“/re•find/ by Goodwill” opens with strong sales and an increase in donated goods, vital benchmarks to funding their mission services.
[Smithsburg, MD – June 2, 2023] – Horizon Goodwill Industries (HGI), a leading nonprofit organization committed to empowering individuals facing barriers to employment, wishes to extend heartfelt appreciation to Smithsburg & the surrounding communities for their support and enthusiasm for “/re•find/ by Goodwill.” Since opening the pilot project in mid-April, HGI reports the response from the township has far exceeded expectations.
“It’s been uplifting to see the model embraced and validated; we’re really thankful for Smithsburg’s support & patronage,” said David Shuster, CEO of Horizon Goodwill Industries.
“/re•find/ by Goodwill” was conceptualized as a trendy-thrift retail store and donation center. The location’s footprint is smaller than a standard Goodwill store, so HGI created a curated retail experience that also provided an avenue to increase donated goods. Featuring “Unique Finds that Elevate Lives,” the types of items found at the store include home goods, antiques, collectibles & one-of-a-kind items donated by Smithsburg-area residents.
“Unfortunately, we’ve seen an overall decrease in the volume of donations we receive per household over the past five years while the need for the services we provide continues to increase. It’s a challenge, but we’re facing it head-on.”
Historically Goodwill has operated on this model, stocking stores with donated goods, recycling anything that doesn’t sell, and using all proceeds to fund its mission services. Goodwill International reports a decline nationwide in the donation volume.
“While I appreciate that recycling ‘old stuff’ is becoming a popular trend these days, we’ve been doing it longer, and I believe we do it better than most of the commercially funded thrift upstarts. We make the most of the items we receive. Last year we diverted nearly 5 million pounds from the landfill and into the hands of industrial recyclers.” Shuster said.
HGI provides support services, at no cost, to individuals facing barriers to employment. In the past few years, particularly through the pandemic, they’ve expanded their definition of ‘barriers’ to include housing, healthcare, food security, mental health, and youth services. Publicly available financial disclosures show the increase in mission spending coinciding with the decrease in donated goods by the public. It’s a concerning trend if you believe, as Shuster does, in the value of the mission services provided to the community.
“We’re not going to stop helping individuals that need assistance, but we realize that we need to come up with new & innovative ways to fund that work, so it’s great to see a concept like “/re•find/” do well and we’re really thankful for Smithsburg & the surrounding communities’ support.”
The /re•find/ By Goodwill store is located at 22407 Jefferson Blvd, Smithsburg, MD 21783 (the Martins Shopping Center) and is open Wed-Sun 10AM – 6PM.