MERS Missouri Goodwill Industries has reopened 23 of its 44 retail stores and donation centers, including the three stores in Jefferson County. However, customers at the stores must adhere to social-distancing directives to limit the spread of COVID-19, the nonprofit organization announced.
The three stores in the county are at 3616 Richardson Way in Arnold; 99 Old Sugar Creek Road in unincorporated Fenton; and 1255 N. Truman Blvd. in Festus.
The stores are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., shorter hours than normal to allow extra time to clean and disinfect the stores, organization officials said.
“We know this has been and still is a difficult time for all of us,” said Dave Kutchback, president and CEO of MERS Goodwill. “We are concerned that with shorter hours, shorter staff and the onslaught of the need to buy goods and donate goods, that we could be overwhelmed, but we are committed to helping the community. Reopening stores with the safety and well-being of our staff and our donors and shoppers will be our top priority.”
Donations are only being accepted at Goodwill stores that are open. However, MERS Goodwill asks donors to continue to hold their stockpiled donations if they can to allow time for the organization keep up with the heavy traffic of expected items to be dropped off in the next few weeks.
In addition, MERS Goodwill will not accept donations that do not fit in provided containers that are approximately 40 inches by 40 inches. Donors are asked not to leave donations on the ground or at the door. After the donation containers are filled, they are placed on a truck where they are isolated for 72 hours before staff prepares them for sale.
Other safety measures in place at the MERS stores include:
• Masks or other face coverings are required to enter the store.
• Limits on the number of people allowed in the stores at one time.
• People are urged to stay 6 feet away from others.
• Customers are not allowed to bring in their own bags, so shoppers are encouraged to bag items at their vehicles or buy Goodwill reusable bags for $1 each.
• Dressing rooms are closed. However, the organization’s seven-day return policy on clothing has been extended to 14 days.
For more information about MERS Goodwill or to find a donation center, call 314-241-3464 or visit mersgoodwill.org.
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