Members of the VCU community contributed nearly $4,000 to Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia during a denim pop-up shop event at the Altria Theater on Thursday, October 27 in Richmond.
Goodwill brought an exclusive retail shopping experience to VCU students, staff and faculty that included a wide variety of denim items, accessories, electronics and shoes. The event also served as a thank you after students donated more than 17,000 pounds of textiles during a Spring 2017 residential hall donation event.
“I am so glad you guys did this,” said Lentz Marseille, a third-year student. He came to the pop-up shop in need of jeans. All denim items were on sale for $5. “Typically, I go to thrift stores and find low quality items, but these jeans are almost new,” he said. Marseille also praised Goodwill for choosing a location close to campus. “Everyone walks by here daily, so it was easy for students to check it out,” he said.
“We partnered with VCU in the past, so this type of event was a natural progression,” said Martha Murdock, Goodwill’s director of retail operations. Her goal was to get more students to understand Goodwill and the importance of its mission. “This pop-up shop is a smaller version of what happens in all our retail locations. All sales proceeds go back into Goodwill’s programs that help people who need a job find employment,” said Murdock.
Goodwill has five community employment centers across Central and Coastal Virginia, where job seekers can take advantage of workforce training services and job-readiness programs, at no cost. A partial list includes career planning, resume and interview preparation, soft skill training, employer hiring events and financial education classes.
“This is fabulous. I had five minutes to run in, and I bought three pairs of boots and a scarf for $23,” said Sandy Basham, an art student. She learned about the event after seeing it on the theater’s marquee.
Kristin Richardson works at the VCU Office of Development and Alumni Relations. She came for clothes, but also found a job opportunity for her 16-year-old son. “I learned about a banquet server position with Goodwill Staffing Solutions that pays $12 an hour,” she said.
The pop-up shop also reemphasized the importance of Goodwill’s commitment to the environment. “We are keeping clothes out of landfills. We want young people to recognize their impact. Quit throwing stuff away and realize their donations are what makes us able to resell them to someone else and use the proceeds to help their community,” said Murdock.
Marseille agreed, as he walked away with five pairs of jeans from the pop-up shop. “This is honestly a lifesaver. Not only did I get jeans I really need for a cheap price, I’m helping other people out,” he said.
Goodwill operates 34 retail locations, two outlet centers and two electronics stores across Central and Coastal Virginia. Click here for an interactive map and list of locations.