Goodwill’s Brian Otto Receives Full-Tuition University of Phoenix Scholarship

December 23rd, 2014

Brian Professional PictureScholarship Helps to Fulfill Goodwill Employee’s Aspirations as a Business Leader

Goodwill Industries International (GII) and University of Phoenix announced a new grant program that has awarded a full-tuition scholarship to Brian Otto, an employee of Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont (Goodwill SP) in Charlotte, N.C. One of 10 Goodwill employees nationwide to receive the scholarship award, Otto currently serves as Director of Construction Services at Goodwill SP, where he has worked for almost five years. He plans to use the scholarship to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Concentration in Management.

GII partnered with University of Phoenix to award 10 employees at GII’s 165 independent, community-based agencies across the United States and Canada with full-tuition scholarships. These employees have demonstrated academic excellence and the potential of growing into executive positions. In addition, scholarship recipients were selected based on criteria that required they be participants or graduates in one of GII’s many leadership development programs such as the executive development program and the senior leader program, among others.

“Our organization strives to recruit motivated people who are passionate about their work and our mission, and Brian is a shining example of what we seek in our employees,” said Goodwill SP President and CEO Michael Elder. “Goodwill and University of Phoenix are proud to assist Brian in fulfilling his dreams, and we wish him great success in his course work and all his future endeavors.”

Otto became involved with Goodwill SP in 2007 when he began volunteering his time and expertise to the Construction Skills Training program and the Business Advisory Council. In this role, he conducted mock interviews, offered resume assistance and gave career-development lectures to Goodwill clients. In 2009, Otto was forced to close the business he had built over the past 13 years, but Goodwill SP contacted him to see if he could conduct some mock interviews. The mock interviews went well, and a case manager asked Otto if he had time to talk to the director. Five minutes into the conversation, Otto realized he was in a job interview.

“The mission of Goodwill is one that is close to my heart, as the ability to help individuals begin the journey of family sustaining employment is something that has guided my own personal and professional life,” explained Otto. “Leadership and management are two areas I have excelled in over the years, but life has not allowed me to pursue my educational dreams, until now. Earning this degree will not only reinforce my credibility in my current position, but also enable me to pursue more senior roles within the very organization that has afforded me this incredible opportunity to reach my career potential.”

University of Phoenix will continue to offer these scholarships each year through 2016, for a total of 30 full-tuition scholarships, as part of this new partnership with GII. The scholarship announcement is part of a bigger alliance between University of Phoenix and GII to address the nation’s skills gap by providing Goodwill employees with reduced tuition for degree programs as well as certificate programs and professional development courses. The scholarships make up one of four components of the University of Phoenix and GII partnership. Through GII’s corporate university, The Helm, University of Phoenix offers a 10 percent tuition discount for all Goodwill employees and provides three-year funding for a diversity and inclusion initiative and sponsorship of an internship program. Additionally, University of Phoenix will support GII national conferences and events with funding for three years.

For more information about the University of Phoenix scholarship opportunities, visit

About Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont

Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont (Goodwill SP) has been in operation since 1965 and currently operates 22 retail stores and more than 50 total donation sites in the Southern Piedmont region of North and South Carolina. Proceeds from the sale of donated goods fund job training and employment services for individuals facing barriers to employment such as lack of skills, experience or education. In 2013, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont provided services to over 14,900 individuals. For more information, visit

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help students balance education and life in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, challenging courses and interactive learning can help students pursue personal and career aspirations without putting their lives on hold. As the flagship university of  Apollo Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Leslie Jones
Ogilvy PR for University of Phoenix
(404) 836-2307

Goodwill Encourages the Southern Piedmont to Give the Gift of Employment

December 10th, 2014

Deadline Approaching for End of Year Donations and 2014 Tax Break

With just a few weeks left before the new year, Goodwill would like to remind residents that donated goods and financial contributions made by the end of this month are eligible for a 2014 tax deduction.

Goodwill accepts donations of clothing, household items, toys, computers and small appliances. Proceeds from the sale of these items help fund the organization’s job training and employment programs, which are more critical than ever as unemployment continues to hover around 6.5 percent in Carolinas this holiday season.

Goodwill helps people who face multiple barriers to employment such as lack of skills, education or work experience and other challenges to finding employment. For nearly 50 years, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont has been helping people build careers in a variety of in-demand fields including construction, banking and customer service and hospitality, free of charge to local job seekers. In addition, Goodwill offers basic computer training, resume building and other vocational services.

“Donors can end the holiday season and start the new year off right by making an investment in our local community,” said Michael Elder, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont. “We encourage you to give the gift of employment this season. By making a donation, you are helping to provide services to thousands of individuals in our area who need job training, career services and other employment related services.”

Donors interested in claiming tax deductions should keep itemized lists of their donations. The Internal Revenue Service allows a deduction for each item, but the donor determines each item’s value. Generally, an item’s value should be based on fair market value – what the item would sell for in a Goodwill store.

To assist donors in calculating the value of popular items, below is a general guide for the value of items sold in Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont stores:

Men’s suits: $9.99 Women’s purses: $2.99
Coats: $7.99 Dishes and cups: $ 0.49
Adult shoes: $3.99 Paperback books: $0.99

Goodwill’s Donation Center attendants will gladly provide all donors with a receipt for their tax records. If donors are unsure whether a particular item qualifies for a tax deduction, they should consider whether they would give it to a relative or friend. If the answer is yes, then the item is most likely in good condition and is appropriate to donate. For general guidelines, visit

Donors can drop off items at one of Goodwill’s 50+ convenient retail stores or donation centers in North or South Carolina. To make a material donation, use the online locator at to find the donation site near you. Goodwill holiday hours are December 24 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., December 25 closed, December 31 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m. and January 1 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

To make a financial donation, send a check to Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont, Attn: Development Office, P.O. Box 668768, Charlotte, NC 28266.

Media Contact:
Melinda Wilshire | Director, Marketing & Communications | Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont | Office: 704-916-1616 | E-Mail: | Facebook: Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont | Twitter: @GoodwillSP

Goodwill Joins Giving Tuesday Movement

November 26th, 2014

Goodwill Encourages Public to Donate Throughout the Holiday Season

Each day, thousands of people come to Goodwill® looking for help finding a job. Goodwill’s job training and career services would not be possible without generous donations of used items from donors every day. This holiday season, Goodwill is proud to take part in Giving Tuesday, on December 2nd, and reminds people that financial giving is also a great way to support Goodwill’s mission of helping people build their careers.

Giving Tuesday is a collective effort to transform how people take part in the giving season. Just as Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become synonymous with holiday shopping, the goal of Giving Tuesday is to be a national day of giving. People from all walks of life are encouraged to find simple ways to give back to their communities and be part of a global celebration of generosity.

“For nearly 50 years, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont has been helping people build careers in a variety of in-demand fields including construction, banking and customer service and hospitality,” said Michael Elder, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont. “Your donations to Goodwill create jobs and help fund other employment programs. We see firsthand the positive benefits having a job has on a person’s well-being, family and community, and we encourage people to give to Goodwill during Giving Tuesday.”

Goodwill helps people who face multiple barriers to employment such as disabilities, lack of education or work experience and other challenges to finding employment. It is easy to make a tax-deductible financial gift to Goodwill on Giving Tuesday by visiting

Beyond Giving Tuesday there are many opportunities for individuals to spread Goodwill this holiday season. When families donate clothing and other household items they can no longer use to Goodwill, it creates jobs and helps fund Goodwill’s employment programs for people in their community.

“Last year, Goodwill provided career and community services to nearly 15,000 in the southern piedmont and there are many others in our local communities who need the programs that Goodwill provides,” said Elder. “By making a financial gift or donation this holiday season you are helping to give the gift of employment to individuals in our community.”

For more than 110 years, Goodwill has been an environmental leader, turning the power of donated goods into job opportunities for people in need of work. By donating one bag of gently used clothing and housewares you are providing one hour of resume development for an individual seeking employment.

For more information about Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont visit

For more information about Giving Tuesday, go to

Media Contact:

Melinda Wilshire | PR & Social Media Manager | Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont | Office: 704-916-1616 | E-Mail: | Facebook: Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont | Twitter: @GoodwillSP

Looking for a unique and affordable Halloween costume?

September 25th, 2014

zombie costume Goodwill

The best way to save this Halloween is to use your imagination. At your local Goodwill store, you’ll find everything you need to create an awesome, one-of-a-kind look.

A DIY costume is what you make of it. You can create a look as intricate as a character on “The Walking Dead” or you can simplify your costume in three easy steps:

Items Needed:
1.    White dress or dark suit
2.    Doll or small children’s toy to hold
3.    White powder for your face and darker make-up for under the eyes

Items Needed:
1.    White sheet to cut Eye Secrets into strips
2.    White shoespirate costume Goodwill
3.    White powder for face with darker make-up around the eyes

To help inspire trick-or-treaters this Halloween, Goodwill is showcasing a Halloween Look Book full of 18 DIY costume ideas. Click here to download the guide.

By purchasing items at Goodwill, you’ll save on your Halloween costumes and be able to use those clothes again once Halloween is over. You can also feel good knowing that your purchase will help provide job training and community services to people looking for work here in the Southern Piedmont community.

What will you be this Halloween?

Letter from our President & CEO: Goodwill Provides Update on Data Security Issue

September 2nd, 2014

September 2, 2014

Dear Goodwill® Customers:

In July, Goodwill Industries International (GII) announced that some Goodwill® member store locations may have been affected by a data security issue. These Goodwills were using a common third-party vendor for payment processing. Since then, based on a third-party investigation and work with federal law enforcement agencies, it was determined that our Goodwill stores were not impacted and our customers should feel assured that their payment card information is not affected by this issue.

The affected Goodwill members took immediate action to ensure the malware found on their third-party meratol reviews vendor’s systems no longer presents a threat to individuals shopping at their Goodwill stores.

Our primary concern is for the people we serve — our community, our shoppers and our donors — and we are committed to ensuring that your information is safe and secure. If you have any questions or would like more information, please call toll-free at 1-800-GOODWILL.We will be available to answer your questions 9 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturdays; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Sundays; and 9 a.m.-9 p.m. on Mondays-Fridays Eastern time.


Michael Elder
President & CEO, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont

Goodwill Announces Plans for New Goodwill Opportunity Campus

August 5th, 2014

Goodwill’s Bold Vision to Change Poverty and Dependence in our Region

Goodwill Opportunity Campus to serve as a catalyst for change in the workforce development industry in the Charlotte-metro area.

There has been an increase in poverty levels in our region in recent years. In fact, there are close to 160,000 Mecklenburg residents living in poverty and more than 300,000 in our region living below the poverty line. In addition, according to a Harvard study, it will be extremely hard for those in our state to move out of poverty.  Today, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont, a leader in the workforce development industry for the region, announced its bold vision to change the trajectory of poverty and dependence in the area during a Growing Opportunity Celebration.

The celebration included the organization’s public announcement of their vision and the capital campaign to assist with building a new 160,000 square foot campus on 18-acres of land located off of Wilkinson Boulevard. This facility, the Goodwill Opportunity Campus (GOC), will provide a comprehensive collection of resources and opportunities for job training, job placement and job creation for individuals facing multiple barriers to employment. Construction will start in the beginning of 2015 with occupancy in the new building anticipated to occur in 2016.

Making the Goodwill Opportunity Campus a reality will require an investment of $20 million. Goodwill has committed $12 million of its own funds and has embarked on a capital campaign to raise $8 million from the community. In the quiet phase of the campaign, which began at the end of last year, $4.5 million has been raised including a $1.2 million grant challenge from the Leon Levine Foundation and a $500,000 investment from Bank of America, which is the largest corporate donor to date.

“Bank of America and Goodwill have shared a common mission of advancing Charlotte’s workforce and ultimately our local economy,” said Charles Bowman, Charlotte and North Carolina president, Bank of America. “Goodwill has a proven track record of providing career, educational, and critical services for our region. We’re proud to support our longtime partner’s campaign as the Campus will benefit thousands of individuals each year facing barriers to employment opportunities.”

“The Goodwill Opportunity Campus is a unique approach to address the issues Natox of poverty and dependence in our community,” said president & CEO, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont Michael Elder. “Through our continued work in the community we know that it takes more than providing disadvantaged job seekers with job skills and training, we have to also provide them with services to help overcome the barriers they face that keep them in the cycle of un and underemployment.”

The Goodwill Opportunity Campus will provide a central location for coordinated services. Through the Goodwill Opportunity Campus, Goodwill’s strategic partners will be able to meet clients’ basic needs and they will be able to expand the organization’s job resource center and offer increased access to career coaching. The facility will also help Goodwill to expand its services to provide long-term support for clients to help them continue to develop so they can earn a family-sustaining wage.

“We project that in the first full year of operation, the Goodwill Opportunity Campus will serve more than 10,400 individuals with multiple barriers to employment,” said Elder. “This number represents an increase of 23% from the current number served at their career development center on Freedom Drive.”

“The Leon Levine Foundation and Goodwill share the same values and we are proud supporters of Goodwill’s vision,” said Tom Lawrence, executive director of the Leon Levine Foundation. “The Leon Levine Foundation seeks to create permanent, measurable, life-changing impact and we support Goodwill because of the organization’s highly effective leadership, track record of success and a focus on sustainability. The vision Goodwill has to expand its education and training, provide healthcare services and human services to job seekers in one location will make a positive impact on our region.”

Goodwill is inviting the public to contribute the remaining dollars needed to achieve the $8 million campaign goal. This is the first time in more than 30 years Goodwill has asked for public support on a capital project. To assist in raising the remaining funds, the Leon Levine Foundation has pledged to match every dollar donated from April 2014 to April 2015 up to $1.2 million. Individuals can visit to learn more and to donate.

Media Contact:

Melinda Wilshire | PR & Social Media Manager | Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont | Phone: 704.916.1616 | E-Mail:

Technology Has a New Hot Spot

May 30th, 2014

Goodwill launches new brand, experiential destination store concept in University area

Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont is pleased to announce the grand opening of a new technology store concept in the University area on Saturday, May 31. The GRID: Powered by Goodwill (“The GRID”) is a new brand extension for Goodwill and will be a destination spot where the tech-savvy (and the rest of us) can purchase computer components and accessories, or simply find out what’s new in the world of technology.  Grand opening festivities for the new store, located at 9605 North Tryon Street, will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8:30 a.m. followed by the doors opening for shoppers at 9:00 a.m.

“Tech-hungry shoppers and curiosity-seekers will find The GRID to be an exciting addition to Charlotte’s electronics scene,” said Michael Elder, CEO of Goodwill. “Its diverse mix of new, donated and refurbished products is unique, and will make the overall Goodwill brand relevant to new segments of the consumer market while furthering our mission of helping people find family-sustaining employment.”

In addition to the current product assortment of desktop and laptop computers, printers, flat screen televisions and gaming systems sold at Goodwill’s Computer Works location, The GRID will feature new additions to its product line-up, such Raspberry Pi, audio components, portable chargers, phone and tablet accessories, retro games, gaming consoles and controllers.

“By selling brand-new merchandise, in addition to donated and refurbished goods, we will offer the public a new level of products, service and excitement while maintaining our commitment to keeping prices affordable,” said Barbara Maida-Stolle, Executive Vice President of Business Enterprises sizegenetics review at Goodwill.

The GRID is currently developing a menu of new community offerings, such as hosting technology-related educational opportunities for children and LAN (Local Area Network) parties for multiplayer video games.

Hours of operation will be Monday – Saturday 9:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m.; and Sunday 12:00-7:00 p.m. Goodwill’s existing Computer Works store (located at 2913 Freedom Drive) will continue to operate through Wednesday, May 28. This location will be closed once the new store opens and all team members will be transferred to the new location.

The new, 6,000-square-foot store boasts on-trend ambiance, including an easily navigable layout, sleek design, user-friendly displays and a lounge area where video game enthusiasts can try out the newest games. The GRID will offer paid training opportunities to Goodwill clients through the E-cycling program.

Donations to Goodwill support career training and job placement programs for unemployed and underemployed individuals as they upgrade their skills to enter the competitive workforce. To calculate the positive impact of your Goodwill donations, use our donation impact calculator at

About Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont
Goodwill operates 22 retail stores and has more than 50 donation sites in the Southern Piedmont region of North and South Carolina. Proceeds from the sale of donated goods fund job training and employment services for individuals facing barriers to employment such as lack of skills, experience or education. In 2013, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont provided services to over 14,900 individuals. For more information, visit

Media Contact:

Melinda Wilshire | PR & Social Media Manager | Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont | Phone: 704.916.1616 | E-Mail:

See What a Little Good Will Do

April 16th, 2014

Have you seen or heard of Goodwill’s new advertising initiatives around town? These initiatives were created as part of a new brand awareness campaign designed to address a comment we hear way too often from members of the public: “I had no idea Goodwill did all of that!”

Often times when people hear the name “Goodwill,” they think of our retail stores. Many people don’t realize that we use retail proceeds to train and employ people right here in the greater Charlotte area. The services we provide help give people the tools to obtain family-sustaining employment. Our goal with this campaign is to educate, excite and motivate maleextra review add a comment website our community.  Our campaign tagline “See what a little good will do” demonstrates how a little good (like one bag of gently-used clothing) can make a huge impact.

We’re excited about the campaign and hope it will encourage others to see what a little good will do. We invite you to join in the conversation! Share your own Goodwill story on Facebook or Twitter and use our special hashtag #alittlegood.

Check out samples out of our new advertising campaign below and let us know what you think!

TV Commercial

Radio Ad 1

Radio Ad 2

Radio Ad 3


Andy Arnette success story

Shell Richardson success story

Goodwill Hits Milestone with One Million Donor Visits in 2013

January 6th, 2014

Proceeds from sale of local donations fund employment and training services

For the first time in its history, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont received over one million donor visits in 2013, marking a 2% increase from the previous year.  The community contributed 389,000 pounds – or a staggering 195 tons – of donated items on December 31 alone.

A surge on the last day saw 11,122 donors scramble to 33 donation sites throughout the Southern Piedmont, bringing their gently used clothing, household items, electronics and toys.  “We normally see high donor activity the final weekend of the year.  This year was no different,” states Goodwill President and CEO Michael Elder.  “Weather and the Panther’s game probably had an impact on donor numbers Sunday MaleEdge.”  During the last five days of 2013 (Friday, 12/27 to Tuesday 12/31), over 31,500 donors visited Goodwill donation sites across the region.

“What is most exciting about this milestone for us is that it points to the tremendous support of our donor base.  The simple act of donating items one can no longer use is what fuels our mission of changing lives through the power of work,” said Angela Amos, Director of Marketing & Communications.  In 2013, Goodwill used the revenue earned from the sale of donated goods to provide job training, job placement and job creation resources and programs to more than 14,800 people.  “It’s plain to see that if we each do a little, together we can accomplish a lot.”

Goodwill Named One of Americas Most Inspiring Companies by Forbes for Second Year

December 4th, 2013

Goodwill ranks 19 out of 25, up from 23 last year

Forbes recently released its list of America’s Most Inspiring Companies, and for the second year in a row, Goodwill Industries is on the list. This year Goodwill ranked 19th, up from 23rd in 2012.

“We are very proud to be a part of the Goodwill legacy,” said Goodwill President & CEO Michael Elder. “The recognition of Goodwill as one of America’s Most Inspiring Companies, coupled with its rise in the rankings, speaks to the notable work that Goodwill team members do in communities across America each day.”

Locally, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont is leading the way in inspiring work. Last year, with the help of donations from the community, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont provided job creation programs, job resource centers and training services to more than 14,000 individuals in an eight-county region spanning North and South Carolina. Goodwill enterprises paid over $3 million in wages to local clients Performer5 working to achieve economic self-sufficiency in 2012.

“Helping people find work is our core business,” said Executive Vice President of Workforce Services and Organizational Development Chris Jackson. “Having a job allows individuals to contribute economically to their own success, which is an important part of a healthy community. We are happy we can help provide the career training, skills and resources necessary to support the needs of a family.”

To identify America’s 25 most inspiring companies, Forbes used survey results from Performance Inspired, Inc., a consulting and training firm that helps organizations elevate performance through the science of inspiration. The company surveyed 4,738 consumers and asked respondents to rank which five companies they found most inspirational. It also asked them to describe their most recent encounter with each company. The goal of the survey was to find a correlation between successful companies and those that inspire their consumers.

To calculate the positive impact of your Goodwill donations, use our donation impact calculator.

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