Goodwill Northside opened its doors to hundreds of eager shoppers on September 29, 2017. Neighbors have enjoyed the signature value that Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin (SCWI) is known for. But almost as busy as the retail store and donation center, the Northside store’s community room has been warmly embraced by the neighborhood.
“The room is booked consistently through the rest of the year, with several groups using it on a recurring basis,” said store manager Billy Suppes.
The community room was included in the new store at the request of local elected officials. It accommodates up to 30 people and may be reserved for community meetings and activities.
In January the Goodwill Northside Community Room was designated a polling place for Ward 32, hosting its first election for the Feb. 20 spring primary. The store extended its operating hours to coincide with polling hours, choosing to open the store early for shopping as well. Voters also received a special one-day coupon as a “thank you” for voting.
Goodwill SCWI is currently working with art students at Malcolm Shabazz City High School to create a mural for the community room that reflects the cultural heritage of the neighborhood and Goodwill’s guiding principles. At the suggestion of Shabazz art teacher Rachel Schramm, Goodwill SCWI is also reserving space to showcase local art from neighborhood schools, community centers and the like.
Goodwill Northside is the tenth store in the South Central region. The stores exist as the economic driver for Goodwill’s mission services, providing career guidance, supported employment and residential services to people with disabilities, mental health concerns and other barriers to employment and independent living.
Goodwill SCWI is a local nonprofit serving residents within a 14-county region. Each region is an independent 501(c)(3) organization.