The newest Goodwill location in the northland, in the Kenwood Shopping Center.

Kenwood Goodwill Opened June 12

“It’s a new look for Goodwill in a great location in a busy shopping area,” said Kent Fugere, Retail Sales Manager at Goodwill Industries Vocational Enterprises, Inc. “With the colors and layout of the store, it’s going to be a great shopping experience for our customers. People are already very interested—we’ve had to turn them away while we’ve been getting the store ready to open. We’re excited to bring the new look of Goodwill to the northland.”

The Kenwood Shopping Center is now home to Goodwill’s second Duluth location, bringing the non-profit’s stores up to 14 in number across the northland, and a new place for Duluthians to donate their gently used clothes and other items.

The new store sits on the corner of the Kenwood Shopping Center in between Erbert & Gerbert’s and Duluth Teacher’s Credit Union, with a donation drop-off located at the rear of the building. Thrifty shoppers and donors now have an alternative to the Garfield Ave. location, and can stop at Goodwill during a trip to the shopping center.

The new 4,000-square-foot store opened for business June 12 after weeks of renovations.

Goodwill is excited about the increased presence in the Duluth area and the opportunity to continue serving the people of Duluth and its surrounding communities.

Kenwood Goodwill store hours for shoppers are from 9am-7:30pm Monday-Friday, and 9am-6pm on Saturday. Goodwill accepts donations of gently used clothing and household goods during regular business hours at the store location. Contact the Kenwood store at 218 522-4461 for more information.

The Weight of Words

“I am a survivor, not a victim,” Johnson said. “I don’t give up. I might fail, but I always feel like there’s light at the end of the tunnel.”

Gunnar Johnson, a Goodwill client of seven years, was recently interviewed by the Duluth News Tribune (DNT) for an article on “People-First Language.”  Gunnar was able to share some of his background, to include past struggles and how he has been able to overcome difficulties through working at Goodwill.

According to disabilityisnatural.com, “People-First Language” is defined as putting the person before the disability. The site states that our choice in language can change the way we see a person, and it can change the way a person sees him or herself.  Disability is Natural goes on to say that our language shapes our attitudes; our attitudes shape our language; they’re intertwined. And our attitudes and language drive our actions.

As the DNT article states, Goodwill Duluth has been creating jobs and training people with disabilities for 96 years, and yet People-First language isn’t a policy that is specifically spelled-out.  Instead, the mindset and vocabulary inherent in People-First Language has long been adopted into Goodwill’s culture.  People with disabilities comprise the single largest minority group in America, and as such, care should be taken in showing the proper respect–a push currently being made among Goodwill’s employees.

Gunnar is choosing to focus on the positive, and has made many strides in his professional life.

“They (Goodwill) really work hard for people with disabilities,” said Gunnar. “It’s been a good place to work.”

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Photos by Bob King of the Duluth News Tribune.