A letter from Goodwill San Diego’s President and Chief Executive Officer Toni Giffin

Dear Friends of San Diego Goodwill,

It is hard to believe how our community has changed over the past few weeks due to the novel coronavirus health crisis that has ravaged our world. Goodwill San Diego celebrated our 90th anniversary on March 25. I thought I would be taking this time to plan a birthday celebration, instead I am creating a plan on how we will survive and then thrive after this storm. Our commitment to serve has been strong for decades and our resolve is even greater during times of crisis. We are committed to fight against this unseen enemy, which has affected all of us in big and small ways, by following all government and health officials’ recommendations.

Of prime importance is the health and well-being of our ambassadors (employees) and our community. As a non-profit, community trust is essential; therefore, we have closed our operation to aid in the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic. During our closure, all ambassadors will receive a paycheck for at least two weeks as we chart our way forward. It is our hope that our actions will help to prevent personal financial hardship and to show our appreciation for their dedication to our mission. We are asking most of our ambassadors to stay home or consider volunteering their time to a non-profit that is meeting the critical needs of our community, while adhering to safety guidelines. I am extremely grateful for our employees who are working daily to protect our assets and respond to the ramifications of our mandated closure.

We take the responsibility of being an employer very seriously and want to ensure a bright future for our employees and our community. I will continue to work with our leadership, Board of Directors, state and local officials, and community partners on a robust recovery plan to ensure we can serve those in need long into the future.

Goodwill San Diego is asking community members to take this time at home to clean out their cupboards, closets, garages and save their sellable donations until we reopen. We will have a critical need then and will thankfully receive them at that time. Currently, community members are leaving their donations at temporarily closed Donation Centers and Retail locations, creating a pile-up of product, looting and a safety hazard. We must work together to keep our properties and neighborhoods healthy, clean and safe.

Goodwill San Diego and many other local non-profit organizations will need the community’s support in the days ahead. Goodwill relies on the sale of sellable household goods, clothing, furniture, home décor and other donations to fund its mission. Goodwill uses the revenue from donations to provide training and employment opportunities to people with disabilities and other barriers to employment.

Goodwill San Diego employs over 1,400 San Diego County residents. Nearly 50 percent are a person with a disability or other barrier to employment including seniors, young adults, veterans, the unsheltered, military families, people reintegrating into our community from incarceration, and others. In addition, Goodwill San Diego is the county’s largest retail employer of people with developmental disabilities. We want to equip people to become gainfully employed, advance their careers, care for themselves and their families, and be financially independent.

We have five Community Employment Centers in San Diego County, which provide one-on-one job search assistance and soft skill workshops about workplace communication, interview preparation, online job application, résumés, and computer basics. In 2019, we helped more than 6,000 people in our Centers. During our temporary closure, we are creating ways to stay connected to our participants and continue to help with their job search. When we reopen, we will be ready to assist those most impacted to secure jobs and prosper once again.

What Goodwill San Diego services are available:

How you can help:

Goodwill San Diego’s core values of Collaboration, Credibility, and Creativity, and our deep desire to do the right thing, will help us weather the storm and be stronger on the other side. We are incredibly grateful for a community that has supported our organization and mission for 90 years!

Together, we are Making Good Happen,

Toni Giffin


COVID-19 RESOURCES

Sick or Quarantined

If you’re unable to work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you can file a Disability Insurance (DI) Claim.

DI provides short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week.

The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so you can collect DI benefits for the first week you are out of work. If you are eligible, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.

Caregiving

If you’re unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional), you can file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim.

PFL provides up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages because they need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child. Benefit amounts are approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income) and range from $50-$1,300 a week. If you are eligible, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.

School Closures

If your child’s school is closed, and you have to miss work to be there for them, you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits. Eligibility considerations include if you have no other care options and if you are unable to continue working your normal hours remotely. File an Unemployment Insurance claim and EDD representatives will decide if you are eligible.

Reduced Work Hours/ Closed Operations

If your employer has reduced your hours or shut down operations due to COVID-19, you can file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim.

UI provides partial wage replacement benefit payments to workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own. Workers who are temporarily unemployed due to COVID-19 and expected to return to work with their employer within a few weeks are not required to actively seek work each week. However, they must remain able and available and ready to work during their unemployment for each week of benefits claimed and meet all other eligibility criteria. Eligible individuals can receive benefits that range from $40-$450 per week.

The Governor’s Executive Order waives the one-week unpaid waiting period, so you can collect UI benefits for the first week you are out of work. If you are eligible, the EDD processes and issues payments within a few weeks of receiving a claim.

community resources

SDG&E Supports Community Members with assistance – Click Here

Emergency Food Assistance Program – Click Here

Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Assistance for Homeowners, and Renters.  Click Here 

Employment, Unemployment, Childcare, Reduced Work Hours, Tax Assistance and Health Resources. Per Governor Newsom: California has waived the 1-week waiting period for those unemployed or disabled as a result of COVID-19 Click Here

Nutrition and Fitness Resources – Click Here