Goodwill Seeks To Replace Fire Loss

    GRANDVILLE — Goodwill Industries says it’s fortunate that it had scheduled a 10-day community donation drive to start this Thursday.

    Proceeds from the drive, the agency believes, can help replace at least a portion of nearly $1 million in donated goods destroyed in a warehouse fire three weeks ago in southwest Grand Rapids.

    Goodwill said the fire was devastating because most of the destroyed goods originally were intended for resale in two new Goodwill stores on which the nonprofit already had broken ground.

    The donation promotion — being held in cooperation with Younkers Department Stores — runs through Sunday, March 28.

    Anyone wishing to donate clothing or other items may drop them off at any of Goodwill’s 10 area retail outlets or the main office on Prairie Street in Grandville.

    The new stores, to be located on Alpine Avenue and in Lowell, are scheduled to open in late July and early August, respectively. With that schedule in mind, Dave Brinza, vice president of retail stores for Goodwill said, “we will be rushing to get more donations.”

    Phil Weaver, CEO of Goodwill, said the organization is glad nobody was seriously injured in the blaze, but that “it is devastating to us as an organization dependent on donations to keep us going.

    “Without donations to sell,” he explained, “we would not be able to assist individuals with barriers to find and keep jobs.”

    He said nearly 100 percent of all revenue from Goodwill sales goes to fund its employment and training programs that help people get back into the work force.    

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