By Jim Berry

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Goodwill is sounding the alarm on the future of its employees because of the coronavirus crisis.

“Right now we face an unprecedented crisis in our community,” said David Landsberg, president and CEO of Goodwill South Florida.

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Business at the thrift stores has dropped like a rock.

Since the company doesn’t have the cash to keep paying the workers, the agency is making an urgent appeal.

“What we started today is a coronavirus fund at Goodwill South Florida,” Landsberg said. “And we’re asking for donations to the fund. The fund will be directed towards Goodwill employees in the event that they are not working.”

Goodwill employees about 3,100 people locally. Many of them are special needs, so Goodwill is keeping close tabs on their health.

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“Anyone that has displayed symptoms, we asked them to go home. There are 20 folks from that have gone home and not come back. There is not one positive test result in all of Goodwill South Florida,” said Landsberg.

If there is a silver lining, Landsberg has noticed a recent spike in donated items.

“One thing that has been a silver lining is more time at home, means more time to clean out your stuff. So the flow of donations has been quite positive over this week,” he said. “People find themselves at home with time on their hands, package up stuff and bring to us.”

People wanting to support the nonprofit is also shop on line.

The agency that has helped so many now needs some goodwill of its own.

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Jim Berry