Since July, Goodwill of Middle Georgia has put 955 people into competitive employment, almost twice as many as the same period a year ago.
Last month alone, Goodwill found jobs for 144 midstate residents.
“One hundred and forty-four people who were unemployed went to work because the community donated to Goodwill, shopped at Goodwill and supported Goodwill,” said President and CEO Jim Stiff.
Now, Macon-area residents will have more places to give. Swiff announced Thursday that the organization will open four new donation locations.
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The new locations — three mobile units and a customized trailer — are expected to generate an estimated $6 million in revenue to provide job skills training for the unemployed and underemployed, Goodwill officials said. About 84 cents of every dollar earned through the sale of donated used and new items at Goodwill resale stores go back into training programs, Stiff said.
Jim Wells of Southern Pine Plantations, one of three community partners providing sites for the donation locations, praised Goodwill’s mission as a worthy cause.
“In these economic times, I can’t think of a better way to give back than to help create jobs for people,” Wells said.
Southern Pine Plantations is providing two donation sites — one at Plantation Village at 6255 Zebulon Road and another at 5451 Bowman Road, next to the new Publix shopping center.
Goodwill once had a “Best Kept Secrets” store at Plantation Village and plans are in the works to open another there, though Goodwill has not made an official announcement.
“They have a rock-solid business model, and they’re a great retail tenant,” Wells said.
“The donation truck is really just a temporary deal for them until we can get them a permanent location.”
Nightingale Properties will provide space for the trailer at its Rivergate Center at 245 Tom Hill Sr. Blvd. The trailer is currently across the street. Also, Capital City Bank is providing a donation site at its branch at 6200 Skipper Road.
“We got the highest unemployment rate in 30 years, and we have these community heroes who are stepping up,” Stiff said.
Capital City spokeswoman Sandy Butler said the partnership with Goodwill is a good fit for the “community-involved” bank.
All of the donation sites will be staffed. The mobile units will not be parked on-site overnight, which should encourage higher quality donations.
“It reduces the amount of temptation for people to drop off things they might not feel comfortable looking you in the eye and giving,” Stiff said.
During the past five years, Goodwill of Middle Georgia placed more than 5,200 people into jobs, generating more than $100 million in new payroll purchasing power, according to a news release from the organization.
To contact writer Rodney Manley, call 744-4623.