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Bryan Goodwill business on the rise

By APRIL AVISON

Eagle Staff Writer

Officials with Goodwill in Bryan said business continues to improve as the store geared toward those in need settles in following major changes over the past year or so.

Heart of Texas Goodwill purchased the store in late 2003 from Houston Goodwill Industries, according to Michelle Ryder, director of marketing for Heart of Texas Goodwill. The new owners temporarily closed the store at 2600 S. Texas Ave. At that time, the store was refurbished and new employees were trained, Ryder said.

The agency already was trying to get back on its feet after the arrest of a former Goodwill manager, 30-year-old Eliza Gonzales. She was convicted earlier this month of embezzling $3,500 from the store in 2002 before Heart of Texas took over the operation from Houston.

Goodwill officials are hoping the public sees the favorable changes that have been made.

“We’re getting a lot of positive response from the public about the quality of the store, the quality of the clothing and the upkeep,” Ryder said. “Donations are up in Bryan, too. It took us awhile to get there, but we’re happy with where we are now.”

Bryan store manager Patsy Conrad said she’s been a Goodwill shopper for almost 25 years and is in her fourth year working for the company. She began managing the Bryan store in March 2003.

“I really enjoy my job with Goodwill,” she said. “And the public seems to be happy with this store. We have a lot of good, positive feedback.”

Goodwill Industries International collects donated clothing and household items to sell in its 1,900 stores nationwide. The company uses about 85 percent of its revenue for job training, placement programs and community services.

• April Avison’s e-mail address is april.avison@theeagle.com.

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