Editorial: Will there be good will for Goodwill?
We were surprised to learn early this week that Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota is opening a store here in Hastings.
It's certainly not bad news. Dozens of jobs will be created for people who may otherwise struggle to find employment. Goodwill locations provide on-the-job training for those with little job experience and those who are disabled.
It will also be great to get an anchor back in on that side of Westview Center.
But the store will certainly be competition for Hastings Family Services here. HFS?has long been a good place to go for residents who are looking for low-priced, second-hand clothing in good shape. That clothing came from residents in Hastings.
With the sale of that clothing, HFS is able to fund some of its services, like the food shelf.
So what will happen if Hastings residents all of a sudden stop donating clothes at HFS and instead donate clothes to Goodwill?
Certainly this isn't good news for HFS, but it's not necessarily terrible news, either.
"We're optimistic right now that the community will continue to support us and that we can work side by side with Goodwill,"?HFS executive director Chris Koop said. "I hope we can work together, and I?hope there's room for all of us. Of course, we may have to re-evaluate the way we manage our second-hand clothing business."
Revenue from the clothing business at HFS?makes up 10 percent of their annual budget. Losing that 10 percent, or even part of that, would hurt.
"I hope we're the hometown favorite," Koop said. "We are the local organization. All the contributions help people in this community and nowhere else. That's something we feel we have going for us."
In the end, residents will have to choose which cause they want to support. Both businesses have noble causes, and we hope both will come out winners.