The Hattiesburg Goodwill held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the growth of the store, its accessibility to its’ shoppers and the opportunities that it provides employees at their new location on Thursday, March 28.
The store moved from its location at 2305 Hardy Street to a larger space at 5916 US 49. The new location not only has more space, but it is also in a higher traffic area.
The ribbon cutting ceremony started off outside the store with a prayer and a few speeches from the leadership of Goodwill as well as from Councilwoman Mary Dryden. Dryden said that she is glad to see that the Goodwill philosophy of providing job opportunities and affordable goods for those who need them being carried out in the new location.
“Goodwill has been an important business in Hattiesburg for a long time,” Dryden said, “They help people, often those that need a second chance, learn the job skills that they need to further their education, sometimes just to finish high school and protect their dignity by putting them to work. The power of work is very important to us as human beings.”
According to the official Goodwill website, Goodwill employs hundreds of thousands of people every year, and the Goodwill mission is focused on continuing to provide job opportunities to communities through their stores and donation centers.
Many of the Goodwill leaders present at the ceremony felt moving to this location will help them further carry out this mission within the Hattiesburg community, including Lauren Mozingo, a member of the Hattiesburg Goodwill Board of Directors.
Mozingo said the new location provides more space for both their retail floor and their donation center and more visibility thanks to its spot off of Highway 49. She also said the turnout at the ceremony shows how much of an impact Goodwill has on the community.
“It just shows how the Hattiesburg community is supportive of Goodwill and how Goodwill is supportive of the Hattiesburg community,” Mozingo said. “We wouldn’t be able to do what we do if the community didn’t support us, so it was great to have that today.”
There were many different members of the Hattiesburg community at the ribbon cutting ceremony taking part in the celebration. Outside the store, a Coca-Cola trailer was serving hot dogs and sodas, and inside the store, a cake was being served. There were also some Southern Miss students there showing their support for Goodwill, including sophomore music education major Maggie Frisancho.
“I love Goodwill. I go to them all the time,” Frisancho said. “The location that they had on Hardy Street wasn’t very good, but now they have this one which seems a lot better.”