Toy-safety recalls stall isle Goodwill donations
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Goodwill Industries of Hawaii has put the brakes on toy donations and sales due to safety concerns after a spate of recalls. In August the organization, which has 17 donation sites statewide, stopped accepting all toys except stuffed animals.
A number of product recalls relate to toxic lead paint and choking hazards.
"Not only were we paying attention to what was coming out, we were anticipating what might be next," said Laura Kay Rand, vice president of corporate services for Goodwill Industries. "We don't want people to be disappointed."
The Salvation Army, meanwhile, is taking a cautious approach as it continues to accept and sell toys at its 14 thrift stores statewide.
"Safety is the No. 1 priority," said spokesman Daniel De Castro.
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A spate of recalls has prompted Goodwill Industries of Hawaii to stop accepting donations of toys and selling them at its nonprofit outlets.
Citing safety concerns, Goodwill put the brakes on toy donations and sales in August, with the exception of stuffed animals, at its 17 thrift stores statewide.
Some of the recalled items at that time included various Barbie accessories, Polly Pocket dolls and accessories, Thomas and Friends train play sets and Curious George spinning tops.
Among the concerns were lead paint coatings and items that pose a choking hazard.
"The decision came from a safety perspective," said Laura Kay Rand, vice president of corporate services for Goodwill Industries. "Where an item may not be recalled today, it may be recalled next week. From that safety perspective, we made that decision that this is what we needed to do for right now."
Rand said they generally receive a small amount of toys, compared with household items and clothing, which make up the majority of donated items. Revenues generated by sales of donated items at their thrift stores go toward job training programs.
Goodwill Industries posted the new toy policy on its Web site.
Rand said they will continue to monitor the situation to determine when they will resume toy donations and sales. "We'll make a decision when the time is right," she said.
The Salvation Army, meanwhile, is continuing to accept used and new toys while keeping the recall list close at hand.
"Safety is the No. 1 priority," said spokesman Daniel de Castro.
The organization has ensured that employees handling toy donations are aware of the toy recall list from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
"The list has been provided to personnel that deal with donated toys, mostly in our thrift stores," de Castro said.
Any recalled toy that happens to be dropped off at any of the 14 thrift stores statewide will be sent back to the manufacturer.
De Castro advises parents to review the list and to return recalled items to the manufacturer. "It behooves the general public to be aware of this so they're not circulating it for resale or giving it away to other kids," he said.
The Salvation Army will continue to be vigilant in the types of toys accepted for programs such as Angel Tree and Toys for Tots, which are set to kick off after Thanksgiving, he added.