Our Love for Helping People Overcome Adversity Sprouted from Our Own History
We verbalize frequently our passion for helping people overcome adversity or barriers to self-sufficiency, and for good reason: we’ve walked that challenging walk ourselves throughout our history.
Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley began at 10 South Bentz Street in Frederick, Md., as a single branch store of then-Baltimore Goodwill’s retail operation. Local volunteers and leaders soon wanted to keep that revenue in the community, to reinvest in the residents here.
In 1969, Goodwill International approved our charter to become a self-governing, nonprofit organization. Local attorney Jerry Offutt and 10 other community leaders met at the store on Nov. 21 of that year to elect a board of directors and adopt a mission to develop those facing disadvantages into the best versions of themselves.
We formally celebrated our 50th anniversary with our Carroll County and Frederick County family on May 2, 2019, at New Spire Stages in historic downtown Frederick.
But before the Golden Gala, challenges and comebacks marked the journey to where we stand today.
The founding leadership of GIMV purchased the old Ox Fibre Brush Company building at 400 East Church Street for $50,000 in 1970, moving the new Goodwill’s donation processing and retail sales operations there. GIMV had begun to establish a foothold in the community, but in 1979 lightning struck the south end of the facility. The resulting fire destroyed 100,000 square feet operational space, jettisoning GIMV from its central home to split locations: the United States Post Office building and the former Jenkins Food Cannery, both in Frederick.
The latter’s welcoming of GIMV operations proved the first of two occasions that stewards of the Jenkins facility rallied in support of Goodwill. Samuel H. Rosenstock, the former sole owner of the Frederick City Packing Company who later built the nation’s largest string bean canning company in Florida to support America’s World War II efforts, made a generous gift in May of 1980 to help GIMV rebuild. Rosenstock, a Maryland native who became a generous philanthropist in Frederick County, sold his company in 1946 to the Jenkins brothers.
Unfortunately, the Church Street complex faced another obstacle shortly after the turn of the millennium. Damage sacked the second floor of the entire complex (approximately 40,000 square feet), rendering it uninhabitable and inaccessible to individuals with disabilities. But again thanks to community support, a 12,000 square-foot renovation in January 2002 revived one of the four buildings in the Church Street complex. The renovation provided GIMV with accessible office space, a large conference room facility, computer training space, vocational evaluation offices, day services space, a work skills classroom, administrative offices, a large employee lunchroom and a health room.
Meanwhile, GIMV retail store operations faced their own instances of adversity. Stores that had opened in Brunswick and Thurmont subsequently necessitated closure, though GIMV replaced the latter in 1999.
The retail store in Carroll County’s seat of Westminster lasted only six years, burning in 1999. GIMV purchased a building more easily accessible from Baltimore Avenue (Maryland Route 140) and relocated the now-thriving Westminster store there. Community support fueled the opening of a second retail store in Frederick in 2000, located along Buckeystown Pike (Maryland Route 85), Hampstead in 2009, and Eldersburg in 2010.
We’ve gotten by with a little help from our friends over the last 50 years, and we hope to provide that same kind of support to individuals and families battling challenges to employment in our community for the next 50 and beyond.
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Your financial support helps us administer these programs to area residents, giving them the skills and jobs they need to create their own independence. Consider a tax-deductible financial gift today.