OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - The new Goodwill store that just opened in Ocean Springs is bright and spacious. And, as with any Goodwill store, it opens the doors of opportunity to those with disabilities.
Store Manager Rita Derourn said coming to work every day is a joy.
"It makes me feel good," Derourn said. "I love helping people. And we put people to work that normally they would not have jobs otherwise, so we do a good thing."
Customers, like Shannon Lewis, know they are contributing as well.
"Very good for the kids, it's good for schools," Lewis said, "good for everybody who has issues or problems that they need help with, Goodwill does provide that."
Walking down the aisles, you can find just about anything you can imagine. Alta Dardeau is doing just that. To her, it makes sense.
"I like helping people," Dardeau said. "And I'm going to buy stuff, so why not do it where it's going to go to a good cause."
Of course, shopping at Goodwill can lead to a good deal. But the stores also offer something even more important: the opportunity to find a good job for those who need it most.
James Hosek is a Goodwill employee now, after years of looking for work.
"Well, I went through the vocational rehab, which is the organization that helps people with disabilities find jobs," Hosek said. "I was placed here at Goodwill, and a lot of other jobs wouldn't give me the opportunity because of my Tourette's Syndrome."
Donations are a big part of the Goodwill mission.
"On behalf of Goodwill, we would actually like to thank the community for all the donations they have made to Goodwill in any of the locations, especially in Ocean Springs that we just opened," said Assistant Store Manager Lily Flores.
And that giving will mean more people will be able to live the American dream of steady work in the years to come.
The Ocean Springs location is the largest Goodwill outlet on the coast, with 11,000 square feet of space. Donations are accepted during regular store hours. The store employs 20 people.