December 6, 2011

Our Neighbors: Hall’s ‘Goodwill’ helps community

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — In this season of Christmas spirit and the abundance of caring and sharing, Shanda Hall is right in her place.

For the past 13 years, Hall said she has looked forward to going to work at the London Goodwill store.

“I love my job. I’ve always loved my job,” Hall said.

Starting out as a production clerk who sorts clothing and other items and places them on the display floor, Hall worked her way up to assistant manager several years ago. In September, she was promoted to manager of the London facility.

She wholeheartedly believes in the dual mission of the Goodwill organization.

“Goodwill helps the community,” she said. “It helps people who are disadvantaged and have disabilities that other people sometimes won’t hire to have a job. And we offer everything at lower prices that families can afford.”

Hall began her career with Goodwill Industries in 1997 when the store was housed next to CVS Pharmacy on North Main Street. The continued growth of the facility required a larger space. Hall was one of several other employees still with the organization that helped move to Carnaby Square.

“We more than tripled our space,” Hall said of the move. “I liked it (on North Main Street), but we needed more room.”

Starting out as a production clerk, Hall has never shunned sorting and hanging clothing and placing items out into the store. She’s a firm believer in hard work and giving your all.

“My grandmother always said ‘hard work never hurt anybody, it just hurts their feelings,’ and I’ve always remembered that,” Hall said. “I’ve always told my daughters to do your job the best of your ability and to give it your all the first time and you won’t have to redo it.”

She spreads her philosophy of treating others as you want to be treated to her family as well as to her employees, many of whom have been with Goodwill Industries as long as Hall. In fact, one employee has a year’s seniority over her.

“Dinah has been here 14 years and Sharon’s been here for 13, the same as me,” Hall said. “Tina has been here for nine years, so we really haven’t had much turnover.”

She credits that to the employees themselves, whom she describes as one of the most dedicated and caring group of people she knows. She also credits the people in the area for supplying a multitude of items which keeps the store going.

“London has been very generous to us,” she said. “We put out about 19 racks of clothes a day, and that includes the racks that hold 100 pieces. On Sundays, although we’re only open five hours, we still put out about 14 racks.”

Despite the economic crash of the past several years, Hall said London and Laurel County residents have continued to support Goodwill’s mission by their generous and consistent donations.

“You can have merchandise but you need customers and you can have customers and no merchandise,” she said. “You need both and we’ve been fortunate to have both.”

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
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