Ribbon cutting at new Goodwill Center

Some of the individuals being served by Goodwill of South Central Ohio gathered with Goodwill employees, friends, and members of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce on Thursday to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Pike County Activities and Training Center, which opened this week at 313 W. Second Street in Waverly. The new location for the center will provide more room to serve more individuals with disabilities, according to Goodwill of South Central Ohio.

Providing more space to serve more individuals, a new location for Goodwill of South Central Ohio’s Pike County Activities and Training Center opened this week.

The new location at 313 W. Second Street in Waverly, former home of Grace Community Church, provides the needed space to better serve the dozen people who attend the center and allows room to serve more individuals, according to Goodwill of South Central Ohio.

“As we have shifted from work centers for our folks with disabilities toward more of a day-hab model, we’ve been focused on creating a warmer home-like atmosphere. The former Grace Community Church accomplishes that goal not only on the inside but with the outside yard and shelter house,” said Marvin Jones, CEO of Goodwill of South Central Ohio. “We’re excited about the prospects this new home brings for our Pike County Activities and Training Center and the folks we serve.”

According to Jones, Goodwill of South Central Ohio is trying to transition from having the centers located in their stores to the centers being in their own separate facilities.

The site has a sensory room, kitchen, and a large common space setup with a living room area, reading nook, tables for games, crafts, and other activities.

The center is one of five operated by Goodwill of South Central Ohio. Other centers are located in Athens, Chillicothe, Logan, and Washington Court House. The Pike County center previously operated in the rear of the Goodwill store in Waverly, which is located across from Walmart on U.S. Route 23.

According to Goodwill, the centers offer activities such as art, singing, crafts, and watching movies; taking trips to places like the zoo, bowling, festivals, and touring local businesses; volunteering at places like animal shelters and food pantries; and conducting group holiday and birthday celebrations.

In addition to the activities, Goodwill provides training in an effort to help individuals find employment with local business and industry. Vocational services provided include help writing resumes, conducting mock interviews, shadowing people who have jobs they might like, and helping them explore opportunities on the internet.

“Research shows social relationships impact our physical health, mental health, and even our mortality risk,” information provided by Goodwill of South Central Ohio states. “The more we connect with others, the better we feel about ourselves and our lives.

“One goal at our Activities and Training Centers is to provide a variety of opportunities for people with disabilities to make connections. Our plans are shaped by the person-centered outcomes of the individuals we serve.”

An open house for the community will be from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22. There will be light refreshments and staff on hand to answer questions.

According to Goodwill, the impact on the center’s neighborhood will be minimal, and donations for the store will not be taken at the center. The center operates from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and is always staffed with trained professionals, Goodwill stated.

According to Goodwill of South Central Ohio, their centers are certified providers through the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities, and also have earned accreditation by CARF, an independent, nonprofit organization focused on advancing the quality of services to achieve the best possible outcomes for the people being served.

Goodwill stated that staff certifications include:

• Provider certification through the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities

• Medication administration

• CPR and First Aid

• Certified Employment Support Professional

• Career discovery certification

• Benefits analysis certification

For more information on Goodwill, go online to www.GWISCO.org and follow them on Facebook.

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