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Goodwill under construction
The Goodwill store in Hinesville’s Liberty Square Shopping Center is undergoing a renovation. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon
Although there are tarps, paint cans and ladders in some areas, people can still make donations and shop at the Goodwill store in Hinesville’s Liberty Square Shopping Center.
Contractors started a massive renovation project earlier this month to expand the current 6,300 square-foot showroom to 8,000 square feet.
Renovations will also include newly painted walls, and new signage throughout the store. After it’s all said and done, customers will also see a larger donation center.
“It’s all well under way and along with the repainting we will redesign the whole look of the store,” Goodwill Director of Retail Sales Jimmy Eason said.
“Everyday you see something different, something better, it’s going be great,” Assistant Store manager Petra Bennett said. “Customers are saying it’s time for the store to get a new face. We have some customers who come in every other day. They are excited about it too.”
Eason, who oversees 10 stores in the Coastal Empire region, said the business would have new appeal to both shoppers and those wanting to make donations.
“It’ll be updated and the appearance will change to make it more customer friendly,” he said.
One of the major goals for Goodwill is to make it easier for attendants to receive and process donations.
Beginning in March donors will find it easier to drive up and drop off items instead of making their way to the back parking lot. The addition of the drive-up donation center to the front of the store is a necessary convenience, Eason noted.
“The new center will make donating and shopping more convenient and that is the life blood of what we do,” he said.
“When a person decides to make a gift to Goodwill, they’re making a choice to support the services that will help others in their community. One way to show our appreciation is by making the experience as effortless as possible for our donors,” Eason said.
Regular Goodwill shoppers are familiar with the racks and racks of clothes and shoes. Eason said the store would also increase its inventory of clothes and house wares as a part of the renovations. Customers will be able to see furniture displays and see things laid out, he said. Bennett is excited and welcomes the new design.
“We used to have one corner of furniture. Now we have an area for tables and an area for other types of furniture. Now the whole back is just furniture.  It’s more organized,” she said.
The Hinesville store opened in April 1998, joining of the largest nonprofit providers of education, training, and career services for people with disabilities. Including those with welfare dependency and the homelessness.
According to Goodwill spokesman Ted Mauldin, Goodwill agencies across the country collectively provided job-training programs and career services for more than 700,000 people. Wages earned by people with disabilities through the organization topped $2 million in 2005.
“The main purpose of Goodwill is to assist people with disabilities and train them for employment,” Eason said. “A lot of people we train are able to go out, find jobs and that usually starts right here at Goodwill.”
“I hope the people keep coming and come more when the store is done,” Bennett said.
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