100 years of Goodwill

For 100 years, Goodwill has been providing clothing, housewares and furniture at discounted prices for communities across several counties in both Ohio and West Virginia. To commemorate that anniversary the Marietta Goodwill, 1303 Colegate Drive, held a celebration Monday with free food, discounts and entertainment.

The celebration provided a wide range of music,a sheltered picnic area for eating fresh-grilled hot dogs and chips, and cake for dessert. The party was in both the training center and the Goodwill store, and discounts were seen throughout the store to give shoppers an extra sweet treat.

Terry and Paul Lent, of Marietta, have been to Goodwill stores across the state, and said the one in Marietta is the best.

“We’ve been to (stores in) Marietta, Lancaster, Columbus and Zanesville,” said Paul, 80.

Terry said the store in Marietta has good selection and great prices.

“They way they present stuff here is really great; you can actually see it,” said Terry, 62. “They always have things clearly marked and these girls (working in the store) are like family; they treat you like family.”

Assistant Manager Judi Luke said the company started in the early 1900s on the east coast.

“It started in approximately 1902 in Boston, by Edgar J. Helms,” she said. “He wanted to help the poor out. He went around to the wealthy part of the city and got household goods and clothing then brought it back to the stores. He hired the poor to mend and repair the used goods and then sold them for a discounted price.”

Marietta’s location is estimated to have been established in the late 1960s, and has been on Front and Greene streets before moving to Colegate Drive.

Luke said he store holds customer appreciation days each Sunday, giving discounts to shoppers. During Monday’s celebration, clothing was 50 percent off and housewares were 25 percent off.

Luke said one of the things Goodwill helps offer the community is services through the Goodwill Training Center.

One individual helped by the training center is DJ Trent Fogle, owner of Dangerous Vision. He started working with the training center in October and is booking two events a month.

“They have really helped me out,” Fogle said. “(I’ve had) two gigs a month since March…I have to work for it to get it there.”

Fogle said he does weddings, birthdays and school dances.

“I’ve covered those in the past, in the present and (hopefully will) in the future,” he said. “I don’t think there’s anything I haven’t covered yet; I’ve also done graduation parties as well…I really have (Goodwill) to thank for that.”

Alicia Simms, job developer for the training center, said there are many counties helped in Ohio; Washington, Monroe, Belmont, Guernsey, Noble, Muskingum, Perry and Coshocton; and in West Virginia; Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel, Tyler and Pleasants.

“There are training centers like this one in Lancaster, Zanesville, here and in Glendale, W.Va.,” Simms said. “We assist people with barriers to get employment based on their work skills. We probably have 20 individuals (we currently help). This section covers a lot of different counties.”

Patty Schilling, 57, of Dexter City, said it’s surprising Goodwill has been around so long.

“It’s pretty crazy,” she said. “I didn’t realize it had been that many years…Hey, I like the bargains; that’s my favorite part.”

Luke said the store has had a box truck going around picking up items for a few months, usually only large items or a high quantity of items, and is planning an expansion sometime next year, which could mean hiring a few extra people. In addition, a new store has opened up in Belpre.

“We just opened a smaller store in Belpre,” she said. “There’s a little bit of clothing and wares, but they don’t have room for furniture. It’s by Peddlers Junction on Washington Boulevard.”

Luke said the community is a great provider.

“The community supports Goodwill a lot here,” she said, adding, “We have a great crowd out there.”

Whitney Kirkbride, of Whipple, likes shopping with her daughter, Alyssa, 4.

“I like the Goodwill; I like what it stands for,” she said. “I like being able to buy nice, used children’s clothes at very reasonable prices. Over the winter I found nice Lands End sweaters. I’ve found things brand new with tags. It’s nice because you’re not paying a lot for it.”