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New Goodwill Donation Center Off to Slow Start

“I think once it becomes more known that there is a donation center here it will be more successful,” said Marcus Notz.

After an absence of two years, a Goodwill Attended Donation Center re-opened May 16 on Washington Avenue, joining the Easter Seals Goodwill Industries Rehabilitation Center Inc. headquarters that relocated there from New Haven earlier this year.

“It’s been a slow start so far,” said Marcus Notz, chief information officer for Easter Seals Goodwill, which is one of two Goodwill systems that operate in the state. “I think once it becomes more known that there is a donation center here it will be more successful.”

Although the new center accepts a variety of donations, Notz said Goodwill is especially grateful for donations of books and clothing.

“Books have a special meaning for us,” he said.  “We have a program where our clients sell books online.”

He said that Goodwill was also looking forward to receiving donations of clothing, because the clients that work in Goodwill’s retail stores sort and hang them.  “It is a way for us to offer employment,” he said.

The new donation center is open seven days a week, with four to six clients employed by the center on weekdays.

According to Notz, Easter Seals Goodwill, when located in New Haven, had been looking for a new site for its headquarters for five years.

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Notz cited insufficient parking and safety problems among the difficulties the headquarters had experienced.  

“We run a fair amount of vans,” he said.  “We were very happy when we found this location.”

He lauded the big, wide open program spaces on the first floor of the headquarters, the private parking lot and safe loading and unloading of vans that can take place there.

Welcomed to North Haven

“North Haven has welcomed us,” he said of the headquarters that opened in January. “We are a non-profit, not a taxpaying member of the community,” he acknowledged.  “We are really happy to be here.”                            

Notz gave Goodwill’s 12 retail stores, which bring in $1 million to $1.2 million annually, as the reason the economy has not hit the organization harder, since the retail stores fund each of the non-profit’s programs to some extent. Goodwill serves persons with disabilities and other challenges. 

“We have been fortunate so far," he said, although he observed that the quality of donations is perhaps not exactly what it used to be as people are holding on to their possessions for a longer period of time.

Absent the Easter Seals Goodwill Industries retail stores that run from Orange as far north as Rhode Island and sell the items gathered at Goodwill's donation centers and bins, the picture for Goodwill would darken.

“We would be in a completely different boat if we had to rely on funding or private donations.  We would drastically have to change our program composition,” Notz said.

For more information on the programs offered by Goodwill, which include programs for senior citizens with disabilities, visit the Goodwill website at eastersealsgoodwill.org.

For more information on the attended donations center at 432 Washington Ave., where help is available to get donations out of the car or write a donation receipt, call (203) 777-2000 ext. 253.

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