Goodwill begins rebuilding after Etobicoke store fire

    TORONTO, Nov. 19 /CNW/ - Goodwill Toronto plans to be back in business at
its Etobicoke Community Store (4975 Dundas St. W. at Islington) despite the
devastating fire that left a $1 million mess. Goodwill lays out its plan on
all fronts to rebuild the store.
    Goodwill has opened a temporary donation centre on the site. Goodwill is
seeking a short term temporary retail location in the neighbourhood while the
site is rebuilt; plans are now in the works to find a suitable site. Employees
have been temporarily reallocated to other Goodwill stores.
    "The Goodwill experience is a remarkable reality," says Dr. Ken Connelly,
President and CEO of Goodwill Toronto. "The importance of this community store
echoes throughout the Etobicoke community, as it provides a safe place for
marginalized individuals to work, meet and connect as citizens and as
community members."
    Many donors, customers, employees and community members have expressed
their shock and concern about the fire; the community support has been
    "By rebuilding this vital community store, we are, in effect, taking a
proactive step to address violence, poverty and marginalization that is
plaguing our cities and as of late, this community," states Dr. Connelly.
"Goodwill's mission is to create work access and we believe that by creating
employment, we provide an opportunity for people to positively contribute to
their communities. The fire has only temporarily slowed down our efforts here,
but the support we have received is tremendous and very encouraging."
    Goodwill really wants to remain in the neighbourhood and has already
started to raise the much-needed financial support. RBC Foundation immediately
stepped forward with a $10,000 donation to help Goodwill accomplish its
rebuilding goals.
    "Goodwill is a very valuable community resource and RBC is pleased to
kickstart the rebuilding fund so Goodwill can continue its important work in
Etobicoke, "says Stephen Voisin, Executive Director, RBC Foundation. Goodwill
is seeking $500,000 in funding to recover damages to inventory, equipment and
to support its employment initiatives.
    Goodwill encourages the public to visit or phone
(416) 362-4711 for monetary donations, more information or store and donation
centre locations.

    Fact Sheet

    -   Sunday, October 28, a fire at Goodwill's community store at 4975
        Dundas St. W. at Islington in Etobicoke, caused extensive damage,
        estimated at $1 million, including structural damages and equipment
        and inventory loss. The store is temporarily closed until further

    -   Etobicoke employees, including five Goodwill REACH(TM) staff, have
        been temporarily allocated to nearby Goodwill stores.

    -   A temporary mobile donation centre and some Etobicoke employees are
        on site at the store's parking lot to accept donations and direct
        customers to nearby Goodwill Community Stores.

    -   Goodwill is now searching for a short-term retail location in the
        neighbourhood. Plans are in the works to find a suitable site.

    -   Goodwill needs $500,000 to begin its rebuilding initiative, purchase
        new equipment, support employee wages and its employment initiative
        in Etobicoke.

    -   RBC donated $10,000 to assist Goodwill in rebuilding its Etobicoke

    -   Over 3,900 donors visit the Goodwill store in Etobicoke per month and
        over 51,000 donors per year. The store processes approximately 10,000
        transactions per month and 120,000 transactions a year. The Etobicoke
        store alone diverts about 800 tons of materials from landfills

    -   Donors and customers can continue to donate and shop at Goodwill
        stores at 1224 Dundas St. E. and 720 Burnhamthorpe in Mississauga,
        and 28 Roncesvalles and 2625C Weston Rd. in Toronto. Donors can also
        donate at 933 The Queensway Ave. For more information and store and
        donation centre locations, please visit

    -   To find out how you can help Goodwill rebuild its store in Etobicoke,
        please call (416) 362-4711. To make an online donation, please visit

    -   Goodwill REACH(TM) is a 6 - 12 month employment contract, providing
        hard-to-employ individuals with paid employment, career counseling,
        life skills, adult learning and job placement support. The goal of
        Goodwill REACH(TM) is for employees to gain the skills and experience
        necessary to acquire related sustainable work elsewhere. Goodwill
        REACH(TM) jobs include Retail/Customer service,
        Environmental/Janitorial service, Warehousing/Material handling and
        creative services.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Mitzie Hunter, VP External
Relations, Tel: (416) 815-4751, E-mail:; Audrey Kim,
Corporate Affairs Specialist, Tel: (416) 815-4767, E-mail:

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