2017-12-03 / Insight

Goodwill offers two stores in Lapeer County

810-452-2609 • adietderich@mihomepaper.com

Goodwill is at 1857 W. Genesee St. in Lapeer. 
Photo by Andrew Dietderich Goodwill is at 1857 W. Genesee St. in Lapeer. Photo by Andrew Dietderich IMLAY CITY — Anyone who knows anything about thrift shopping — and the resulting benefits they provide to those in need of vocational training programs and employment services — likely is familiar with Lapeer County’s two Goodwill stores.

One is in Lapeer at 1857 W. Genesee St. and another in Imlay City at 605 N. Cedar St.

Both are operated under the auspices of Flint-based Goodwill Industries of Mid- Michigan.

The organization says it serves more than 850 “clients” annually, operating 17 retail stores, eight donation centers, and one outlet center in 10 mid-Michigan counties.

According to its website, “Goodwill Industries of Mid- Michigan is a member of Goodwill Industries International Inc. and the United Way of Genesee County and is an accredited agency by CARF (The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities). Our purpose is to provide vocational services and employment opportunities for individ- uals with barriers to employment. We are able to achieve this mission with the support of our community through donated goods and the sale of those goods.”

Goodwill Industries International dates to 1902, when it was started by Edgar James Helms, a Methodist minister in Boston. Helms wanted to assist residents in the city’s impoverished South End. He developed the idea of collecting used household goods and clothing in wealthier areas of the city and then hiring and training unemployed residents and immigrants to repair and refurbish the used goods for resale. Income from the resold goods paid the workers’ wages. The system worked, and the Goodwill method of self-help was born.

Today, the company says it “serves people who face a variety of barriers to employment, including physical or mental disabilities, illiteracy, substance abuse, inadequate education, ex-felons, and welfare dependency. The ultimate goal is to place individuals in productive employment.

(The nonprofit also says its operations help keep material from landfills, having recycled more than 8.7 million pounds of material.)

In both Lapeer County stores, clothes take up the most amount of space — everything from socks and ties to dresses and suit coats.

Stores also features home goods, such as decorations (oftentimes for specific holidays or seasons), kitchen ware and dishes, books, toys, DVDs, and electronics like DVD players.

On occasion, stores also will offer items like power tools, and furniture (like bar stools) that are still boxed.

Such donations are part of Goodwill’s so-called “Circle of Hope” that continues with items being sold in retail or outlet stores, recycled if not sold, money from both endeavors being used to fund the job training, which ultimately benefits the entire community, according to the Goodwill of Mid-Michigan website.

The Imlay City Goodwill is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Lapeer Goodwill is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

For information on other Goodwill of mid-Michigan locations not too far away, including Oxford, Burton, Goodrich, and Clio, visit www.goodwillmidmichigan.org/findus.

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