Drive-through Goodwill store opens in Columbia

Thursday, September 16, 2010 | 9:24 p.m. CDT; updated 10:09 p.m. CDT, Thursday, September 16, 2010
Customers wait for the grand opening of the Goodwill store Thursday morning at 1405 Grindstone Pkwy in Columbia.

COLUMBIA — Drive-through Laundromats. Drive-through liquor stores. Drive-through Goodwill?           

MERS/Goodwill in Columbia celebrated its grand opening on Thursday, equipped with the only full-service drive-through in Missouri for dropping off donations.

Faced with the decision to either remodel its old store or build a new one, the nonprofit organization opted to relocate less than a mile east to 1405 Grindstone Parkway. 

Kristy Tourville, Goodwill's vice president of retail, and Lewis Chartock, president of Goodwill, said they selected the new location because of its high visibility and ease of use.

“In all (of Goodwill’s) research … people say that they donate out of convenience,” Tourville said.

Those who wish to donate items drive under the store’s awning, where they are greeted by Goodwill employees who unload cars, hand out receipts and send donors on their way.

“It’s great, the service – they come out like that!” said Jean Kuntz, as workers unloaded her truck full of goods. Kuntz was one of 80 donors who helped provide goods to stock the shelves with books, clothing and electronics by 5 p.m. on the store's opening day.

According to the official website, by reselling such items, Goodwill organizations have:

  • Served 1.9 million people through employment and training programs.
  • Provided 20.1 million workforce development services.
  • Helped more than 155,000 people earn jobs.
  • Generated $3.7 billion in revenue.

“It’s not just a place where people can come and buy goods, it’s a place where you can give back to the community while shopping,” said Johnnie Wright, supervisor of the new 15,000-square-foot store. “I’m not just an employee, I’m a customer.”

The store is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The donation drop-off closes 15 minutes prior to the store’s closing.

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Rachel Brekhus September 17, 2010 | 8:35 a.m.

Where is the new Goodwill located? According to the MERS/Goodwill home page you linked, they're still at the old location at the corner of Providence and Nifong, but that is no longer true - is it? In order to try out the drive-through, it would be really helpful to know WHERE the place is.

(Report Comment)
Rachel Brekhus September 17, 2010 | 9:13 a.m.

Looks like it's 1405 Grindstone Parkway. Here's the Columbia Tribune article that had that information:

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield September 17, 2010 | 9:14 a.m.

Rachel, the photo caption and the third paragraph both provide the address.

(Report Comment)
Patrick Sweet September 17, 2010 | 9:14 a.m.

Hi Rachel,

The new Goodwill store is located at 1405 Grindstone Parkway.

As the story says:
"Faced with the decision to either remodel its old store or build a new one, the nonprofit organization opted to relocate less than a mile east to 1405 Grindstone Parkway."

It appears that the Goodwill website has not been updated.

- Patrick Sweet
Assistant City Editor, Columbia Missourian

(Report Comment)
Rachel Brekhus September 17, 2010 | 9:30 a.m.

Oops - don't know how I overlooked it! I guess my eye went more to the quotes and the bullet points than to the narrative text, more to the focus on the drive-through indicated in the title than on the surrounding details, and more to the photo than the caption. Obviously I need more coffee this morning.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 17, 2010 | 10:10 a.m.

Must be too early in the morning for Goodwill Hunting.

(Report Comment)

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