Goodwill stores in Canton and Woodstock were scheduled to reopened Wednesday, as the non-profit job training and thrift store operator comes back from a coronavirus pandemic closure.

Goodwill of North Georgia will open its popular stores and donation centers on a phased basis, officials said. Two Cherokee County locations were among the first to reopen. All will have new procedures in place designed to lessen the chance of coronavirus spread.

“The health and safety of our team members, customers, donors and jobseekers remains our highest priority as we carefully reopen our locations through a phased approach. As such, we have amended our processes and procedures to provide safe environments and remain in compliance with all applicable laws and safety guidelines” said Keith Parker, Goodwill of North Georgia president and chief executive officer. “Our mission to put people to work is more essential than ever as the state of Georgia experiences record job losses.”

Visitors will see workers in protective gear, one-way aisles, plastic shields erected at checkout stations, and staff disinfecting shopping cart handles after every use. Fitting rooms will be closed and for now the stores will not be selling jewelry or accessories, officials said.

During its closure, Goodwill stopped accepting donations of items for its thrift stores on April 18. But, if people sheltering in place at home have put together lots of items for donation, Goodwill is ready to accept them and get them on store floors for resale, said Tenee Hawkins, public relations director.

“As we reopen select stores through this rolling, phased approach, the reopened locations will accept donations through a no-contact process with the safety of our employees and customers in mind,” Hawkins said. “Since we’ve asked people to hold donations for the past two-plus weeks, there may be lots of donations coming in as we reopen stores. Those items will be sold in our stores and will fund our mission to put people to work.”

Cherokee County locations reopening are the store and donation center at 1750 Marietta Highway, Canton and the store and career center in Woodstock, 9425 Ga. Highway 92, No. 142.

Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. Career center hours are 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Goodwill closed its more than 100 north Georgia facilities to the public on March 23.

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Managing Editor

Gary Tanner is managing editor of The Cherokee Tribune, Cherokee Ledger-News and Cherokee Life magazine. He has been working as a journalist since 1985.

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