BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Youth Ranch is asking the public not to drop donations at their thrift stores’ back doors during the COVID-19 emergency. Earlier this week, the organization had to furlough thrift store employees in response to Governor Little’s Stay-At-Home Order.
“The dropping of household goods and other items is causing a lot of harm,” said Rich Cline, Vice President of Social Enterprise for Idaho Youth Ranch. “People are leaving their donations in back of our stores, when no one will be there until at least April 15. The donations sitting outside the stores will ruin in the weather and will create extra work when our teams return from furlough.”
Despite having closed their stores earlier this week, Idaho Youth Ranch has continued to expand their therapeutic services to vulnerable youth and families throughout the state.
“Our counseling, TeleMental Health, shelter home for youth, and equine therapy are all considered essential functions, and we are proud to be maintaining these critical services for our community,” said Scott Curtis, CEO. “Our thrift stores, however, have had to be closed in compliance with the order and in protection of our community’s health.”
Like many businesses around the country, Idaho Youth Ranch has been dramatically impacted by COVID-19.
“The incredible work from all corners of our organization has put us in a great position to weather this storm,” said Curtis. “When we reopen our stores, we want to be there full-steam-ahead. The donations left outside our doors will hurt our organization, employees, and mission because they add extra strain and costs for removing it. The last thing we want is to have to send generously donated goods to the dump.”
Idaho Youth Ranch thrift stores contributed over 35 percent of the organization’s funding in their last fiscal year. The Idaho-based nonprofit provides trauma-focused mental health services for vulnerable youth and families, adoptions, career-readiness, and short-term residential care for homeless and runaway youth.
“The more money we spend processing donations we cannot use or recycle, the less that goes to our programs,” said Cline. “We are very thankful for all the community support and would respectfully ask you to hold on to those donations until after the COVID-19 emergency has passed. At that point, we will be happy to use your gently used donations to help Idaho’s youth and families.”