Goodwill South Florida sets up coronavirus fund to help employees

MIAMI (WSVN) - Goodwill South Florida is asking for the community’s help, as the coronavirus pandemic is expected to lead to temporary work shortages for a sizable portion of its employees.

At the Goodwill headquarters in Miami, workers make flags and uniforms for the military.

7News cameras captured workers taking precautions, like wearing face masks, as they entered the facility, Thursday.

The nonprofit is a primary employer of people with disabilities in South Florida.

“We had two reasonably good weeks in our stores followed by a horrific week last week,” said David Landsberg, CEO of Goodwill South Florida. “That will certainly have to withstand some tightening, potential temporary store closures.

Goodwill has 36 stores and 54 donation centers in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The nonprofit locally employs more than 3,100 people. Many of them live below the poverty line.

“What we started today is a coronavirus fund at Goodwill South Florida, and we are asking for donations to that fund,” said Landsberg. “That fund will be directed towards Goodwill employees in the event that they are not working.”

The importance of Goodwill and its employees goes beyond selling items to help those in certain income brackets.

“We also clean just about every federal, state and local government building in South Florida, including police stations and military installations,” said Landsberg.

Goodwill South Florida’s CEO singled out a critical task that the company’s workforce performs.

“The most critical function we conduct is doing the laundry for the hospitals in South Florida, almost every hospital in South Florida,” he said, “and so obviously, that’s going to be deemed a critical need, and throughout this coronavirus episode, we will have to continue to find healthy ways for our employees to conduct the business of cleaning South Florida’s hospital linens, which will only be under more demand.”

Goodwill officials and employees said workers are all kept at a clear distance from each other as operations continue.

If you would like to make a donation to Goodwill South Florida’s coronavirus fund, click here.

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