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Donating during COVID in Edmonton

By Admin User on December 16, 2020

Donation centres have taken a hit this year as COVID-19 has forced many to stop accepting certain items, cancel pick-up services and reduce hours and capacity. Where to donate, how to donate and what to donate are questions many Edmontonians don’t have the time to find answers for, leaving donation centres, and those who need them most, without daily essentials. 

Habitat for Humanity runs a social enterprise, called ReStore, which accepts gently used building materials, furniture and appliances. They then restore those items and sell them, with the proceeds funding their Habitat program, which helps families in the community move into affordable housing. 

South Edmonton’s ReStore Donation Centre

Communications Officer of Habitat for Humanity Edmonton, Kyle Keller, says the pandemic is having a major impact on their program. Prior to the pandemic, ReStore offered a pick-up service for donations which many people relied on, as the items typically donated to ReStore are large, heavy items. Now, because they can no longer offer that service, Keller says ReStore is struggling to get the supplies they need.

“There was a significant number of people that used our pick-up service, not everybody has a truck to take their couch or fridge to ReStore themselves. So that’s massively reduced the number of donations we have coming into our stores,” said Keller.

Building supplies, like these, are one of ReStore’s most needed donation items right now.

Right now, ReStore is most in need of:

-Large kitchen appliances

-Kitchen cabinets

-Building materials

Goodwill has actually seen an increase in donations this year which Doug Roxburgh, Manager of Brand Integrity and Marketing at Goodwill, believes can be attributed to people having more time to declutter while in quarantine. While this is a good thing overall, Roxburgh says it has created several logistical issues because of COVID-19 safety protocols. 

“So because we have no contact donations, we’ve actually had to store things for a period of about 4-5 days before we even go in and fully sanitize it for redistribution. So it has created some chaos for us, though it’s a good kind of chaos,” said Roxburgh.

Goodwill on Calgary Trail.

89 per cent of Goodwill’s profits go directly back into their mission which is to support people with disabilities and help them find meaningful employment. With so many non-profit organizations in Edmonton, Roxburgh says it is best to do your research and support the organization that touches you most.

“Every one of these thrift stores has a mission that they support, so really it’s whatever cause speaks to you, that’s the cause that you should contribute to and we encourage that 100 per cent,” Roxburgh said.

Goodwill Donation Centre on Calgary Trail.

There are 12 Goodwill Donation Centre across Edmonton.



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