Phenix City-area residents now have a brand new center to donate charitable items and become involved in career training programs.
Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers will mark the grand opening Wednesday of its 16,000-square-foot store at 3605 U.S. Highway 280/431, across from Ezell’s Catfish Cabin. The event takes place at 10 a.m., with the first 200 people arriving receiving a free gift. A Kindle Fire tablet also will be given away.
“Most people see us as just a thrift store. They don’t see the wealth of services we offer the community,” said Jane Nichols, chief executive officer of the local Goodwill operation, in a statement.
Aside from accepting tax-deductible donations from local residents, Goodwill also offers free job-training services. Its Phenix City career center will be outfitted with two training rooms, two interview rooms, eight computer stations and other equipment to help those in need prepare for a job and search for one.
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The Phenix City store will be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. The career center is available 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays.
Goodwill of the Southern Rivers, based in Columbus, serves 50 counties in the region, including the Georgia communities of Albany, Carrollton, LaGrange, Newnan, Tifton and Valdosta and the Alabama cities of Auburn and Opelika. It operates stores, donation centers and career centers.
The non-profit agency said it had 380,000 donors in 2012, generating an economic impact of $52.4 million, while helping 3,500 people land a job.
Its stores’ sales of clothing and household items help fund operations, although keep in mind, mattresses, box springs, hazardous materials, large appliances, firearms and animals are not accepted, according to its website.
Goodwill’s other Columbus stores are at 6707 Flat Rock Court, 3201 Macon Road and 6499 Veterans Parkway.