You can now drop off your unwanted clothes, electronics and household items at 2745 E. Stone Drive — formerly Building B of the old Traders Village property. Goodwill officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new facility Wednesday morning, giving visitors a tour and offering some insight about the future use of the remainder of the property.
“We’re putting these donation centers where they are convenient for folks to come and drop off on their way to work,” said Morris Baker, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Tenneva. “This is a high-traffic road on Stone Drive, and our hope is we can get donations dropped off here and help our count because donations are our lifeblood.”
NEW FRONT DOOR
Goodwill Industries purchased the Traders Village property last year with the idea of making one of the buildings home to a new donation center, transforming another into an outlet store (where items are sold by the pound) and renovating the third building for third-party tenants.
So far, that vision is on track with Goodwill investing $1.3 million in the redevelopment of the property, which includes facade improvements, paving work and the renovation of the buildings.
A NAPA auto parts store opened in Building A last summer while the donation center began accepting items last month. Baker said Goodwill plans to use Building C as a production center and outlet store, the latter of which should open this fall.
“Anything that doesn’t get sold in the store will come back here and get sold by the pound,” Baker said.
The new donation center has resulted in the creation of two full-time jobs, and in April, the local Goodwill saw a 26 percent increase in donations when compared to the same month last year. Hopefully, Baker said, the new facility will result in Goodwill netting 6,000 donations a year.
If you’d like to drop off a donation at the new facility, it will be open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
ABOUT GOODWILL INDUSTRIES
According to Baker, the thrift market in 2017 was estimated to be an $18 billion industry. By 2022, that number is expected to grow to $35 billion.
The local Goodwill Industries currently has 14 stores, four donation centers and covers 17 counties in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. It employs approximately 225 people and has yearly sales of $5.5 million.