Before 2012 completely disappears from our view, I thought it would be valuable to reflect on some of the things that we, as an organization and community, should celebrate, some of the challenges that we face and the opportunities that give us cause for hope.
When it comes to accomplishments and celebrations, the list is long and commendable. Highlights from last year include the opening of two new stores, dramatic growth of our GoodWork Staffing enterprise and achieving another three-year independent accreditation of our workforce development services. But what stands out most to me are the hundreds of individuals who came to Goodwill seeking the opportunity to better both themselves and the conditions of their families by gaining the skills and the confidence that would lead to new employment opportunities.
I celebrate that last year we took another major step toward greater mission impact by providing intensive career development services to more than 6,000 individuals, marking an increase of 68% over the prior year. I am extraordinarily proud of the fact that while unemployment continues to plague many of our friends and neighbors, we set a new record by providing more than one million hours of employment for individuals with barriers through our Goodwill business enterprises.
The fire that destroyed the contents of our South Boulevard store last February was a challenge to our operations and to our spirits. Like all critical junctures in life, our true character was seen in how we responded to this adversity. Together our team members and the community rallied around our organization to affirm that ill will is not stronger than Goodwill.
The challenges that our community faced last year remain many of the same facing us today. Within our community too many suffer from unemployment, too many from poverty, too many lack sufficient education, too many have untreated medical or mental health issues, and too many are homeless. These challenges will require that same determination by Goodwill and by the community to reject despair and turn our eyes and energy toward creating solutions.
Despite these challenges, many things I saw last year continue to give me hope. The development of a new strategic vision for this organization—one that says we cannot be satisfied with simply getting someone a job if it does not lead to family-sustaining employment–gives me great hope that we are on the right course to increase our mission impact. That hope is reinforced by the amazing contributions I saw last year by our team members and our volunteers to truly live out our mission of Changing Lives Through the Power of Work. I have no illusion that pursuing family-sustaining employment for the people we serve will be an easy road, but I am absolutely convinced it is the right vision and the right road for us to travel in 2013 and beyond.
In the years to come we will look back on 2012 and say that it was a defining moment for this organization because we took to heart the words of our founder Dr. J. Edgar Helms: “Friends of Goodwill, be dissatisfied with your work until every person in your community has an opportunity to develop to their fullest usefulness and enjoy a maximum of abundant living.”
- By Michael Elder
Larry first came to Goodwill in January 1987 as a participant in the Organizational Employment Services program. At that time, most participants with intellectual, emotional or physical disabilities came to Goodwill for “sheltered” long-term activities, rather than classroom-based transitional training, and had little expectation of finding self-sustaining work in the community.
Larry proved himself to be an exception to the rule. After completing Organizational Employment Services, he worked for several years with the maintenance and building services team, where his strong work ethic and positive attitude consistently shone through. Larry eventually transitioned to permanent full-time employment and today is a valuable member of the facilities team.
This December, Larry was honored for 25 years of employment at Goodwill at the 4th Annual Holiday Awards Recognition Banquet hosted by Vocational Services. One of the qualities that set Larry apart from other former clients is his commitment to helping others achieve success. Over the years, through his involvement with people with disabilities, Larry learned basic sign language skills. Using both his communication skills and job experience, he actively supports Employment Skills Training clients by serving as a peer mentor and trainer for participants interested in learning light janitorial and cleaning skills.
Today all clients entering the Employment Skills Training program expect to transition to Coaching Services, get a job and integrate into their community. Thanks to mentors like Larry, our EST graduates leave Goodwill with the necessary skills, training and confidence necessary to achieve these goals.
- By Diane Weekley
Customers are already raving about our newest partnership with Pack Rat:
“Goodwill’s new partnership with Pack Rat has made donating large items, such as furniture and outdoor equipment, as well as any large quantity of items an absolute breeze! The staff at both Goodwill Solutions and Pack Rat were wonderful to work with and arranged for the drop off and pick up of the storage unit free of charge! All we had to do was fill the storage unit and keep a list for the receipt; it was as simple as that! We couldn’t have asked for a better experience and we are thankful to both Pack Rat and Goodwill for this easy and innovative solution.”
-Tom and Mary West (2012)
Forbes recently released a list of America’s 25 Most Inspiring Companies that included Goodwill® this year for the first time.
The list was based on results from consulting firm Performance Inspired, Inc., which surveyed 2,175 consumers online to identify these “most inspiring” companies. These consumers responded by explaining the five companies they found most inspirational and why.
The Forbes article quoted Terry Barber, chief inspiration officer for Performance Inspired, as saying: “Consumers are really appreciative of the Goodwill retail stores and the perceived feel-good value they are bringing to local communities.”
According to a separate Forbes article, Goodwill was one of the smaller companies on the list that did well because of a good story behind the name.
“Goodwill has a tried and true history of being a household name and respected brand,” said Kim Zimmer, chief communications officer and senior VP of global affairs at Goodwill Industries International. “Consumers have come to understand that by shopping and donating at your local Goodwill store, they are investing in their local community.”
The research shows that consumers feel more inspired—and spend more at companies that inspire them—than ever before. In general, 92 percent of respondents said they felt inspired to share their experiences with others and another 86 would recommend the company to friends and family. Nearly 40 percent of respondents said that the nonprofit sector has a major role to play in making the world a better place.
Perhaps the most encouraging statistic? More than 70 percent of respondents said they would spend more money on a company that inspires them.
Keep up with more Goodwill news by following our blog, WOWGoodwill.com!
As you may remember, in February of this year, our South Boulevard retail store and donation center was destroyed by arson. Since then, we have been overwhelmed by the community support we have received from friends, partners, volunteers and donors who want to help us replace what was lost so that we can continue to provide valuable employment services and training in the Charlotte region.
One month after the fire, we placed an attended donation center on the site to begin collecting donations that now fill our new retail store. We received tremendous response about the convenience and importance of the South Blvd. location. This is a vibrant business corridor that has supported our store, and we want to make sure we continue to support business growth in this community. This includes our South Blvd. JobLink, which continues to support thousands of job seekers each year with training and employment programs right here in this neighborhood as part of the Charlotte Works network.
The new store includes many of the updated features from our newer model stores (such as those recently opened in Ballantyne and in Huntersville). It features a fresh, modern design and incorporates environmentally-friendly elements including new fixtures, flooring and recycled materials. New graphics help showcase how this community’s donations really make a difference in people’s lives.
Our Goodwill retail stores employ 20-25 people and generate approximately $500,000 in wages and benefits paid per year – a huge economic impact on this community. We hope you will join us for our grand re-opening celebration, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 22 at 9 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony beginning at 8:30 a.m.
Thank you for supporting Goodwill!
Building a Legacy: Renewing the spirit of Charlotte one nail at a time
Legacy House to change lives of family, volunteers and students in unprecedented collaboration between Habitat, Goodwill, USGBC, Bank of America and Charlotte in 2012 Convention Host Committee
Starting on Monday, Sept. 3 and continuing throughout the week of the DNC, volunteers from Bank of America, Habitat Charlotte and the U. S. Green Building Council Charlotte Region Chapter (USGBC) will join students from our Construction Training program and representatives of the Charlotte in 2012 Convention Host Committee to strike a blow for affordable, sustainable housing.
The five organizations are collaborating on a unique building effort that will transform one corner of an uptown parking lot into an active construction site beginning with CarolinaFest, the DNC week kickoff event presented by the Charlotte in 2012 Convention Host Committee.
Bank of America, longtime supporter of the three local nonprofits, is presenting sponsor of what is being called Legacy House, a LEED-registered home to be built by bank associates, community volunteers and students, and moved to its permanent location after the convention.
Energy efficiency and sustainability will be its foundation, as green building materials and techniques will be employed from start to finish. Goodwill Construction Training students will receive hands-on training as part of their certification process, which will help prepare them for future employment. Click here to read about students James and Tiysha, who will be part of the Legacy House build.
Legacy House is being built inside the Legacy Village, which will be located on S. Tryon St. adjacent to the Harvey B. Gantt Center, and will highlight community efforts to support Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx’s Legacy Projects. CarolinaFest opens free of charge to the public on Monday, Sept. 3 at 10 a.m. and concludes at 6:15 p.m.
Join the conversation online using hashtag #legacyhouse, and let us know how you will leave your legacy and help better Charlotte’s future.
Click here to see Goodwill’s mascot “Smiling G” in action, educating our community about how “Sustainability Starts at Home.”
Thrift shoppers will soon have another Goodwill location to add to their hit lists: Huntersville.
The retail store and donation center, which is located at 14420 N. Statesville Road in Huntersville, is the organization’s 22nd site in the region. A grand opening is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 8 beginning at 9 a.m.
The Huntersville Goodwill will employ 20-25 team members and generate approximately $500,000 in wages and sales taxes paid per year, in addition to providing a convenient donation option for Huntersville residents. This is the organization’s second location to open in 2012 – in January, Goodwill opened a retail store in Ballantyne with record-breaking sales.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 8:30 a.m., followed by music and giveaways from 9:00 a.m. until noon. Doors will open to the public at 9:00 a.m. and shoppers will have several chances to win a $250 US Airways gift card.
Normal store hours will be Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from noon until 7 p.m.
Proceeds from the sale of donated items at Goodwill’s retail stores fund the organization’s job training and employment programs that assist thousands in the Southern Piedmont region each year. Ninety cents of every dollar spent at Goodwill assist with funding these programs.
What: Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont is hosting a back-to-school donation drive this weekend at the Park Road shopping center. As families prepare for their children for school, Goodwill wants to remind the community that by donating unwanted items and de-cluttering your home, you are helping others in our community through job training and employment programs.
Take advantage of this opportunity to drop off any clothing, shoes, coats, household items, computers or other electronics, small appliances and more to a convenient location. Receipts will be available to all donors.
When: Saturday, August 11, 2012 – 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Where: Park Road Shopping Center (Harris Teeter parking lot)
Corner of Park Road and Woodlawn Road