MIDDLEPORT — Goodwill Industries is celebrating National Goodwill Week through May 7, and the Middleport location at 786 N. Second Ave. will have an open house as part of the week-long commemoration.
The open house is scheduled for 2-4 p.m. May 5. During that time, the mayor of Middleport will be on hand with a proclamation and there will be a special sale.
The typically busy location saw shopper Pam Barringer strolling through the store this past Tuesday.
“There is such a big variety in this store,” Barringer said. “There is always something new to look at. I enjoy shopping here, and everyone is so friendly.”
Goodwill was founded in 1902 in Boston by the Rev. Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister and social innovator who began collecting used household goods and clothing in wealthy areas of the Boston. Helms then hired and trained people who were economically disadvantaged to mend and repair the used “goods” that were then resold or given to the people who repaired them.
Helms’ system worked and the Goodwill philosophy of “a hand up, not a hand out” was established.
According to Helms, the venture was an industrial program as well as a social service enterprise, because it “provided a employment, training and rehabilitation for people of limited employability, and a source of temporary assistance for individuals whose resources were depleted.”
The Middleport retail store opened in 2004, and is one of more than 3,000 stores that employ approximately 300,000 workers.
Store Manager Cassandra Bagent came to the Middleport location from Columbus three years ago. She shared that she likes living here and that it is a great place to raise children.
She enjoys working at Goodwill because she meets interesting people and likes to keep busy. She said they receive a lot of donations and that it is nice to live in such a sharing region.
“I have met a lot of interesting people. It’s a busy job and I’m OK with that,” she said. “It takes a lot of experience to price the items that come into our store. We look at the quality, condition and brand before deciding on a price. There are guidelines, but it all comes down to judgment.”
She spoke highly of the people who currently work there.
“We make a good team,” she said, referring to Debbi Pooler and Annie Dowler. “They are wonderful employees and very knowledgeable about our inventory — and they are good with our customers.”
Now in their 65th year, Goodwill Industries has become a $4 billion nonprofit organization. The organization continues to enlist the help and support of local community volunteers to meet the needs of the community they serve.
Contact Lorna Hart at 740-992-2155 Ext.2551.