Goodwill expands, opens new center in Jersey Shore
JERSEY SHORE — The Goodwill Donation Center, 928 Allegheny St., had a grand opening with a ribbon cutting on Friday.
“Opening in Jersey Shore has been something that we’ve had on our radar for quite some time. The fact we’ve been able to do it is great,” said Raymond E. Donati, president and CEO of Goodwill of North Central Pennsylvania. “The biggest excitement is that there can be more jobs here. By doing so, we’ve provided a place for the community to donate items that they no longer need and that we can turn those into dollars to continue to put more and more people to work.”
Donati said it means a great deal to them and hopefully also the community.
“Usually, what we do when we start looking at an area for a potential store, we start by getting a donation center going to see what kind of donation base there is,” he said. “We are a totally self sufficient, not for profit … In order for us to open a store, we have to be sure that there’s enough product there for us to open up a store.”
He said the opening of Williamsport’s store, which is located at 621 Hepburn St. and opened in September 2016, was important for them.
“It was a big venture for us because it’s a big store, and we’re also located in Lock Haven and have been for a number of years,” he said. “We’ll see how it works here in Jersey Shore, and you never know … It’s a first step.”
Nickolas A. Suplizio said that it was a brick and mortar donation center.
“I say brick and mortar because this is our 11th donation center (in the 14 counties of the North Central Pennsylvania region), and eight of them are sheds,” he said. “So, this is very unique for the area and for Goodwill. This is our third one like this.”
Having a place where people can come and donate items in person rather than simply dropping them off in a shed or a bin is different.
The store’s hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. The center began accepting donations in February. Some items, like bags of clothing, can be dropped off after hours, but other items that may be larger can be dropped off during store hours.
The facility is 3,500 square feet and created at least three full-time jobs for the area with potential for more.
“We’re hoping to employ maybe one or two more people in the summer time when things pick up a little bit,” Suplizio said. “It’s a great opportunity for everybody. Of course, we have locations in Williamsport and Lock Haven … but for the people here, it makes it much more simpler to be able to donate.”
He said that spring cleaning time and yard sale time is a great time to see if there are any extra items around the house to donate.
There are certain items, like mattresses, that they are unable to use again, but the most popular item to donate is clothes.
“The best thing is to go to our website and find out more information if anyone is concerned we might not take something,” he said. “The bulk of items we take. We take those items, and from there, they get distributed to stores like Williamsport or Lock Haven.”
He said if there is a surplus, some items might go to the other stores in the 14-county region, but most will remain in the area to be sold at the Lock Haven or Williamsport stores.
“The bulk of the items will stay here, so it stays local,” he said.
He said they are hopeful things will expand and do well in the Jersey Shore area and may even see its own store some day.
“Who knows? If it’s doing well in three years, maybe we will put a store in Jersey Shore,” he said. “But, you can’t have a store without donations, so we’re just trying to start this way.”
For more information about Goodwill, visit www.goodwillinc.org.