Goodwill opens new location in Picayune

Published 7:00 am Friday, July 13, 2018

More than 100 eager shoppers lined the sidewalk Thursday morning in front of the Picayune’s newest Goodwill of South Mississippi location before the doors were officially opened.

Vice President of Retail Val Ward said Thursday’s turnout was the best she had ever seen. She said she was excited about the move, because she felt that the location could better serve the citizens of Picayune. Previously, Goodwill was cramped in a small building on Palestine Road. Now, the nonprofit has finally been able to move into the heart of the city, Ward said.

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Before the ribbon cutting, Rev. Clarence Tilghman, with Jacob’s Well Ministries, provided an invocation and Councilwoman Tammy Valente gave a short speech. Valente said while there are misconceptions surrounding businesses like Goodwill at times, she hopes the community will welcome them with open arms. She said Goodwill’s presence in Picayune is positive and she encouraged citizens to remember that all proceeds flow back into the community.

Goodwill of South Mississippi CEO Richmond Vincent Jr. took the microphone after Valente spoke and thanked everyone for coming to support the business’ move to the new location. He said the company is well known for being a retail chain, but that it is much more than that. He said it is the organization’s mission to eliminate poverty in Mississippi.

He said Goodwill helps the local community in three ways – by empowering individuals, strengthening families and building strong communities. He said Goodwill is not only providing 350 individuals across the Gulf Coast with jobs, but also provides workforce development training. Goodwill also gives back by working hand-in-hand with other local nonprofits such as Jacob’s Well.

“Every dollar made in South Mississippi stays in South Mississippi,” Vincent said. “I thank all of you. Without donors, there is no Goodwill.”

After the ribbon cutting, the doors were opened and those waiting outside flocked into the new store. Ward said the first 50 people who came for the opening received a $10 gift certificate to use towards their purchase. Customers started lining up at about 8 a.m., she said.

According to previous coverage, being in a new facility has allowed Goodwill to expand its inventory and hire seven new staff members. Donations can be dropped off at the back of the shopping center, coverage states.