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Goodwill store in Heidelberg's Washington Avenue business district a 'big deal'

| Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Margaret Burke of Carnegie flits through the selections in the womens clothing section of the new Goodwill store in Heidelberg off of Washington Street on Wednesday February 12, 2014.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Shoppers browse for bargains in the new Goodwill store in Heidelberg off of Washington Street on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Sandy Barnhart of Carnegie looks at the price of an item in the new Goodwill store in Heidelberg off of Washington Street on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014.

About 60 shoppers braved single-digit temperatures early Wednesday to be the first visitors to the Goodwill store in Heidelberg's Washington Avenue business district.

“This is a big deal. We didn't have a store like this to get reasonable things,” said Margaret Burke of Carnegie. “And it's a good cause.”

Heidelberg area residents showed interest in the store in the weeks leading up to its opening, leaders of the organization said.

“Based on the calls we'd been getting on our switchboard, there seems to be a greater-than-normal anticipation for this store than we've had for others in the past,” said David Tobiczyk, spokesman for Goodwill Stores of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

The Heidelberg store is one of five Goodwill stores built in the Pittsburgh area in the past three years, and it's the 31st operated by the regional organization.

The store has collected donations since January.

Tobiczyk said the store averages between 10 and 20 donations of various items each day. Most are from local residents, but he expects that to change.

“What you will find is that, over time, people from other areas who travel Route 50 will stop and make donations as they pass,” he said.

Clothing, furniture and other items that are donated at a certain store usually are sold there, he said, but stores in need of donations can pull inventory from those with more merchandise.

“I like bargains. I'm a bargain shopper,” said Maureen Harrod of Dormont, another shopper. “I look for designer clothes for my daughter. I wanted to come out and support Goodwill and see what they've got.”

The store has a drive-through donation drop-off area.

Although “generous” donations have allowed Goodwill to expand, Tobiczyk said, the economy also plays a role.

“With the economic downturn, thrift shopping has become more popular,” he said.

Megan Guza is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach her at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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