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Yuma's Best 2012: Goodwill
Best Thrift Store
Yuma's Goodwill's thrift stores aren't justgood places to go with a specific purchase in mind.
They're good places to browse and perhaps find something that wouldn't have otherwise occurred to you that you would need or want.
“You never know what you're going to find in our store,” said Erik Eaker, who is Goodwill's district director for the two Yuma thrift stores. “I like to say you can find everything and the kitchen sink.”
The wide selection of merchandise, plus attention to customer needs, he believes, are the primary reasons voters in the Yuma's Best reader poll chose the two stores as the Best Thrift Stores in 2012.
Whatever shoppers are seeking for the household, whatever they might think they'd like to buy, the stores at 501 W. Catalina Drive and 1091 S. 4th Ave. are likely to have it, Eaker said.
The stores carry donated clothing and shoes, housewares, home décor, tools, appliances, electrical goods, books and DVDs, among other things, he said.
“We have anything you'd need to clothe your family, anything you'd need to feed your family — really anything you'd need in your household. There isn't too much we don't sell.”
The stores' inventories are also organized and positioned in a way to make shopping easy, he said.
“Apart from selection, it should be pretty easy to find what you're looking for,” Eaker said.
The importance of customer service is impressed upon the stores' employees, he added.
“The first thing they learn when they come on board with us is, customers are No. 1,” said Eaker. “To work for us, you have to be on board with that philosophy.”
People who shop at the Goodwill stores aren't just finding good buys; they're helping the community.
Ninety cents out of every dollar raised by the Yuma thrift stores goes to help job seekers find employment, said Marco Garcia, director of mission services in Yuma for the Goodwill.
Goodwill, a worldwide non-profit organization, has a career center in Yuma and holds two job fairs annually to connect area employers with job applicants.
“Our career center has 12 computers that can be used by any job seeker in our community for any job search-related task,” he said earlier this month, adding that three more computers were expected to be added within weeks.
“Other services include assistance with resume preparation, mock interviews, basic computer classes, job leads and job referrals.”
The Goodwill also recently launched in Yuma “Empower,” a training program that gives people the vocation and people skills they need to make a smooth transition into a new job. The program covers such topics as active listening, problem resolution and team work, as well as basic training in use of MS Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
All services Goodwill provides job seekers are free, Garcia added.
For more information about Goodwill Industries, visit http://www.goodwill.org/
Both stores are open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Phone numbers are 329-0173 at the 4th Avenue store and 344-2976 for the Catalina Drive store.