At the risk of sounding strident for three posts in a row, I’ve got to ask this question:
When did Goodwill become Bad Will?
With my mother now living in a board and care home and using a wheelchair provided by her insurance, there was no reason for me to keep the transfer chair (a wheelchair, but with all small wheels) that she used when out shopping or visiting before she broke her hip recently. Instead of just trashing it, as it is in fine shape, I wanted to donate it so someone else could benefit from its use.
The first organization I thought of to donate the chair to was Goodwill Industries.
So I went down to one of the local Goodwill stores and inquired about donating the chair.
A male employee snapped at me: “We’re closed for the day.” Which was kind of strange, since people were still shopping in the store and the doors were still unlocked. And then he added, “And anyway, we don’t accept medical equipment.” As he said “medical equipment”…he fairly spit out the words…he wrinkled his nose as if he had smelled something bad. As if the chair must be contaminated or something.
Fine. I managed not to rip the guy a new one and just said that I would donate the chair to someone who would appreciate it, in that case.
The chair has since been donated to Amvets.
But it is an interesting thing. I looked up the websites of both the national organization of Goodwill Industries and the organization in the region in which I live. The national site does not say anything about what is or is not accepted, as far as I could find. And the local organization’s website has a list titled: “Due to environmental regulations and/or safety concerns, we are NOT ABLE TO ACCEPT the following items [capitalization theirs]:”, followed by a list of items that will not be taken by the organization. The closest to wheelchairs any of the ten or twelve categories of items on the list comes is this: “Food, beverages, medicine or vitamins”. No mention of medical equipment in general, and no mention of wheelchairs or transfer chairs specifically.
So, the guy was not only rude. He was wrong. Not a way to build good will, is it?
I don’t think I will be donating anything to Goodwill Industries anytime soon.