Goodwill Recovering With Opening Of New Gulfport Store - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Goodwill Recovering With Opening Of New Gulfport Store

Cathy Wainwright and Gulfport's new Goodwill store at Norwood Village Shopping Center are a perfect fit.  

"When I heard there was a new thrift store," says Wainwright. "I thought rainy day, new thrift store, we're there."

And she's not the only South Mississippian happy to see Goodwill and great bargains coming back.  

"Especially when you've got five kids, it's real good to save money," Jamie Melton of Saucier said.  

"It's really fun to watch the shoppers come in and enjoy the experience of picking up a Jones from New York dress and go oh my gosh," says Goodwill Industries of South Mississippi President and CEO Richard Mareda. "It's only $3.99 at Goodwill. I've got to go call so in so and so in so."

Mareda says the 12,000 square foot facility is Goodwill's largest, and their first new store to open since the hurricane.  

"We got knocked out in Gautier, in Pascagoula, and in Bay St. Louis. So we took a pretty hard hit to say the least along with the rest of a lot of folks."

And that, Mareda says, threw around 200 of their primarily disabled employees out of work.  

"We're back up to about 140 employees now and we have a waiting list of folks that want to come to work."  

Donations of gently used items are up as well. And as more stores come on line Mareda says that will help Goodwill help South Mississippi's recovery be a little more affordable.

"What we're trying to do is let everybody know is, you know what folks, we are Goodwill Industries of South Mississippi," says Mareda. "We're very proud people, but we are here to also help rebuild the coast and make it a better place for everyone to live."    

by Don Culpepper

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