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Goodwill Locations In New Jersey, Pennsylvania Push Governors To Reopen Stores As Donations Skyrocket

PENNSAUKEN, N.J. (CBS) -- If you want to donate to Goodwill, you still can. Their donation centers are still open during the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, there's a push to reopen their stores in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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Right now, all of those donations are sitting in tractor-trailers or donation centers until stores can reopen, like the one in Pennsauken.

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(credit: CBS3)

Until then, their inventory grows while donations are on the rise at goodwill.

"Before everything started, we'd do about 80 to 130 cars. Now we're doing anywhere from 150 to 300 cars," Goodwill manager Lance Sears said.

Boxes are piling up as social distancing "pop and drops" are now in effect -- pop your trunk and they'll take your stuff.

"Over the last eight weeks, we've collected over 300 tractor-trailer loads of material that people have generously donated to Goodwill," said Mark Boyd, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia.

The donation center in Medford, New Jersey has seen more than 550 donations this Memorial Day weekend, as sites in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania are waiting for their respective governors to open their stores.

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy's office referred CBS3 to his three-phase reopening plan, which is still in phase one.

"We've had high-level conversations but we've not gotten a commitment as to when Philly or southern New Jersey are going to open," Boyd said.

Boyd says their stores serve an essential function, as not only a supplier of goods, but also as employers.

And with unemployment reaching stunning levels, he forsees as many applicants through his doors as he does customers.

"Every day that Goodwill is closed it's not just my employees, it's not just my donors, it's not just my customers. It's also the people that we serve. And I really have to get this thing open so we can serve the community," Boyd said.

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Goodwill says they've invested in PPE for workers, as well as sanitizing foggers to be used in their stores to ensure proper decontamination.

Goodwill has roughly 900 area employees and says they're looking to add at least 50 more when they can reopen.

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