At 9:20 a.m. Friday, customers began standing outside the new Goodwill Store in the Southridge Village Shopping Center off Loop 288 and Interstate 35E in Denton.
The 11,000-square-foot store, the previous site of a Luby’s Cafeteria, not only accepts gently used clothing and household items, but also includes a valet donation center. The location is the second Goodwill Store in the city.
“Someone drives up, they can park here if they like to, and then our donation center attendant will help them take the stuff out of their car,” said Diane Fullingim, vice president of development for Goodwill Industries of Dallas Inc. “One of the reasons we are building facilities like this now with a valet donation center, is because it is easier for the donor.”
By using the valet donation center, customers can get help from an attendant and allow employees to process items more efficiently.
“It allows for better collection of goods, so they are not thrown in a truck, since the purpose of the truck was to get as many items as we could,” she said. “It allows us to organize the item and is also a learning opportunity for someone to learn how to process items.”
Through Goodwill Industries, people with disabilities are able to seek job training and employment opportunities as donation center attendants, processing attendants and greeters.
A total of 25 people are working at the new Denton store. Positions are available for greeters with other opportunities available at the Dallas headquarters, Fullingim said.
Denton’s other Goodwill Store on West University Drive operates under the company’s Fort Worth office.
Goodwill’s mission is all about employment, Rod Ginther — president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Dallas — said in a news release. He said that when people donate items or shop at a Goodwill Store, they are providing job opportunities for people with disabilities or other disadvantages.
When asked if there are restrictions on donated items, Fullingim said the store does not accept televisions, some furniture or mattresses.
“[We do take] anything that you can put in your SUV; the person at the other end has to be able to carry it,” she said. “We have to pay for the televisions to be recycled. We are a nonprofit and our main goal is to manage our costs as effectively as possible — either recycle or resell the donation.”
In addition to clothing and household items, the store will accept computers, compact discs, DVDs and small electronics.
Rosie Acosta, vice president of donated goods for Goodwill, said there were nearly 20,000 items available at the Denton store on opening day. The local store is expected to recycle about two million pounds of donated items this year.
Founded in 1902, Goodwill Industries of Dallas is part of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.
Denton’s first Goodwill Store opened at 2030 W. University Drive in 1993, Fullingim said.
Store hours for the new location are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. The valet donation center hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Sunday.
KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878. Her e-mail address is email@example.com.
Where: 2441 S. Interstate 35E in Denton