Goodwill asks for donations after Canton warehouse fire ruins thousands of items

Posted at 2:10 PM, Nov 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-23 17:06:12-05

Goodwill is committed to helping those in need.

But right now the non-profit is facing an urgent need for help after a fire ruined thousands of donated items, stored in a massive warehouse in Canton. 

Goodwill representatives tell News 5 donations typically drop off around the holidays and winter months. That makes the loss inside the warehouse harder to handle.

Clothing, blankets, housewares, electronics and toys stored in hundreds of large, cardboard boxes can't be sold. The flames did not damage the boxes, but smoke damage has left all of the items unusable.

The fire started on the other side of the warehouse owned by Detroit Diesel, but smoke from the fire spread and damaged Goodwill items totaling thousands of pounds, according to Anne Richards from Goodwill of Greater Cleveland and East Central Ohio.

The agency supplies about 24 stores but with so much lost in the fire, they're asking the public to donate what they can.

Right now, there is an urgent need for kitchen items which could run out within a week. Goodwill could also use more clothing and toys.

A day before Thanksgiving, Goodwill employees said they would be thankful for any support that would help replenish the stockpile.

"We use our donations to fund our programs," said Anne Richards. "A lot of people don't know that Goodwill has programs. We put people to work. We support a rape crisis center. We do so many things with our revenue from our stores and now we're in danger of losing that revenue."

The fire department said cardboard stored too closely to heaters at Detroit Diesel may have sparked the fire.

Goodwill is accepting donations at all of its stores. View a list of locations here.