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Goodwill Facing Serious Shortage Of Winter Clothes

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Just when the weather turns bitter cold, Goodwill is running out of warm clothes to help people get through the winter.

"We need things for the cold weather. We need sweaters, coats, scarves, hats, gloves. We have a lot of people that come in asking for gloves, and we just don't seem to have them," says Susan Meyers, the Goodwill store manager on Banksville Road.

Meyers says fewer donations come in during February and that leads to empty shelves and racks.

"We do have a number of empty shelves, and we do need more donations. I hope the donors will consider dropping things off to us."

Goodwill CEO Michael Smith says all 31 stores face a similar problem, and it's getting serious.

"Within 2 to 3 weeks, we could possibly be out of donations," Smith told KDKA money editor Jon Delano.

And the lack of donated clothes means fewer people are hired to sort and sell them.

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"Every 23 seconds of every business day, somebody in the country gets a job because of a Goodwill," says Smith.

"And that all starts with donations. We process the donations, we sell the donations, and that generates the revenue for our programs and services that help put people to work."

The Banksville store is already down fifteen employees.

Now all these empty hangars at Goodwill should be filled with clothes.

Not only does it provide good jobs for people who work here and warm clothes for those who need them this winter, it will also give the donor a tax deduction.

"The IRS still allows tax deductions for any item you donate to Goodwill, and generally most people use fair market value to do that," noted Smith.

In other words, the donor sets the value for what they donate.

Bottom line: don't wait until spring to drop off your un-needed, but cleaned, winter clothes for all ages.

"It's so simple," adds Meyers. "Just pull around to the back door, and someone is there to help you with your items."

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