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Ottawa Goodwill to open by fall




The new Goodwill store in Ottawa will open by early October.


Ground was broken Tuesday at 501 W. Stevenson Road, in the Ottawa Wal-Mart shopping center where construction began May 5.


Mayor Robert Eschbach said he was pleased to not only have a place to bring resale items, but to have a business that enriches the community with job training and opportunities.


"We think this is a pretty exciting asset," he said at the groundbreaking.


Goodwill agencies support sustainable social enterprises that fund job training, employment placement services and other community programs by selling donated clothes and household items at Goodwill retail stores and online.


The new retail store will be a 17,000-square-foot structure Goodwill of Northern Illinois' largest facility which will operate seven days a week. The facility will offer a 400-square-foot community room, which will be offered to local nonprofit organizations for their use.


The community room will be used on more than 40 occasions for group meetings and other community events and more than 400 people will be served in the community room, including Goodwill-offered employment services.


Goodwill also plans to work with the IRS to create a tax preparation assistance site and plans to offer various senior citizen services based on community needs.


Craig Grugel, director of retail operations of Goodwill of Northern Illinois, promises the store will be "green" in its efforts to reuse, recycle and repurpose and will help keep items out of landfills.


In the store's first year, an estimated 30,000 people will donate almost 1.25 million pounds of gently-used items. Also, Ottawa's Goodwill will recycle with zero landfill impact an estimated 60,000 pounds of computer equipment a year.


The Ottawa store will be the first for Goodwill of Northern Illinois to be built from the ground up, as it has always moved into existing facilities in the past. Grugel said the main motivator behind building the store was the freedom to build it to specifications. The Ottawa Goodwill will feature a "drive-through" donation function that allows donors to more easily and quickly drop off their items without having to enter the store.


The Ottawa store will begin accepting job applications in about a month. The store will employ 32 people, of which 20 will be full-time equivalents. Applicants can apply online at


The store will be open seven days a week: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.





Contact Information

Stephanie Szuda,, 815-431-4087