LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Donations to Goodwill yield powerful change

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 | 2:14 p.m. CDT

Chances are when you clean out your closet, attic or garage to decrease the amount of "stuff" in your home, you are not thinking of how de-cluttering your life could help your neighbor find a job. However, that is exactly what happens when you donate your gently used clothes, furniture, car and houseware items to MERS/Goodwill. It is no secret that we are in the retail business, which thrives on the community's donations. But what seems to lose prominence in the mind of the donor is the fact that behind every donation is the ability to yield a powerful change in a person’s life.

Clients come to MERS/Goodwill seeking employment, but they leave our programs with renewed confidence, hope, independence, responsibility, a new sense of accomplishment and ambition. Our programs provide job opportunities for thousands of people each year including high school students and veterans of our armed forces. 

While MERS/Goodwill receives annual funding from grants and other sources, in-kind donations make up one-third of our revenue.  Our success and the success of our clients in 2012 is largely credited to the outstanding community support we continue to receive in the way of donations and shoppers in our stores. 

We realize consumers are not only looking for a great bargain in this economy, they are looking for value. MERS/Goodwill offers both.  Whether you donate or shop in one of our 40 retail locations, be assured that your generous contributions fuel our mission and enhance your local community through the power of work. 

Thank you Columbia for your continued support.

Lewis C. Chartock is president and CEO of MERS/Goodwill. Questions? Contact Opinion editor Elizabeth Conner.

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J Karl Miller September 5, 2012 | 9:03 a.m.

As a useful, local alternative to donating clothing and houseware items to MERS/Goodwill, may I suggest Columbia's own Wardrobe, located at 715 Park Avenue in this city.

Serving the working poor and the disadvantaged for 40 years, the Wardrobe receives NO outside funding, operates with volunteers only and uses the proceeds from the sale of donated goods to purchase shoes for needy Boone County children.

Moreover, on Tuesday, the Wardrobe is open only to those eligible for free clothing and housewares. The only requirement is that the applicant show a voucher of need from any one of a number of charitable organizations in Columbia.

One of the Wardrobe's lasting benefits to the community and to individuals is the clothing provided gratis to those needing clothing suitable for job interviews and for subsequent employment.

Why not keep the benefits in Boone County?

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