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Goodwill Billboard Telling Locals To Stop Putting Clothes in Donation Boxes

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Goodwill industries of San Joaquin Valley is taking a stand against competitors with a billboard that reads "Say yes to goodwill and say no to the box."

The billboard is posted at the intersection of Thornton Road and Hammer Lane in Stockton and will rotate to a new location every two months through June.

"This gives us the opportunity to educate the public that, no these boxes are not charitable, and no, these goods are not staying in the community to help local people," Sally Wooden said.

Wooden is the Director of Marketing for Goodwill Industries of San Joaquin Valley. She told FOX40 the billboard was inspired by last year's grand jury report that found unattended for-profit donation boxes were proliferating the county, sometimes being placed without a permit or permission.

Wooden said the boxes were most problematic because they discouraged people from donating to local charities.

"Without a doubt it makes it harder for Salvation Army, for Goodwill, for American Cancer Society, for Stockton Homeless Shelter," Wooden said.

Jessica Perez is the store manager for Crossroads Trading Company on Pacific Avenue in Stockton. She said the donation boxes could be deceptive because while they do also recycle clothes, most of the boxes do not specify that the clothes do not go to local communities.

"As a thrift store, we want people to be bringing in their clothes so they get recycled. Because people come here to find awesome things. So if they take their clothes to a bin that goes somewhere else, that's not awesome," Jessica Perez said. "It gives people a confidence to be like, 'Oh, hey I'm doing a good deed.'"

FOX40 called numbers on the donation boxes around Stockton including Tex Green Clothing Recycling and have not heard back. However, Tex Green's website confirms clothes donated in Stockton do go to Europe.

Wooden says the billboard is less about Goodwill and more about donating local.

"It says give to goodwill and not the box, but the truth is we think you should give to any good charity in San Joaquin County," Wooden said.