemic. “What we’ve done is set up a contactless drive through. We have large boxes set up outside that are labeled so people can just pull through the drive through at either location, drop off the stuff and never have to actually interact with anyone,” said Montgomery.
The director said they have been careful to follow the health department’s safety guidelines. “We have folks who are masked and coming out regularly to replace the boxes with empty ones.” While Salt and Light is still operating their two donation sites in Champaign and Urbana, other places like the Salvation Army and Goodwill have stayed closed for now. But that could change soon.
“We had originally planned to reopen our Champaign and Savoy locations for drop-off donations today. But the public health department had a couple of questions for us,” said Patrick Anderson, Goodwill VP of Marketing and Communications. Anderson said that is mainly to ensure the proper procedure for safe contactless intake of donations would be implemented.
“All donations we received are going to be quarantined for at least 72 hours and all donations will be sanitized with EPA-approved disinfectants.” Anderson said they plan to open the stores in Champaign and Savoy as soon as the health department gives them the green light.
Five other Goodwill donation centers in central Illinois have already opened back up. Some of those are in Springfield and Bloomington.