Mel Trotter Ministries, a local non-profit serving the hungry, homeless and hurting of the Greater Grand Rapids area, announced a restructuring of its thrift stores and auto program to better serve the needs of the West Michigan community.

The Mission will close its Grand Rapids and Belding thrift store locations. Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids and Mel Trotter worked hand in hand to minimize the loss through the transition of the Belding retail location. This is a win-win for both non-profits and the community, as Goodwill will take over that retail operation sometime in early October.

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The auto program will also undergo a restructuring. Mel Trotter will continue to accept donated vehicles and will work with a third party vendor to maximize the donation opportunity. All funds will continue to support the ministry. Mel Trotter’s Sparta and Jenison locations will remain open.

“It is certainly difficult to make these decisions,” said Dennis VanKampen, Executive Director and CEO of Mel Trotter Ministries. “But after many months of careful thought and analysis, it is clear the number of donations we receive at our thrift stores is appropriate for two, not four locations.”

Employees will have the opportunity to move into positions inside the downtown Mission. Others will have the opportunity to interview for similar positions at Goodwill Industries locations throughout West Michigan.

The overview of restructuring is this:
• Jenison and Sparta thrift store locations will remain open and under Mel Trotter ownership
• Grand Rapids thrift store location will be put on the market; will operate until sold
• Grand Rapids auto program will continue to accept vehicles for donation, but will work with a third party vendor to maximize the donation opportunity. All funds will continue to support the ministry
• Goodwill Industries will assume operations of the Belding thrift store location on or about October 1, 2015
“Our partners are working very closely with us to ensure this transition is as seamless as possible,” said Bill Jones, COO/CFO of Mel Trotter Ministries. “Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids and several of our board members have been very generous in lending their support, guidance, and expertise. Our team looks forward to concentrating more resources into our Sparta and Jenison locations. Donations from our community are as important as ever before!”