Pound for pound, Barbur Boulevard Goodwill donation station is heavyweight
The year just passed was a pretty busy one for the Goodwill drop-off location in the old gas station on Barbur Boulevard, just a stone's throw away from the Burlingame Fred Meyer parking lot.
And 2020 is forecast to be even busier.
Officially known as an Attendant Donation Center, it's staffed by a dozen workers and is ranked second in terms of donations to the 38 such sites in the Portland area run by Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette. In 2018, only the center in Lake Grove took in more pounds of donations. And that was probably because there's a Goodwill Store right next door.
In 2018, 6.62 million pounds of donated goods, enough to fill 21 trailers each week like the one parked on the property, were processed on Barbur. Goodwill expects to take in 6.95 million pounds this year, according to Dale Emanuel, Goodwill's local public relations manager.
According to Attendant Donations Manager Joselito Tanega, about 9,000 pounds of goods separate the two leading drop-off sites, which she referred to as " these two juggernauts." The Lake Grove center is next door to a Goodwill outlet store. The neighbor on Barbur Boulevard is a KFC outlet.
Tanega reported there were 108,850 donations dropped off there and that the most unusual item ever donated at Barbur was a steam-powered toy truck that burned coal.
Goodwill, which leases the property, took over the gas station in 2000 and didn't have much renovating to do. Abandoned gas stations had proven convenient for donor drop-offs on State Street in Lake Oswego and on Sandy Boulevard at 23rd and 65th streets.
Donations to the 38 centers account for more than a third of all donations to Goodwill each year.
According to Emanuel, selling all those donated items allows Goodwill to subsidize a variety of employment programs. Not only does the revenue from donor's cast-offs pay the salaries of the crew, it supports job services like computer training and English as a Second Language classes. She says such services were used half a million times in 2018.
Besides the center at 7635 S.W. Barbur Blvd., the other two Goodwill locations in Southwest Portland are the Express site at the Capitol Corner strip mall near the Crossroads, and the trailer in the parking lot on Shattuck Road and Beaverton Hillsdale Highway.
For more information on locations this story online.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.