Stolen donations from Goodwill prompts officials to consider new donation system

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“It’s disheartening because I like to give my items here to Goodwill. I know it provides jobs for people that are unable to work elsewhere,” said Goodwill donor Cheryl Cunningham. “And it allows the community that maybe doesn’t have as much money to come in and buy what they need.”

A recent string of thefts from the donation area at the Terre Haute Goodwill is forcing officials to re-think their drop-off system.

“We want the convenience of having a 24 hour drop spot,” said Retail Operations Director, Meredith Osburn. “So we have two donation bins.”

The bins provide a safe place for the donations, and anyone who tries to jump in to steal, won’t be able to get out.

Despite the new bins, Osburn says donations are still being taken.

“Unfortunately when one bag is placed in front of the bin, people assume that the bins are full,” said Osburn. “So then what happens is everybody puts their bags in front instead of securing it in the bins, then unfortunately that leaves the items vulnerable to being stolen.”

Chloe Morris is an avid Goodwill shopper, and often donates.

She says the idea of someone stealing her donations, donations meant for someone in need, is upsetting.

“It’s not okay to steal anyway because there are people that come here who need clothes. And if you’re stealing from them that’s just something, like one extra thing that like maybe they needed but now they don’t have.”

For those who may be stealing from Goodwill out of necessity, Osburn says the store is happy to help those in need get back on their feet.

“They can come in and they can say, ‘you know I’m working with this agency to get support, what support can Goodwill give us?’ So you don’t have to steal,” she said. “You know, we’re here to help.”
 

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