San Francisco Goodwill stores open for donations, bargains

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Among the stores beginning to reopen are thrift shops. Four Goodwill locations in San Francisco and Mateo County officially opened today after a soft opening. After months of not being able to accept donations, Goodwill is up and running again. The people came running as well.

A steady stream of customers dropped off donations this morning at Goodwill's location in South San Francisco.

Kathy Reynal came by just to see if they were open because she definitely has items to drop off.

"I have tons of stuff at home because I've been saving it for three months," Reynal said. "Quite a bit of stuff. Half a garage full of stuff."

Before the reopening, people were so desperate to donate items, the Goodwill became a dumping ground for many.

But that quickly stopped.

"Once we found out that was happening," said Kyle Richards, Goodwill Manager, "we gave a lot of heads up on social media. Please hold on to your donations. A lot of people did that, It helped out."

Daniel Downey of San Bruno emptied out his entire car of donations. Like everyone else, staff directed him to drop off stuff into designated bins. He stayed six feet away of everyone in sight.

"I felt safe, as safe as you can feel. I feel very strongly that as long as they're doing what the experts say, I feel safe," said Downey.

Inside the store, customers browsed for bargains.

The store's opening comes at a time people badly need it.

Julianna Van Tellingen brought her daughter and two grandchildren. The family bought clothing, household items and books for the children.

"People are going to be looking for ways to economize and this is a great place to do it," said Van Tellingen.

"As you can see, some of the lines we have in front of our store. I think customers have been ready and patient enough. Once they found out we were open, they came running," confirmed Richards.

The hope is whether someone is there to pick up items or to drop something off, that everyone leaves happy.

"It's gratifying. First of all, it's good material and I think somebody can use it," said another customer, Ray Celentano of Millbrae.

Store openings are being rolled out over the coming weeks. Check Goodwill's website to see the latest store hours and information.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

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