Spreading Goodwill

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By Steven J. Smith

Alexander “Sandy” Kirkpatrick and his wife Jeanie chose to honor their adopted hometown by helping to support the recent refurbishment of Goodwill Manasota’s Manatee Book & Art Store at 5512 Manatee Ave. West in Bradenton.

“It’s a pleasure to contribute time and resources to Goodwill,” said Sandy, who is also current president of the board of Turning Points, a homelessness prevention organization. “I was flattered to be asked to join the board of Manasota Goodwill in 2013. Jeanie and I are particularly delighted to support the new art, music and book store near our home and look forward to patronizing it frequently in the coming months and years.”

Opened in June, the store offers 5,800 square feet of retail space and an attended donation center to take donations of unwanted items from the community, according Veronica Miller, Vice President of Goodwill Manasota Foundation.

“The new store now holds 17,000-20,000 books and a very large selection of art for sale,” Miller said. “This location was previously a traditional Goodwill retail store, selling donated goods such as apparel, shoes, home goods and more. The store was closed in April so that inventory could be redistributed to other locations and the interior could undergo a complete makeover — from painting and unique displays to new flooring.”

Miller added the cost to renovate it was in the neighborhood of $160,000.  “The paint was deliberately selected with diluted colors to help enhance the artwork for sale,” she said, “as well as the selected flooring to brighten the location and make it look more like an art gallery.”

In 1985 Sandy founded Kirkpatrick Energy Associates, Inc., a specialized investment bank serving the oil and gas industry from offices in Denver, Dallas and Houston. He moved to Bradenton in 2000 and became a licensed real estate agent facilitating commercial real estate transactions through Michael Saunders & Company for seven years before retiring. Jeanie moved to Sarasota from Boston in 2005 to be near her daughter, a practicing attorney. Jeanie and Sandy soon met and were married in 2008. Since then, the couple has been looking for ways to give back to their community.

“Manasota Goodwill has helped many thousands of persons to overcome barriers to employment and become contributors to society. The leadership is competent and dedicated.”

“Jeanie and I love being part of a network of wonderful community volunteers who are collectively maintaining and improving the quality of life in our town,” Sandy said. “Manasota Goodwill has helped many thousands of persons to overcome barriers to employment and become contributors to society. The leadership is competent and dedicated.”

Jeanie added volunteerism and philanthropy are important to her as well.

“I loved volunteering for my church, our children’s schools, a national sorority and many other worthy causes,” she said. “When I became part of the ‘Kirkpatrick team,’ I found that I loved our community and wanted to be involved at any level of a worthy nonprofit organization. I have found some wonderful nonprofits and being a partner with Sandy for the Goodwill organization has been a real honor, too.”

Miller said the Kirkpatricks’ assistance in transforming the book and art store would have a significant impact on the surrounding community.

“We have found that our customers absolutely love our bookstores and we also know how this community loves art,” she said. “It was the perfect opportunity to reopen this location to engage the cultural community. While the square footage did not really support the traditional inventory of our retail stores, the size is perfect to showcase the generous donations made from our community. This concept was created after listening to our customers and through our desire to create a unique customer service experience.”

Jeanie added Goodwill Manasota is an organization that offers jobs and opportunities to those facing many daily challenges and obstacles. “It’s such a worthy organization with great leadership,” she said.

“Goodwill Manasota adds so much to all the good things about Manatee and Sarasota counties.”

In 2016, Goodwill Manasota served 28,207 people, placed 755 people in jobs and assisted 240 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. The organization’s economic impact back to the community has been calculated at $92.1 million.

Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year kept more than 40 million pounds of waste out of landfills. It serves its mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and its Mission Development Services around North America.


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