Fluvanna County will soon welcome a new business to the Lake Monticello area. Behind the Dunkin Donuts’ at the corner of Turkeysag Trail and Route 53 in Palmyra, you may have noticed a steady stream of construction vehicles digging out many square yards of dirt and rock and laying a new foundation for the newest Goodwill Industries’ store in Central Virginia. The new 12,000-square-foot store will be the 33rd Goodwill Store location to open in an area ranging from Bedford to Orange counties, serviced by the Goodwill of the Valleys, which is based out of Roanoke. The new location will sell donated clothing and household items as well take donations, expanding the small, but very busy, current Goodwill donation site near the Falcon Hills (Turkeysag) Gate to Lake Monticello.
Goodwill Industries was founded in 1902 in Boston by Methodist Minister, Edgar J. Helms. The pastor collected donated goods then hired people, who were unable to find work, to repair the used goods. The goods were then either resold to the general public or some cases given to those that were working for the pastor. This idea expanded into a $4 billion not-for-profit operation that is now one of the premier programs for, according to Goodwill’s main website, “people who have disabilities, lack education or job experience, or face employment challenges.” The organization is well-known and well-respected for the services they offer to their clients. According to Goodwill’s headquarters, in 2011, the organization helped more than 4.2 million people train for careers in industries ranging from banking to health care. Much of their work is funded by the revenue generated at Goodwill Retail Stores that are stocked with donated goods that are then sold to the general public. The new store t being built in Fluvanna is the direct result of a very generous growth in donations to Goodwill.
According to Lucie Touchton, Marketing Manager of the Goodwill of the Valleys, the donation site at Turkeysag Trail has seen a growth of more than 50 percent from 2011-12. This “good pace” justifies an expansion to much larger facility thanks to the “community support” from Fluvanna residents. The new Goodwill Store will employ 14 people including a store-donation center manager. This will have an immediate job creation impact on the local area and can only be a positive for the county’s economy. It will also offer much needed expansion to the very active donation center, including a convenient drive-up donation window. Touchton also commented on the new store’s other impacts aside from the immediacy of new job creation, including what she sees as a need that many in the county are asking for: inexpensive, but quality household goods and clothing. The new store will be good for those interested in shopping for gently used goods, but do not want to make the trip to Charlottesville, currently the closest locality that has a Goodwill Outlet available to Fluvanna residents.
The Goodwill Store and Donation Center is slated to open in late May with a huge grand opening celebration, according to Touchton. The store will be on Heritage Trail across from Food Lion and behind the Dunkin’ Donuts and Ranson’s Wireless, just off Route 53. More information about the new Fluvanna location, as well what projects and enterprises Goodwill Industries is involved in Central Virginia, can be found at the Goodwill of the Valleys website at www.goodwillvalleys.com. Donations for gently used household items and clothing are still being accepted at the Turkeysag Trail donation site, Mondays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.