by Spencer Katz
Originally appeared in the East County Gazette
Vol. 17, No. 26

“More people to hire, more people to serve, more people to shop, more people everything,” exclaims Beth Forsberg, Goodwill Vice President of Retail and Operations, when asked what excites her most about a new Goodwill opening in La Mesa.

The mantra, “More people everything” was on display as the people of La Mesa lined up under the bright summer sun to witness the opening of their new community hub at the grand opening last month. In 2014, Goodwill Industries of San Diego County (GISD) helped more than 3,800 people in the San Diego Coummunity with their employment needs. In fact, GISD helped 79 people per week or 16 people per day.

Senator Anderson provided a Certificate of Recognition to welcome the new store and remarked “We’re excited to have Goodwill in La Mesa because they invest in and empower the communities they serve through job training and education.”

The La Mesa Chamber of Commerce, which works to promote local businesses and connect them with important resources, organized the ribbon cutting ceremony complete with photographers, buzzing shoppers, and giant scissors. Once the store was dedicated and the doors opened, the crowd got to peruse the isles filled with everything from baby shoes to lawn decor.

The best deal of the day, however, belonged to the East County community because they gained not simply a thrift store, but also an organization dedicated to improving lives. When Goodwill first opened its doors in 1902 it pioneered the idea of offering a “hand up, not a handout.”

Today, this founding philosophy remains at the center of what Goodwill hopes to accomplish in La Mesa. Forsberg excitedly shared, “All of out retail stores are integrated in the community by our employees, by our donors, and by our customers and every new store opening creates jobs.” Susan Roberts-Egley from the East County Career Center also expressed her satisfaction, “I was excited to connect with the mall’s new management to put on this event and look forward to doing it again next year.”

Anderson provided Senate certificates of recognition for all community partners at the East County Holiday Career Expo and said, “an important aspect of my job is to provide my constituents with valuable opportunities like career expos. I’m grateful for Stephanie and Susan for working with my office to make this event a success.”

Grand opening ribbon cutting and celebration for the Goodwill in La Mesa.

Grand opening ribbon cutting and celebration for the Goodwill in La Mesa.