Goodwill is betting big on the charity of Charlottesville residents, opening its third location in the city last week: a donation center on Pantops.
Goodwill is confident in the local market, said Jim Forer, vice president of donated goods at Goodwill Industries of the Valleys, which serves central, southwest and southside Virginia.
Charlottesvillians, he told The Daily Progress, “have supported us very strongly over the years with their donations and we’re looking forward to continuing that partnership.”
Plans for a new location have been in the works since last year, according to Forer. The new donation center joins the Mill Creek retail store and the larger retail location on U.S. 29, which gets “really good donations,” Forer said.
“But we realized that in Charlottesville, we have an opportunity to gather more donations to help our mission and to create more jobs,” said Forer. “Pantops area is a very high-traffic area with a lot of cars that go through that area on a daily basis, and that area is continuing to grow.”
Donations have been averaging between 10 and 25 a day, according to Mike Johnson, a staffer at the new location.
“Most folks that come here really want to shop, and you explain to them that it’s just a warehouse donation center,” Johnson told the Daily Progress, glancing at a clipboard amid sorted bins of knickknacks, technology, dishware and clothes. “But they love it, though. They’re very happy that this place is open.”
Two Goodwill stores, including one on Pantops, were consolidated in 2019 into the current location on U.S. 29, the former Gander Mountain store. The new donation center is more convenient for donors in the area, Forer said. And so far, feedback has been good.
“There’s a lot of competition for donations,” Forer said, referring to other resale stores in the Charlottesville area, which include a Salvation Army Family Store on Cherry Avenue, Twice is Nice on Preston Avenue and the Habitat Store on Harris Street. “At Goodwill we’re very efficient with our donations and as far as creating sales and opportunities at our retail stores.”
Johnson said he thinks traffic at the new center is going to pick up “once the word really gets out.” Forer said donations are already picking up “every day,” with additional plans to increase marketing for the new location.
“We’re just very excited to have just another footprint in the Charlottesville market,” Forer said. “They have supported us very strongly over the years.”
The donation center at 1311 Stony Point Road is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon until 6 p.m. on Sundays.