In three area cities, Goodwill is now picking up donations

A new pickup service will allow nonprofit Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth to serve Grapevine, Southlake and Colleyville donors even though it could not build drop-off centers in those cities.

"It's been very difficult to locate donation centers in the far Northeast Tarrant area," said David Cox, senior vice president of retail sales for Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth. "In order to make it easier for donors to support Goodwill, we are going to start our home pickup service."

Cox said the service is a first for Goodwill. It had to retool its typical business model to serve donors in that region. People usually drop off donations at stand-alone centers or at centers attached to a resale store, allowing Goodwill to save on gas and staff costs.

But attempts to either relocate facilities to or build in Colleyville, Grapevine and Southlake haven't been fruitful.

In Keller, Goodwill dropped plans for a donation center tied to its GW Boutique model. The boutique, to open in March and described as an upscale resale shop, was approved after the change.

"This is really our only option," Cox said.

Goodwill previously tried to move a donation center that is in leased space at 5117B Colleyville Blvd. The relocation was in anticipation of the widening of Texas 26, Cox said.

"That was met with resistance from the city, and it was not approved," he said.

Goodwill also tried to build a Goodwill Superstore at an abandoned Albertsons grocery store off Texas 114 in Grapevine. Cox said Goodwill discovered that the store wouldn't meet Southlake's zoning rules and so dropped the plan.

Donations from the pickup service will be taken to the new Goodwill contract facility, which will train and employ workers with special needs. The grand opening is this month.

DIANE SMITH, 817-390-7675