Photo of a person washing their hands with soap.

The Coronavirus COVID-19

Updates as of April 2, 2020

As communities across the globe are feeling the effects of COVID-19 and working to support people in need, stories of hope are emerging. People are working together to uplift others, and so are we. Our mission to eliminate barriers to work and independence has become even more critical, as many people now face additional barriers to employment and need our support.

Read the latest update from Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota's President and CEO, Dr. Michael Wirth-Davis, Dr. PA.

Update as of March 26, 2020

Update from Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota's President and CEO, Dr. Michael Wirth-Davis, Dr. PA

The uncertainty and changing nature of COVID-19 is a challenge for everyone. During our 100-year history, GESMN helped the community weather the Great Depression and even trained returning service members for work. We have a rich history of service, particularly in times of great need.

In that spirit, here’s what we’re up to now:

  • We’re actively serving over 2,000 people who need us via online and adapted tools.
  • Even though our stores remain temporarily closed, we are sanitizing all locations.
  • Identifying unique ways to partner with other nonprofit and medical organizations to meet community needs during this time. Stay tuned for details soon!

You can help! Call on Congress to provide #Relief4Charities to help nonprofits continue service during COVID-19. Make a donation to help us support people who need their jobs more than ever right now.

We’re hopeful to resume full operations as soon as we can ensure the safety of employees, customers, participants and the community. Thanks for your continued support.

Update as of March 18, 2020

Update from Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota’s President and CEO, Dr. Michael Wirth-Davis, Dr. PA

Several recent developments, including new guidelines from Governor Tim Walz, have prompted the following operational changes, effective on March 19:
 

  • All Goodwill store locations (Goodwill, Gina + Will, Second Debut, Outlets) will close
  • Goodwill E-commerce operations will close
  • Aftermarket salvage, transportation and logistics locations will close

It was only after thoughtful deliberation, consultation with our Board of Directors and information from public health officials that we reached this decision. We have taken significant precautions to date but believe this is the appropriate direction at this time. These changes are temporary and re-opening plans will be communicated in the future.

We will continue our non-retail services and programs to participants using adapted methods and online tools. Services at our Rochester, St. Cloud and Willmar store locations will continue to be staffed, with other service teams working remotely to meet needs via phone, email and video conferencing. If you are receiving services from us, please contact your career navigator so we can assist you.

The best way you can continue to help our most vulnerable neighbors is by making a financial contribution to Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota, or to another nonprofit serving our community. Financial donations provide flexible support and bolster our ability to respond to critical participant needs at this time.

Thank you for your understanding and support as we navigate how best to safeguard our staff and the people we serve. We look forward to resuming our operations and mission delivery to the community at the appropriate time.

Be well,

Michael Wirth-Davis


We want to share that the following scheduled events are canceled and will be rescheduled:

  • FATHER Project celebration event on March 25
  • All training information sessions on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays
  • Power of Work event on May 14

UPDATE AS OF MARCH 17, 2020

A message from Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota’s President and CEO, Dr. Michael Wirth-Davis, Dr. PA

As COVID-19 is of growing concern globally and in our community, I want to assure you that safety is our organization’s priority. Together, our community knows how to weather challenging times.

Given the large volume of guests at our stores, the high-touch services we provide to the community and the public-facing nature of our work, we recognize the need to protect everyone’s health and well-being.

We remain committed to continuing our services and programs using adapted methods and online tools so we can maintain in-progress classes, employment support and other services to the best of our ability. Store staff have extra personal protective equipment (PPE) options, are practicing social distancing and more.

To keep pace with evolving COVID-19 developments, our operational decisions will be fluid and adjusted as appropriate.

Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota has been serving our community since 1919, supporting people in times of need like the Great Depression, world conflicts and public health issues. We will continue our work, though it will be modified in the coming weeks to protect the health of our staff, donors, customers and the people we serve.

COVID-19 has also illuminated the inequities we know the people we serve often face, as access to sick leave or extra income to support families through uncertain times isn’t available to everyone. That makes our work even more important in lifting people up in times of need and taking care of our staff.

Please stay tuned to this page for ongoing updates and information.  

Be well,          

Michael Wirth-Davis


UPDATE AS OF MARCH 16, 2020

Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota values its employees, customers, donors and community.

The Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is of growing concern across the globe and safety is a priority for our organization.

Given the large volume of visitors to our stores, the services we provide to community members and multiple touchpoints our teams have, we recognize the need to be informed and proactive to protect everyone’s health and well-being.

Our leadership team is actively monitoring the situation, along with other global Goodwill agencies and Easter Seals affiliates and recognize it’s a public health concern applicable to all populations, regardless or country of origin, race or travels.
As the situation changes, GESMN is keyed into the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and is taking every step to ensure cleanliness at the 70+ locations where we serve the community. 

Here are some tips to help minimize COVID-19’s spread in our community:

  • Wash hands often and thoroughly for 30 seconds with soap, water or an alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth and/or contact with people who are ill
  • Cover coughs and sneezes, disposing of tissues immediately
  • Stay at home if you have any symptoms of illness

Updates will be shared in real-time while GESMN monitors this situation, as the health of both our employees and the people we serve is our central focus.