With a book sale that starts today, two new suburban retail stores and a new president who employes management-by-objective disciplines, Davis Memorial Goodwill Industries of Washington is aiming to end deficit operations and provide more jobs for physically handicapped citizens here.
"Basically, Goodwill has been plagued with a lot of problems the last 20 years . . . but we're starting in the right direction now [with] new management techniques," President David Becker said in an interview yesterday.
"There's really been a need to run a tight show like IBM . . . and still be of service to people . . . traditionally Goodwill has operated by the seat of its pants [and now we have] short and long-range plans," he added.
Becker came to Washington as Goodwill president last February and found an operating deficit of $30,000. As of September, the deficit has been trimmed to $12,000, reflecting internal management changes and improved communications. He also found that sales of merchandise refurbished by Godwill suffered after the main downtown D.C. store wsas closed last year after 42 years at the New Hampshire Avenue NW site.
Now Goodwill is moving forward on several fronts to shore up its financial condition and begin planning for a regional center that would provide new jobs. Among the developments:
An 11th annual book sale starts today and rums through Tuesday at the Department of Transportation building 400 7th St. NW. More than 100,000 books as well as phonograph records, coins, stamps and sheet music will be sold from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. all other days (except for Sunday, when the sale is closed). The volunteer campaign is the largest annual fund-raiser for Goodwill here.
New thrift stores are opening at 7129 Little River Turnpike, Annandale and 8715 Flower Ave. Silver Spring joining existing retail outlets in Bowie. Bladensburg Rockville, Alexandria and the District.
A fund-raising campaign has been launched under the direction of Theodore Hagats Jr. chairman of Foot Lincoln New Town Corp. and Hazans Enterprises. Hagans has set a goal of $100,000 in the dive.
Washington Redskin wide receiver Danny Buggs is heading up a regional Boy Scouts' clothing drive, scheduled for Nov. 18. Assisted by volunteers from the D.C. Area Trucking Association, scouts will gather donations of usable clothing and small household items for delivery to 24 pick-up locations.
David Memorial Goodwill Industries was started here in 1935 to provide jobs and wages for handicapped and disabled persons engaged in the non-profit group's vocational rehabilitation programs.
Nationwide, there are 165 local Goodwill organization, each of them autonomous. More than 50,000 persons are trained each year by these groups.
In the D.C. area. Goodwill employs 250 - including 128 handicapped persons - on a permanent basis, in addition to persons involved in regular training programs. But Becker estimated there are 15,000 physically handicapped personss in D.C. alone in need of training or jobs.
Looking ahead for the next decade, Becker said the most suitable program for Goodwill would be to consolidate all workshops and facilities at one site, where "we can put a lot of people to work."
Berker said he is searching for a building with access to the Capital Beltway and some 125,000 square feet, probably in an industrial park setting.
In addition, he plans to move Goodwill vans into neighborhoods, permanently stationed to receive donated goods and give out tax receipts. A new approach to the general public will emphasize service to people instead of "begging for materials," he added.
"We want to become more of an advocate for the handicapped. The average person we reach in the community is really concerned with the needs of the handicapped, but we have to give them the right information," Becker asserted.