In a move no one saw coming, Goodwill has closed 16 stores, 10 donation centres and two offices in Southern Ontario. A sign on one of the stores simply said, “due to unforeseen circumstances,” but the real reason has been revealed. Keiko Nakamura, chief executive officer of Goodwill Toronto, Eastern, Central and Northern Ontario, said in a statement, the closures were due to a “cash flow crisis.”
This closure is kind of confusing to us, but it’s very confusing to 450 people who lost their jobs today. To give you some context, Goodwill receives a combined, $4 million subsidy from the federal and provincial governments. But it’s still not doing so great. The statement added, “Due to a number of factors affecting the retail environment, Goodwill is facing a cash flow crisis.”
So, it’s cryptic, yes. And people are out of work, and that’s horrible. But what does this mean for donations? Where will you turn? Thankfully, there are plenty of worthwhile options.
Check in with your charity of choice
Charities that have nothing to do with clothing people are often on the hunt for used clothes, electronics and more. It’s true. See, they have clothing drives so they can sell used clothes and other items to Value Village in bulk. The best part is, 100 per cent of what they get from these exchanges goes directly to the charity. Check out the Canadian Diabetes Association, the Ontario Federation for Cerebral Palsy, the Kidney Foundation of Canada and your local Big Brothers/Big Sisters chapter. Some of these places actually pick up your stuff! So, don’t forget to ask about that.
Find a cause that speaks to you
Want to help women get back on their feet? Dress for Success uses clothing donations to help women get interview-ready. But it’s not just for the interview, it’s for getting the job and then having the clothes you need to transition into the workforce. There’s also Sistering, an organization that helps women in extraordinary circumstances — in this case, they’re looking for mint condition items like winter jackets, if you’ve got ’em. Another worthy charity is Dawn House, a shelter for women in emergency situations that is always on the look out for gently used, clean clothes. Figure out who or what you want to support, and how, and then do a localized search. You’d be surprised which places you already love have an annual, bi-annual or quarterly clothing donation drive.
Think about refugees
It’s not just Syrian refugees who are resettling in Canada. There are people coming from all over the globe, who are looking to live a safer life. As such, there will always be a need for clothes and furniture donations for incoming refugees, so find a resettlement organization in your area at the CCR.