Tag Archives: Goodwill of South Central Ohio

Mayor Seeks City Purchase Of Former Tiffin School Site After Goodwill Changes Plans To Build There

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The parcel of land where the former Tiffin Elementary School building was located in Chillicothe, Ohio. Dan Ramey/Litter Media


Chillicothe Mayor Luke Feeney has asked city council for $300,000 to buy the land once occupied by Tiffin Elementary School, off South Bridge Street.

Goodwill Industries of South Central Ohio had purchased the land earlier this year, but has since decided to locate a proposed warehouse and distribution center elsewhere.

Goodwill CEO Marvin Jones stated in a release sent to Litter Media; “After reviewing our plans for the Tiffin property, it became more apparent that the Gateway Industrial Park on Ohio 104 would be better suited for our warehouse and any future expansion. We are working with the Community Improvement Corporation to acquire land there and hope to begin construction before the end of the year. While we are disappointed we couldn’t make the Tiffin property work, we are sure that the city will find ways to improve that neighborhood.”

In a request for the matter to be assigned to council committee, Mayor Feeney stated the following in a letter to Council President Bruce Arnold; “The property in question presents a unique opportunity for the City to play a serious role in the future development of the neighborhood and our community.”

“It is not often that parcels of land of this size become available in the City, and I believe there will be significant benefit in the City controlling that property, especially in the context of the context of our upcoming master plan process”, Feeney said.

Litter Media reached out to Mayor Feeney for a comment concerning the possible interest by the City of Chillicothe, to which he responded:

“Through the process of getting the Tiffin property rezoned Goodwill was a very proactive community partner in terms of their communication and willingness to listen to their neighbors’ opinions on the future use of the former school site. It quickly became very clear that rezoning the entire site to be industrial was not a good fit for the location, so Goodwill reworked its request to something that was palatable and a decent fit for the neighborhood. When Goodwill ultimately decided that another location was a better fit for their new facility, I thought it was a good opportunity to have an impact on a neighborhood from a city planning perspective that doesn’t come along very often. I engaged in conversation with Marvin Jones, Goodwill’s CEO and he expressed his and his board’s interest in a positive community outcome for that property. There is an ongoing community study on our housing situation, and that has made the opportunity for housing development in that area the thing that sticks out most in my mind for an end use, but I haven’t ruled anything out. I also think that the master plan process that we are starting will help inform the future use of this land.

The actual purchase price of the land would be $290,000 with the other $10,000 going to closing, inspection and other purchase related fees.

Goodwill Asks Chillicothe Planning Commission For Lot Split & Rezoning On Former Tiffin School Site

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The Chillicothe Planning Commission has scheduled a special meeting at the Yoctangee Park Lion’s Shelter, June 21st, at 3:30pm.

The agenda item is for an application submitted by Goodwill of South Central Ohio for 145 South Bridge Street. This would be for a Lot Split and Rezoning the resulting 2.87 acre portion from R3 to GI.   

Goodwill Marketing/Communication Coordinator Jona Ison says- “We are planning to build a 20,000 to 30,000 square-foot warehouse on the back portion of the lot. In order to do so, we are seeking a General Industrial rezoning for that portion of the property. In addition to storing donations to service our 9 retail stores, the warehouse also will house other operations such as recycling unsold goods, processing/shipping of safety/PPE gloves we sell to prisons and other state agencies, and our eCommerce operation.”

Ison added that “The Planning Commission had already met and approved recommending the rezoning to council, but discovered afterward they also needed to have approved a lot split. Their recommendation will then go to council for consideration and a final determination.”

Goodwill Opening New Store In Hocking Mall

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Goodwill of South Central Ohio is opening a new store in Logan, April 1st. The new location at Hocking Mall is similar to new stores recently opened in Chillicothe and Athens.

The former Fashion Bug location has 5,000 square feet of space and will be opened 9am-9pm Mondays through Saturdays and 10am-6pm on Sundays.

Donations will be accepted inside the store during business hours, starting April 1st. You are asked not to drop off items before then.

For more information, go to www.GWISCO.org or go to the Goodwill of South Central Ohio Facebook page.

Goodwill Teams With Scouts For Good Turn Day

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Scouts across Ohio will be teaming with Goodwill Industries for the Spring Good Turn Day on March 20th.

All nine of Goodwill of South Central Ohio stores will participate in the annual event. Good Turn Day is an opportunity for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts to do a “good turn” in their community by collecting used clothing, housewares and books to donate to Goodwill.

“We’re excited to participate in Good Turn Day again, and we appreciate what the Scouts do for Goodwill”, said Goodwill of South Central Ohio CEO Marvin Jones . “The scouts efforts will help Goodwill with its mission as a nonprofit organization to partner with individuals with disabilities and challenges to help them lead the lives they envision across our 8-county region.”

Stores in the region have awarded about 400 patches over the last four Good Turn Days. Scouts earn a patch by donating a large trash bag of items or volunteering for an hour in one of the stores.

Limited volunteering will be available at the stores on March 20th except the McArthur store and Zane Plaza store in Chillicothe.

Scouts wanting to volunteer must schedule a time by emailing jona.ison@gwisco.org or by calling (740) 702-4000- extension 135 no later than March 18th.

Donations for Good Turn Day can be dropped off anytime during business hours March 20th at stores in Athens, Chillicothe, Circleville, Jackson, Logan, McArthur, Washington CH and Waverly and at their donation center in South Bloomfield.

Goodwill Opens New Adult Day Services Center

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Goodwill of South Central Ohio is opening a new adult day services center on Monday, March 1 to fulfill an immediate need for individuals with disabilities in Pickaway County.

In January, the county’s only open adult day services center, Person Centered Services (PCS), closed suddenly. As a result, Goodwill’s administrative team began putting together a plan to open an Activities and Training Center at 5075 S. Union St. in South Bloomfield, about 6 miles from the former PCS site.

“We already provide various services to individuals with disabilities in Pickaway County, so this was an easy decision to make,” said Goodwill CEO Marvin Jones. “Our center employs three former PCS employees including former director Stephanie Smith who is our center’s supervisor. We’re excited about the experience they will bring to the center. Their presence will also help make the transition smoother for the individuals who attended PCS and decide to attend our center.”

Goodwill closed its South Bloomfield store on Feb. 6 to transform the salesfloor into the day center and purchased buses and vans to provide transportation for individuals attending the center. The donation center in the back of the building remains in operation accepting donations at the south entrance between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday. All store employees remain employed and have transitioned to operate the donation center or work in our Circleville store.

This isn’t the first time Goodwill has responded to fill a need for services in Pickaway County. In January, its workforce development team began a paid work experience training program, Project Connect. The program provides participants an opportunity to gain marketable skills by working with a job coach in a Goodwill store for up to six months. Upon completion of the program, participants will then work with a Goodwill employment specialist to identify and secure community employment.

In March 2020, Goodwill also launched its C.A.R.E. program in Pickaway County which provides homemaker/personal care, Ohio Shared Living, and assistive technology services.

“COVID has negatively impacted service options in the area for individuals with disabilities. While we’ve felt some of those effects at Goodwill, we’ve worked collaboratively with our boards of developmental disabilities in the eight counties we serve to find solutions,” said Missions Coordinator Cana Horner. “We have actually expanded the services we offer during the past year, and that’s partly due to the tremendous community support we get from those who donate to and shop at our thrift stores.”

There will be an open house for the new center from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. March 1 by appointment only. Call Stephanie Smith at 740-248-9907 to schedule an appointment.

Goodwill Opens New Store Thursday in Zane Plaza

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Goodwill of South Central Ohio opens its newest store October 1, 2020 in Zane Plaza next to Planet Fitness. Submitted photo

Goodwill of South Central Ohio will be opening its new store in Zane Plaza at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1.

The new store is located next to Planet Fitness in the former f.y.e. location. The 7,000 square-foot sales floor has been renovated and setup similarly to our new store on Western Avenue which opened in May. The Zane Plaza store is actually a relocation of the store in Shawnee Square which will close for good at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30.

“We anticipate the Zane Plaza store will be more convenient for those shopping the North Bridge Street corridor. We think customers also will enjoy the warm, modern feel of the store,” said Goodwill CEO Marvin Jones.

The opening will be celebrated with a ribbon cutting at 9 a.m. Thursday with the Chillicothe and Ross Chamber of Commerce. Donations will be accepted at the Zane Plaza store during business hours starting on Oct. 1 and should not be dropped off at the Shawnee Square location after Sept. 30. Both Chillicothe stores are open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Goodwill of South Central Ohio is a nonprofit organization focused on improving the quality of life and job opportunities for those with disabilities and disadvantages across our eight-county region. Donations and purchases made at our stores help to support workforce development and other services for those with disabilities in Pickaway, Ross, Hocking, Fayette, Pike, Athens, Vinton, and Jackson counties.

For more information on Goodwill, go online to www.GWISCO.org and follow them on Facebook.

Camp Dream: Goodwill, Pioneer Center & Ross County Park District Team Together

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As summer plans fell apart for many this summer, Goodwill, the Pioneer Center, and the Ross County Park District came together to develop a new plan – Camp Dream.

Plans for the two-week social distancing camp began after Pioneer’s Services and Support Director Laura Martin reached out to Goodwill of South Central Ohio’s Missions Coordinator Cana Horner.

“The Pioneer Center wanted to find a way to bring summer enrichment back to children in the new normal we found ourselves in. Our community partnerships were more important than ever, and we knew this would be somewhat of a challenge, but a challenge Goodwill accepted with enthusiasm and determination,” Martin said.

Horner said her staff quickly sprang into action along with Pioneer to develop a robust itinerary for campers which included fun, exercise, and education. The Ross County Park District also jumped on board to help, providing not only the location at Buzzard’s Roost Nature Preserve, but providing staff to help with nature-based activities.

“Every detail was carefully thought out from establishing small enrollment numbers, the outdoor location, temperature checks and more. Camp Dream offered a wide range of activities built specifically with safety in mind and Goodwill went above and beyond to provide each camper with a sense of leadership, the joys of navigating nature, and in making new friends,” Martin said.

The camp, which began on July 27 and runs through Aug. 7, had 10 teen campers sign up and was supervised daily by staff from Goodwill’s Activities and Training Centers. Goodwill’s workforce development team also lent a hand and Horner taught a class on hygiene where campers made a dog with a bar of soap and a washcloth.

“I really enjoyed having the opportunity to interact with the kids and teach them something while also having fun,” Horner said. “If we get enough interest next year, I’m hopeful we may be able to do the camp again.”

Other presenters throughout camp included: Judi Mannion, Ross County Litter Control and Recycling director; Kathy Smith, Ross County Board of DD MUI coordinator; Kelly Stauffer, owner of Chillicothe Fine Arts; Allison Shoemaker, Ross County Board of DD disabilities advocate; Dana Letts, Chillicothe City Schools STEM coordinator; Myranda Vance and Allen Hawk, Ross County Park District; Brittany Freeman, ‘Leave No Trace’ educator; Andrea Gayheart, nail technician at The Guest House Spa in Washington C.H.; Capt. Ron Meyers, Chillicothe Police Department; Tricia Wallace, Ross County Board of DD recreation director; Heather Clark, Goodwill board member; and Roger Bellar.

Goodwill of South Central Ohio is a nonprofit organization focused on improving the quality of life and job opportunities for those with disabilities and disadvantages across our eight-county region. Donations and purchases made at our stores help to support these services in Pickaway, Ross, Hocking, Fayette, Pike, Athens, Vinton, and Jackson counties.

For more information on Goodwill, go online to GWISCO.org and follow them on Facebook.

Eian Davidson concentrates during an activity at Camp Dream. Photo provided by Goodwill
Camp Dream. Photo provided by Goodwill

Goodwill serves 53 area teens in annual Summer Youth work program

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As Dogwood Pass staff prepped their wild west town in Pike County for a Civil War reenactment, they were happy to have some extra help through Goodwill’s Summer Youth Program.

The annual paid work experience program provides local teens their first experiences in the job market. Goodwill of South Central Ohio partners with local employers, provides a job coach, and pays the teens’ wages during the five-week program which ends July 31.

It’s a program Mike Montgomery said Dogwood Pass has really enjoyed over the years.

“The reason we do it is to help the kids and let them learn how to support themselves,” Montgomery said. “It’s a great thing.”

At Dogwood Pass, youths have an opportunity to explore a variety of job tasks from clearing brush to running a fence line. One year, they even helped build one of the town’s buildings.

This year, there were 53 teens from Hocking, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, and Vinton counties who participated in the Summer Youth Program. The program was structured a little differently this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a remote option was added. The 19 teens who opted for the remote experience took three-hour classes four days a week with Goodwill employment specialists. Lessons included education on career exploration, job seeking skills, post-secondary option, and self-advocacy.

“Summer Youth looks a little different this year with COVID, but we are so grateful to have the communities’ help. It allows our participants to enjoy their summers and learn skills needed for their futures as well as earn some money,” said Cana Horner, missions coordinator for Goodwill of South Central Ohio.

Other employers who worked with the program this year include: Cooks Creek Golf Club in South Bloomfield; Millstone Southern Smoked BBQ in Logan; North River Place Apartments in Chillicothe; Shawnee Valley Campground and Kayak Rental in Chillicothe, Waverly YMCA; and Rural King in Waverly. Goodwill stores in Chillicothe, Circleville, and Waverly also were job sites.

Goodwill has been offering the summer youth job program for more than a decade. Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities makes referrals to Goodwill for the program and helps with funding.

For more information on Goodwill, go online to GWISCO.org and follow them on Facebook.

Goodwill Job Coach Carlene Beverly works with Summer Youth participant Katelyn Beckley at the Circleville Goodwill store. Photo submitted by Goodwill Industries of South Central Ohio

Goodwill Handy Helpers Introduced

Handy Helpers, Wade Warner, left, and David Horsley spread mulch after pulling weeds during the inaugural Handy Helpers appointment on Friday, June 26, 2020. (Photo submitted by Goodwill of South Central Ohio)

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Goodwill of South Central Ohio is piloting Goodwill Handy Helpers, a new program the employs those with disabilities and provide handyman like services for Ross County communities.

In a news release Friday, Goodwill Handy Helpers can be called on by any Chillicothe and Ross County resident to complete small-to-medium sized home projects such as planting flowers, mulching, raking leaves and even holiday decorating.

Donations will be accepted by recipients of services to fo toward the program.

“On the surface, Goodwill Handy Helpers is a limited handyman service for those in need, but it’s aim is to foster feelings of independence and self-worth” said Goodwill of South Central Ohio CEO Marvin Jones. “The program provides those with disabilities employment in the community where they can make connections with others, learn skills and showcase their abilities through personal interactions.”

The Goodwill Handy Helpers program is being piloted with a $25,000 grant from the Landrum Endowment Fund through the Pioneer Center/Ross County Board of Developmental Disabilities and the Foundation of Appalachia Ohio. If successful, GWSCO will look to expand the program into other parts of its eight county service area.

Appointments with Handy Helpers can be made by calling the Chillicothe Goodwill Activities and Training Center at 740-702-4009.

At right, Issac Robinson, a Goodwill Activities and Training Center activities specialist, helps Handy Helper David Horsley spread mulch during the inaugural Handy Helpers appointment on Friday, June 26, 2020. (Photo submitted by Goodwill Industries of South Central Ohio)