by: Natalie Pasquarella Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - After seven months of rebuilding, a south Charlotte Goodwill store will reopen its doors Saturday after investigators say it was set on fire.
Outside the Goodwill store, a sign says "We're back!" Inside, employees are saying the same thing.
“We're going to be better, you know. We're back,” Janice Mixon said.
On Friday, Mixon was putting the finishing touches on racks inside the newly renovated South Boulevard location.
“It's so exciting and everything is so different and beautiful, and it's great,” she said.
Mixon is one of more than 20 employees who had to temporarily leave the store and work at another after someone set fire to the building on Feb. 23. Everything inside was destroyed, causing more than $500,000 damage.
“It was kind of a devastating blow for Goodwill,” said Michael Elder, CEO and president of Goodwill Industries in the region.
Elder said staff made the decision early on that they wouldn't abandon -- they would rebuild.
Now, months later, everything in the store and donation center is brand-new.
“We put additional dollars so that we could really make this a place that the community would be proud of, and that our team members would be proud of,” Elder said.
There are new, environmentally friendly additions. There’s a polished concrete floor, which impacts maintenance costs, a new ceiling and energy-efficient lighting.
Elder said it's not just about the shiny new look -- there's a message, too.
“We teach our clients that we all face adversity, and the true measure of an individual and an organization is how you respond to that,” he said.
For more information on the grand reopening of the Goodwill on South Boulevard, click here.