MILWAUKEE (SPECTRUM NEWS)-- When most of us think of Goodwill, the store generally comes to mind; however, they offer another service that many don’t even know exists.
“When I got into the industry more than a decade ago it was…it’s just laundry but, no one really thinks about laundry but if it’s not there or it’s wrong..it’s a problem,” says Danny Harris, Director of linen services at Goodwill.
The staff at Goodwill laundry and linen services play a critical role in the pandemic. “We are an accredited health care laundry and have been in operation since 1974,” says Harris.
They clean millions of pounds of linen for local hospitals and healthcare facilities every year.“We have always dealt with infectious diseases, viruses… things of that nature, so we have already been prepared for it to show up, so we have taken some extra precautions as well. We have mandated the mask on the soiled side along with our already required mandatory PPE,” Harris says.
More than 60% of laundry employees on the frontlines at the Goodwill are people with significant disabilities.
“Most of them are incredibly proud to assist and provide these linens to the local hospitals because they are community partners and that’s the front line. They are resilient, they are happy to come in they are excited to be there and they know they see the end game and understand how it's impactful and how close it is to home for them,” says Harris.
The laundry workers at Goodwill play a critical role in patient safety.
“We have to be there to do our jobs. It’s not an option not to do it,” says Harris.