The winter weather has had a negative impact on donations to Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania stores. As a result, the organization is making an urgent appeal to the public to donate gently used clothing, shoes, and housewares to the nearest Goodwill store or donation center. Without increased public donations, shelves will start to become empty, and the organization is committed to providing a wide selection of quality items for local people who shop at Goodwill thrift stores.

“There’s always a slowdown in donations during the winter months,” said Robert Stape, Goodwill SWPA’s interim president/CEO. “That’s why we are making this special appeal to the public at this time.”

Donations of clothing and household items are the lifeblood of Goodwill, representing well over half of the operating revenues for the diversified human services agency. Revenue from Goodwill stores supports the organization’s charitable mission to provide job training and education programs that change lives. Goodwill stores also serve as a training ground for hundreds of people annually.

“Goodwill stores are important to the community in two ways,” Mr. Stape said. “Many of our customers are on very tight budgets and rely on the stores’ low prices for their families’ needs. Also, revenue from the stores helps to sustain the programs Goodwill provides for people with employment barriers. Your donations literally help people get jobs.”

Goodwill is asking the public to take a look inside closets, attics, basements, and garages and make an extra effort to donate at this time of year. The organization encourages the public to declutter houses and give a second life to items that are no longer needed. In addition to clothing and housewares, Goodwill accepts donations of books, jewelry, computers, and electronic equipment.

Donating to Goodwill is also good for the environment. Last year at Goodwill SWPA, over 56 million pounds of household donations were thrifted, repurposed, recycled, or reused. Furthermore, donating to Goodwill combats climate change by giving items a second life and encouraging secondhand shopping. The average American has more than 100 pieces of clothing in their closet, representing half a swimming pool worth of water used to produce these items. This is enough drinking water to serve 500 people for an entire year.

“We are truly grateful and humbled by everyone’s generosity throughout the year, but donations are especially important now due to the ongoing high demand from people in the community who count on our stores to have the goods they need,” Mr. Stape said.

Find the nearest Goodwill SWPA no-contact donation location by visiting