For the second time this October, Goodwill will open a new retail and donation center in Southwest Florida. Goodwill's newest store, at 10676 Colonial Boulevard in Fort Myers, will open on Thursday, October 28. Goodwill, along with the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, will cut the ribbon at 8:45 a.m. on Thursday.
The new Goodwill location is in the Arbor Towne Square (formerly Arborgate) shopping center, at the intersection of Treeline Avenue and Colonial Boulevard, just outisde of Lehigh Acres. It will be Goodwill's 26th store in the five-county area.
"The location is great because so many Gateway and Lehigh Acres residents drive past every day," says Goodwill's Director of Public Relations, Kirsten O'Donnell. "We want to make it as convenient as possible for folks east of I-75 to be able to shop and donate with us."
The store will feature a drive-thru donation center to provide a hassle-free experience for its donors.
"We have drive-thrus at a few other stores, including our brand-new bookstore," says O'Donnell. "People really seem to appreciate the convenience."
Earlier this month, Goodwill opened its 25th retail store in Southwest Florida, a bookstore on McGregor Boulevard. O'Donnell explains that continued expansion is important in these trying economic times.
"Through the end of last month, we've provided services to more than 11,000 people," she explains. "That's already more people than we helped in 2009, so the need is obviously still great. Our stores provide the financial backing for all of the services we offer in our community."
Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida Inc. serves, Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry, and Glades counties with programs and services for people with disabilities and other disadvantages. Programs include career training and placement services, transportation assistance, income-sensitive housing, and youth programs such as the L.I.F.E. Academy, a Lee County charter school for students with developmental disabilities.