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Goodwill to Open Downtown Nashville Facility to Public Tours

‘Inside Goodwill’ Tours Begin on June 18

Goodwill employee James Dudney tags clothing in one of Goodwill’s downtown Nashville warehouses. Participants on guided “Inside Goodwill” Tours will see hundreds of employees like James working to process thousands of donated goods. Those items are sold in Goodwill stores to fund the not-for-profit’s mission of providing job training and employment opportunities across Middle and West Tennessee.
Goodwill employee James Dudney tags clothing in one of Goodwill’s downtown Nashville warehouses. Participants on guided “Inside Goodwill” Tours will see hundreds of employees like James working to process thousands of donated goods. Those items are sold in Goodwill stores to fund the not-for-profit’s mission of providing job training and employment opportunities across Middle and West Tennessee.

 

For the first time in its 58-year history, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee will soon offer regularly-scheduled, guided tours of its downtown Nashville headquarters to the public.

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The one-hour tours, dubbed “Inside Goodwill,” will be available starting Thursday, June 18. They will take participants through the not-for-profit’s operations — from the receipt of donated clothes and household items through their processing and sale to fund training and employment opportunities for tens of thousands of Tennesseans each year.

“Though Goodwill has always prided itself on being open and transparent, relatively few people have personally glimpsed the inner workings of this historic social enterprise,” said Matthew Bourlakas, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee. “Middle and West Tennessee have an absolute gem in Goodwill, and touring it is an amazing, eye-opening experience. What people see and hear on these tours will educate and inspire them.”

Bourlakas said while he had considered public tours in the past, his decision was cemented when U.S. Sen. Bob Corker visited Goodwill’s headquarters last November and encouraged Goodwill’s leaders to find a way to share the experience with others.

“Inside Goodwill” participants will follow the path taken by donated items as they move through Goodwill’s warehouses, from the dock, down an array of conveyors and past hundreds of employees who sort, tag, box and distribute items for allocation to Goodwill’s 34 stores. They will also visit Online Goodwill, an e-commerce operation, as well as a Goodwill Career Solutions center where free training, job fairs and employment opportunities are provided to people with disabilities and others struggling to find work.

Tour-takers will meet key staff and gain insight into Goodwill’s impact on communities, the environment and the economy. They will also hear testimonials from a few of the many individuals who have overcome hardships and challenges with Goodwill’s help.

“It’s a perfect activity for school, church and civic groups or individuals who just want to learn more about how Goodwill changes lives through the power of work,” Bourlakas added.

Participants will also receive a brief introduction to Goodwill’s history. Goodwill was founded in 1902 by the the Rev. Edgar J. Helms in Boston, Mass. Helms went door-to-door in wealthier districts, asking for donations of used clothing and household goods that could be repaired and resold to provide jobs for the needy and those considered “unemployable.”

As one of 165 Goodwills now operating independently in the U.S. and abroad, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee continues Helm’s work through the sale of donated goods. What began in 1957 as an offshoot of Outlook Nashville now serves people with disabilities and others struggling to find work across 48 counties. In 2014, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee served more than 28,000 people and helped more than 9,500 land jobs.

“Inside Goodwill” tours will be conducted at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month at 937 Herman St., Nashville. More information and tour sign-ups are available online at www.giveit2goodwill.org/about/tours or by calling (615) 346-1601.

‘INSIDE GOODWILL’ TOURS

When: Third Thursday of Each Month (except holidays), Beginning June 18

            9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Where: Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee headquarters

937 Herman St.

            Nashville, Tenn.    

Book a Tour:

www.giveit2goodwill.org/about/tours

or call (615) 346-1601

Grand Opening for Clarksville’s Third Goodwill Store Set May 29

Needmore Road Facility to Include Career Solutions Center, Drive-Through Donations Area

A multiple-employer job fair, a ribbon-cutting and numerous door prizes are among Grand Opening celebrations planned for Clarksville’s newest Goodwill at 2001 Needmore Road on Friday, May 29.

Events get under way at 8 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by the Clarksville Area Chamber of Commerce. The Goodwill store, which is Clarksville’s third, and the adjacent Goodwill Career Solutions center and covered, drive-through Donations Express Center, will open at 8:15 a.m. The Career Solutions center will begin an open house at that time.

“We are extremely excited about the first free-standing Goodwill facility to open in Clarksville,” said Melinda Shepard, Chamber of Commerce executive director. “All locations of the Goodwill stores and Career Solutions centers have been great community partners. We appreciate the involvement with the Chamber and the community by providing training and employment opportunities.”

GRAND OPENING FOR NEW GOODWILL

When: Friday, May 29

            8 a.m. (Ribbon Cutting)

            8:15 a.m. (Store Opens, Career Solutions Open House begins)

Where: 2001 Needmore Road

            Clarksville, Tenn.

At 19,000 square feet, the sales floor of the new store is the largest of the Goodwills in Clarksville. The store will sell gently used clothing, shoes, books, furniture and household items, including many name brands, at deeply discounted prices. Sales fund Goodwill’s mission of providing job training and employment opportunities in the community for people who are struggling to find work.

Free services offered at the Goodwill Career Solutions center will include career assessment and evaluation, career counseling and planning, job readiness training, digital literacy, resume writing, online job search, retail training and more. Last year, the Goodwill Career Solutions centers at 1596-L Ft. Campbell Blvd., 1937 Madison St. and 640 Providence Blvd. in Clarksville served 2,523 people and helped 686 land jobs.

Like other Goodwill Career Solutions centers, the one at 2001 Needmore Road will host frequent job fairs. The first will be held from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Grand Opening day. Participating employers will include Agero, Clarksville-Montgomery County School System, Speedway, HG Staffing, R.E. West, Trinity Marine, USA Living, Frontier Basement Systems, Safe Harbor/FaithWorks, Convergys and TransAmerica. These employers seek to fill at least 130 positions in Montgomery and Cheatham counties. Openings include substitute teacher, bus driver, cashier, food service, forklift, rackpicker, over-the-road driver, foreman welder, sales representative, call center advisor and more, with pay rates varying but ranging up to $60,000 per year.

JOB FAIR FOR AT LEAST ELEVEN EMPLOYERS       

When: Friday, May 29

            11 a.m. – 2 p.m.                               

Where: Goodwill Career Solutions

            2001 Needmore Road

            Clarksville, Tenn.

Representatives from these companies will be on site and interviews are possible, so job-seekers should dress for success. Job candidates are encouraged to bring a resume, photo ID, Social Security card or birth certificate.

Shoppers can register to win an iPad mini in the store on May 29. Goodwill tote bags will be given to the first 500 shoppers starting that day, and 20 Goodwill gift cards will be given out through the weekend. The first 50 donors at the donation center will receive a free copy of recording artist Kristian Bush’s new solo album, “Southern Gravity.”

Hours at the new store and donations area will be 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Sundays. The store’s phone number is (931) 241-4599. The new Goodwill Career Solutions center will be open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, and the center can be reached at (931) 241-4730.

About Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.
For more than 55 years Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has provided job training and job placement free of charge to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment through the sale of donated items. In 2014, Goodwill served 28,159 people in Middle and West Tennessee and placed 9.558 people in jobs. More information about Goodwill’s Career Solutions, retail stores and donation centers can be obtained online at  www.giveit2goodwill.org or by calling 1-800-545-9231.

Goodwill Bass Challenge Raises Nearly $2,000 for Community Assistance Program

Twenty-six Teams Participate in Fishing Tournament on Old Hickory Lake

The way Trey Burtchaell of Mt. Juliet and his father, Larry Burtchaell of Smyrna, saw it, Saturday was a fairly slow day of fishing on Old Hickory Lake.

Having caught only 12 bass, the two men — who fish the lake every other weekend during summers — thought they might barely crack the top five competing teams in the Goodwill Industries Bass Challenge fishing tournament.

“We didn’t think we’d win,” Trey Burtchaell said. “It was pretty unexpected.”

In the end, five chunky largemouth — including one that weighed nearly five pounds — pushed their total haul to 15.65 pounds and earned them the first place prize of $350. They came in just .05 pounds ahead of the second-place team.

“I was very excited,” Trey Burtchaell said, “It was an honor. And it feels good to help Goodwill. It’s always great when a tournament helps people in need.”

The event drew a total of 26 boats that weighed in a combined 186.9 pounds of fish. Along the way, it raised $1,908 for Goodwill Cares, Goodwill’s community assistance program that provides gift cards for families and individuals facing hardships.

“It was a great day of fishing,” said Mike Davis, a professional fishing guide who organized the third annual event.

The second-place winners for total weight were Mike and Logan Petit of White House, another father-and-son team, with 15.60 pounds. Logan Petit is a member of the White House High School Fishing Team.

Dave Breeden and Anthony “Bud” Guffie of LaFayette took third place for total weight with 15.15 pounds. They were also the first place winners for biggest fish, landing one weighing 5.45 pounds. The Petits took second place in that category, with a fish weighing 5.20 pounds.

Goodwill, Uber Team Up for Nationwide Mobile Donation Campaign

Drivers to Pick Up, Deliver Donations for Free in Midtown Nashville Saturday, May 2

Tens of thousands of Nashville residents will be able to donate clothes to Goodwill with the touch of a mobile device on Saturday, May 2, thanks to a partnership between Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee and the on-demand transportation platform, Uber.

From 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, donors in Midtown Nashville and surrounding neighborhoods can open the Uber app and request a pickup of their donations to be delivered by an Uber driver directly to their local Goodwill, free of charge. A map of coverage areas for the donation drive can be found online at http://blog.uber.com/springcleaning2015-nashville.

Building on the success of previous promotions in the New York, Boston and San Francisco areas, this is the first time Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee and Uber have partnered on a full-scale nationwide campaign. The partnership is available in more than 50 cities across the U.S. and Sao Paulo, Brazil where both Uber and Goodwill operate.

Here’s how it works:

  1. People in Nashville and around the country who are spring cleaning will bag up clothing like jackets, shirts and pants to donate to Goodwill.
  2. On Saturday, May 2, donors will open the Uber app and be able to select the “GIVE” option on the bottom of the screen. Tens of thousands of Nashville area residents already use Uber, but those who have not can still download the app from the iTunes App Store or Google Play and participate in the donation drive at no cost.
  3. An Uber vehicle will arrive to pick up bags, and the driver will drop-off the donations to Goodwill.
  4. A receipt will be issued by email for those wishing to seek a tax deduction for their donation.

UBER-GOODWILL DONATION DRIVE

When: Saturday, May 2

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Where: Nashville

The Details:

  • All clothing and household items must be bagged for drivers to accept donations.
  • Drivers will arrive at requested pickup locations. Donors are responsible for bringing bags outside, as drivers cannot leave their vehicles unattended.
  • For those who have already completed their spring cleaning and donations, or live in areas where Uber isn’t available, monetary donations can be made to Goodwill at http://give.goodwill.org

“This partnership demonstrates Uber’s commitment to local communities on a national and international scale,” said Chris Fletcher, PR & communications manager for Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee. “This collaboration will make spring cleaning easier for Nashville residents, while ensuring that the clothing they donate is diverted from landfills and supports Goodwill’s efforts to put people back to work.”

Goodwill uses revenue from donations sold in its retail stores to help fund job placement and training programs in communities where goods are donated. Last year, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, which serves 48 counties across Middle and West Tennessee, assisted 28,159 people and helped 9,558 land jobs.

“Both Uber and Goodwill strive to make a meaningful impact on local communities, and we are thrilled to once again team up with Goodwill to make donating fast and easy for Uber users,” said David Plouffe, senior vice president of policy and strategy at Uber. “Those who participate in this campaign are not only checking something off their to-do list, but supporting Goodwill and its mission to strengthen communities by providing job placement and training for people in need.”

A list of cities participating in the Goodwill and Uber spring cleaning partnership can be found online at blog.uber.com/springcleaning2015.

About Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.

For more than 55 years Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has provided job training and job placement free of charge to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment through the sale of donated items. In 2014, Goodwill served 28,159 people in Middle and West Tennessee and placed 9.558 people in jobs. More information about Goodwill’s Career Solutions, retail stores and donation centers can be obtained online at  www.giveit2goodwill.org or by calling 1-800-545-9231.

About Uber

Uber is a technology platform that is evolving the way the world moves. By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through our apps, we make cities more accessible, opening up more possibilities for riders and more business for drivers. From our founding in 2009 to our launches in over 300 cities today, Uber’s rapidly expanding global presence continues to bring people and their cities closer. Follow us on Twitter: @Uber and find us on Facebook: Uber.

 

Celebrate Earth Day with Goodwill

Donations to be Accepted April 18 for Festival at Centennial Park

Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee will accept donations of gently used clothing, shoes and books at the Nashville Earth Day Festival from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, April 18, in Centennial Park.

Nashville’s annual Earth Day Festival is a free, family-friendly event drawing thousands of people for live entertainment, exhibits and activities aimed at educating area residents about protecting the environment. This year Rebirth Brass Band, HoneyHoney and Roots of Rebellion will perform, and  produce and locally made products will be sold at a Green Market/Farmers Market. At the Reuse Village, children and adults will learn ways to creatively reuse and upcycle items before recycling them.

Goodwill is one of more than a hundred organizations expected to participate in the festival. Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee is a social enterprise that sells donated goods in its stores to provide employment and training opportunities for people with disabilities and others struggling to find work across 48 Tennessee counties. Last year, Goodwill assisted 28,159 people and helped 9,558 of those find jobs.

Also in 2014, Goodwill kept more than 28 million pounds of recyclables and salvage and recyclable materials from going into landfills. The not-for-profit’s recycling of cardboard and paper pulp saved more than 48,000 trees from being cut down.

A Goodwill box truck will be parked at Centennial Park, and attendants will be ready to accept donations, providing festival-goers with a convenient way to reduce clutter in their homes while earning a tax deduction and helping others in their communities. Goodwill also will have a tent where representatives will distribute information and answer questions about Goodwill’s donation and retail operations as well as its mission arm, Goodwill Career Solutions.

About Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.
For more than 55 years Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has provided job training and job placement free of charge to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment through the sale of donated items. More information about Goodwill’s Career Solutions, retail stores and donation centers can be obtained online at  www.giveit2goodwill.org or by calling 1-800-545-9231.

Donation Site Launch Coincides with Lebanon ‘Think Green’ Event

Schools Hosting Goodwill Donation Drive April 11 at Lebanon Premium Outlets

The opening of a new Goodwill Donation Express Center in Wilson County will coincide with a community cleanup and recycling event that includes a donation drive for Goodwill by a dozen local schools.

The donation center, which will open Friday, April 10, will be located in the parking lot of Lebanon Premium Outlets at 1 Outlet Village Blvd. in Lebanon in front of the Nike Store. It will be the eighth Goodwill donation site where citizens can drop off gently used clothing and household items in Wilson County.

Although Goodwill has more than 80 Donation Express Centers, this will be the first one located at a mall. Hours at the new center will be 8 a.m.-6 p.m. seven days a week.

“We chose the location because of our outstanding relationship with Lebanon Premium Outlets and their community of stores,” said Goodwill Director of Donations Scott Crites. “It’s a high-traffic area with customers coming from all over. That exposure will be good for Goodwill, and the convenience will be great for our donors.”

On Saturday, April 11, more than 600 Wilson County students will take part in the Think Green, Think Clean Youth Litter Challenge & Recycling Carnival, part of which — including a donation drive for Goodwill — will be held at Lebanon Premium Outlets.

Activities begin at 9 a.m. with litter pickups in communities near participating schools. At noon, students will gather in the north parking lot of Lebanon Premium Outlets for the Recycling Carnival.

Officials from Byars Dowdy, Castle Heights, Coles Ferry, Sam Houston, Carroll Oakland, Mt. Juliet, Lakeview, Gladeville and Watertown elementary schools and Walter Baird, Winfree Bryant and Mt. Juliet middle schools have asked students and their families to bring items for donation to Goodwill to the carnival. The public is encouraged to support these schools by also bringing donations for Goodwill. Attendants will be onsite to accept items from students and the public. All donations are tax-deductible.

The purpose of the Think Clean, Think Green event is to instill in children and adults the importance of protecting the environment and keeping the community litter-free. Goodwill strives to be an excellent steward of the environment. In 2014, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, which serves 48 counties, kept more than 28 million pounds of salvage and recyclable material from going into landfills. Through recycling of cardboard and paper pulp last year alone, Goodwill saved more than 48,000 trees from being cut down.

Donations to Goodwill are sold in our retail stores to provide employment and training opportunities for people with disabilities and others who have trouble finding or keeping jobs. In 2014, Goodwill Career Solutions assisted 28,159 people and placed 9,558 into jobs.

Think Green, Think Clean is sponsored by the City of Lebanon and City of Mt. Juliet Stormwater Department, Wilson County Stormwater group, Lebanon Premium Outlets, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee and WANT 98.9 FM.

NEW GOODWILL DONATIONS EXPRESS CENTER OPENING

When: Friday, April 10

Hours: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. 7 days per week

Where: Lebanon Premium Outlets parking lot near the Nike store

1 Outlet Village Blvd.

Lebanon, Tenn.

 

THINK GREEN, THINK CLEAN RECYCLING CARNIVAL

When: Saturday, April 11

Noon – 3 p.m.

Where: Lebanon Premium Outlets north parking lot

1 Outlet Village Blvd.

Lebanon, Tenn.

About Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.
For more than 55 years Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has provided job training and job placement free of charge to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment through the sale of donated items. To set up a donation drive, contact Community Services Donation Specialist Jamie Goss at (615) 346-1844 or jamie.goss@givegw.org. More information about Goodwill’s Career Solutions, retail stores and donation centers can be obtained online at  www.giveit2goodwill.org or by calling 1 (800) 545-9231.

 

Hours Expanding at Local Goodwill Stores

Change Scheduled for April 1

Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee is extending business hours at its stores to better serve customers.

Starting April 1, stores will open one hour earlier. New store hours will be 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on Sunday.

The new standard hours will also be observed during storewide half-off sales the first Saturday of each month, at the Goodwill Outlet store in Nashville and at Donation Express Centers connected to Goodwill stores.

The sale of donated items in the 34 retail stores operated by Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee funds the not-for-profit’s mission of providing employment and training opportunities to people struggling to find or keep jobs.

 

What: Hours Changing at Goodwill Stores

When: April 1

New Hours: 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday

10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday

Where: 34 stores in Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee’s 48-county territory

 

About Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.
For more than 55 years Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has provided job training and job placement free of charge to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment through the sale of donated items. In 2014, Goodwill served 28,159 people in Middle and West Tennessee and placed 9.558 people in jobs. More information about Goodwill’s Career Solutions, retail stores and donation centers can be obtained online at  www.giveit2goodwill.org or by calling 1-800-545-9231.

 

Reel in Some Fun and Change a Life: Goodwill Bass Challenge Set May 9

Top Five Fishermen to Receive Cash Prizes in Tournament on Old Hickory Lake

Cash prizes are on the line for anglers who hook up with a good cause at the Goodwill Industries Bass Challenge fishing tournament scheduled for 6 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, May 9, at Old Hickory Lake.

Professional fishing guide Mike Davis, who has organized the annual event for three years, expects attendance to be strong, with May being a prime sportfishing month for largemouth, smallmouth and Kentucky (spotted) bass.

“Old Hickory is a good location, with plenty of fish to be caught,” Davis said. “This is a great way to have some fun with family and friends, make some memories and help a great cause.”

The entry fee is $100 per boat plus a donation for Goodwill of gently used clothing or household goods. Payment is due at registration, which will begin at 4:30 a.m. the day of the event at Flippers Bait & Tackle, 200 Odoms Bend Road, Gallatin.

Prizes will be given at weigh-in for the top five anglers. Exact payouts will be adjusted based on attendance, but 100 boats participating would result in $1,000 for first place; $600 for second place; $300 for third place; $400 for biggest fish and $100 for second biggest fish.

All other proceeds will benefit Goodwill Cares, Goodwill’s community assistance program. In 2014, Goodwill Cares provided families and individuals in need with 922 gift cards worth more than $20,000 in merchandise.

Anglers can pre-register and review tournament rules at www.giveit2goodwill.org/bigfish.

What: Goodwill Industries Bass Challenge fishing tournament

When: Saturday, May 9

6 a.m. – 3 p.m.

 

Where: Flippers Bait & Tackle (on Old Hickory Lake)

200 Odoms Bend Road

Gallatin

About Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.
For more than 55 years Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has provided job training and job placement free of charge to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment through the sale of donated items. In 2014, Goodwill served 28,159 people in Middle and West Tennessee and placed 9.558 people in jobs. More information about Goodwill’s Career Solutions, retail stores and donation centers can be obtained online at  www.giveit2goodwill.org or by calling 1-800-545-9231.

Davidson Co. Judge Visits Area Goodwill Store To Praise Probationer

After Years of  Trouble with the Law, Man Achieves Sobriety, Lands Job

 

Darnell Whitworth had faced Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Steve R. Dozier half a dozen times over the years, but never like this. He was nervous, fidgeting with his uniform as he stood looking at the judge.

“We wanted to come up and congratulate you,” Dozier said as Whitworth’s face lit up. “You’re doing a good job.”

The two men shook hands as they stood in the center aisle of the Goodwill store on Nashville Pike in Gallatin Friday, and Dozier gave Whitworth a gift card for groceries. The judge said it was the first time in his 17 years on the bench he had ever gone outside the courtroom to honor a probationer for good progress.

“We probably, as a court, don’t take enough time to recognize the good in people,” he said. “That’s why we came out here.”

For at least two decades, Whitworth struggled with alcohol addiction, having been in and out of court and jail for a variety of usually minor offenses. Things got worse seven years ago after his daughter, whom he calls “my princess,” was born with Down’s Syndrome.

“I started drinking to hide all the pain and emotions I was going through,” he recalls.

He had trouble finding places to live. He missed meetings with his probation officer. He was running out of chances, and people who cared about him feared he might end up in prison.

But that didn’t happen. Instead, on Friday, Whitworth was the man of the hour.

Besides the judge, his case officer with Davidson County Community Corrections, his case manager and site manager with Buffalo Valley Inc. addiction treatment center, his Goodwill Career Solutions counselor and his Goodwill store supervisors were on hand to praise him.

“I’m actually living a good life now, and I appreciate you all for everything, especially the big guy over here,” Whitworth said, referring to the judge. “At first, I thought he was short because he was sitting behind the bench. I never stood this close to him.”

Whitworth wore the blue Goodwill smock he dons to sweep and clean the Gallatin store. It was the 40-year-old’s last day as a paid trainee in a custodial position with Goodwill Career Solutions. Having enthusiastically completed his training and passed his drug test and other hurdles, his supervisors welcomed him as a permanent employee.

“You look terrible in orange, you know that?” the judge asked Whitworth, referring to the standard orange inmate attire at the Davidson County Jail. “You look better in blue.”

Whitworth also wore a coin on a chain around his neck, a token he received in December after completing a 60-day alcohol treatment program at Buffalo Valley Inc. in Castilian Springs. The Nashville native now lives in Buffalo Valley’s transitional housing in Gallatin and attends four Alcoholics Anonymous meetings per week. He will remain there through September.

“Every day I get up and thank God for giving me a chance to get up clean and sober, and then I thank God for all the people who had a hand in it,” Whitworth said.

There was even more to celebrate. Not long after Whitworth entered the alcohol treatment program, he visited the Zion Upper Room Apostolic Faith Church in Gallatin with Buffalo Valley Site Manager Douglas Fuqua, who who attends church there. Whitworth recognized the pastor and suddenly realized he was standing in the church where he’d been baptized 15 years earlier.

Whitworth, who has extensive knowledge of the Bible, now attends services regularly and hopes to receive his minister’s license to preach at the church soon.

Dozier said he appreciates organizations that are willing to hire people with a criminal record.

“It’s a risk that Goodwill takes, but it’s something they need to be  proud of as well, helping not only Darnell but helping the community keep him out of trouble,” he said.

Many of those present for the judge’s visit to Goodwill, including Whitworth, shed tears as he talked about his road to recovery, his rediscovery of his faith and how his mother and his four children can now be proud of him.

“Yes, I did something — I accomplished something,” he said. “I get to just live a life, a chance I didn’t get to do when I was drinking and not caring.”

When the judge admonished him to keep working and stay on the right path,

Whitworth responded, “I’ve worked too hard to go back.”

About Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.
For more than 55 years Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has provided job training and job placement free of charge to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment through the sale of donated items. In 2014, Goodwill served 28,159 people in Middle and West Tennessee and placed 9.558 people in jobs. More information about Goodwill’s Career Solutions, retail stores and donation centers can be obtained online at  www.giveit2goodwill.org or by calling 1-800-545-9231.

 

 

 

 

FirstBank Conducts Goodwill Donation Drive

Sixteen Branches Gather Gently Used Clothes, Household Items from Customers and Employees

Sixteen FirstBank branches around middle and west Tennessee are conducting a donation drive for Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee to benefit its mission of providing employment and training opportunities for people struggling to find a job.

The drive will last throughout the month of March. Bank employees, customers and the community are encouraged to participate by bringing their donations of gently used clothing, shoes, housewares and other goods into the bank, where clearly marked bins will be set up to receive them.

“FirstBank is very involved in our communities and always take the opportunity to give back when we can,” said Jordan Waldron, FirstBank’s vice president of marketing and public relations, explaining why the bank chose to hold a Goodwill donation drive. “Our goal is to fill as many bins as we can. We know that every little bit helps and makes a difference.”

Participating branches can be found at:

  • 126 Highway 641 North and 21 N. Forest Ave. in Camden
  • 2202 Fairview Blvd. in Fairview
  • 1927 Wilson Parkway in Fayetteville
  • 510 Columbia Ave. Suite 106 in Franklin
  • 855 Conference Dr. Suite 100 in Goodlettesville
  • 28915 Broad St. in Hollow Rock
  • 15 University Parkway in Jackson
  • 4110 N. Mt. Juliet Road in Mt. Juliet
  • 615 Memorial Blvd. and 2670 New Salem Highway in Murfreesboro
  • 2121 Abbott Martin Road and 211 Commerce St. Suite 300 in Nashville
  • 450 Tennessee Ave. South in Parsons
  • 200 W. Main St. in Smithville
  • 417 S. Lowry St. in Smyrna

More information about the drive can be obtained by contacting Jordan Waldron, FirstBank’s vice president of marketing and public relations, at (615) 248-9761 or jwaldron@firstbankonline.com, and information about FirstBank is available at www.firstbankonline.com. More information about Goodwill corporate donation drives is available at giveit2goodwill.org/donate/donation-drives/ or call (800) 545-9231 to set up a drive today.

About Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.
For more than 55 years Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has provided job training and job placement free of charge to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment through the sale of donated items. In 2014, Goodwill served 28,159 people in Middle and West Tennessee and placed 9.558 people in jobs. More information about Goodwill’s Career Solutions, retail stores and donation centers can be obtained online at  www.giveit2goodwill.org or by calling 1-800-545-9231.

About FirstBank
FirstBank is the third largest Tennessee-based bank, with 48 banking locations across Tennessee and Alabama and mortgage locations across the Southeast. The bank serves every major metropolitan market in the state and, with $2.4 billion in total assets, has the resources to provide a comprehensive variety of financial services and products. FirstBank follows a community-banking model which began when the charter was issued in 1906 as Farmers State Bank, in Scotts Hill, Tenn. As Tennessee’s premier community bank, FirstBank is committed to its role as a leader in the communities it serves. That commitment is reflected by the Ayers Foundation Scholars program, a scholarship fund established by FirstBank Chairman and sole shareholder James W. Ayers to advance higher education for young people in Tennessee.