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Cleaning out closets can help bring jobs to the community

September 19, 2006

Local residents can help people in their community find good jobs just by cleaning out their closets.

Through Sept. 25, customers who donate clean, gently used clothing and home textiles at participating Bon-Ton locations - including the Valley Mall store - will receive coupons toward the purchase of new merchandise.

One coupon is given per item donated, and all donations support local Goodwill Industries job training and career services to help people find good jobs.

Customers can drop off donations at all Bon-Ton stores, or at participating Goodwill stores and donation centers. The donated clothing and textiles will be sold in local Goodwill retail stores, and revenues will be used to fund job training and career services for people with disabilities, welfare recipients and other job seekers.

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"The Goodwill sale is a great benefit to our customers. Anyone can clean out their closets for a great cause and also receive a substantial discount on new items purchased at our stores," said Bud Bergren, president and chief executive officer of The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. "The revenue generated by our customers' donations will help the local Goodwill provide job training to people who are trying to enter the work force."

The Goodwill sale partnership between the two organizations developed after The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. purchased Saks Incorporated's Northern Department Store Group in March 2006. The Northern Department Store Group had a long-standing and successful relationship with Goodwill Industries, generating more than $36 million for Goodwill since the sale began in 1994.

Founded in 1902, Goodwill Industries first put people to work by hiring them to repair and sell donated goods. Today, Goodwill Industries trains people for careers in fields such as financial services, computer programming and health care.

To pay for its programs, Goodwill sells donated clothes and other household items in more than 2,015 retail stores, and online at www.shopgoodwill.com. The organization also contracts with businesses and government to provide a wide range of commercial services.

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