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D Movement: Donate Forward March 20 – 26

One of my favorite movies, “Pay It Forward,” starred Haley Joel Osment who portrayed a 12-year-old boy who wanted to make the world a better place. In the movie, he does a favor for someone, without any expectation of being paid back. That simple concept was a hit off the silver screen in the U.S. and beyond. A social movement was born with the only expectation being that for every request you make, do the same for others. Pay it forward.

As I think about the history of Goodwill, when in 1902, Boston’s Rev. Edgar J. Helms, had a desire to make his community a better place through the act of giving people a chance to earn a living. Rev. Helms would gather burlap sacks and visit the wealthier residents in his community asking for items they no longer needed or wanted. After collecting the donations, Rev. Helms took the items to his church where people repaired what was broken and then sold the used goods. He didn’t believe in charity. The reverend gave people an opportunity. Those he worked with found success through their own efforts and with work, they gained the dignity that comes with earning a paycheck. Like the young boy in the movie, his goodwill efforts became a movement that would eventually grow internationally.

This simple concept of reciprocity is still central to our mission here at Goodwill. With every donation made to Goodwill, we feel a sense of obligation to pay it forward by giving someone an opportunity to earn a living. We believe it begins with us being good stewards of your donations and ensuring that we maximize your donations to have the greatest impact on individuals, families and our community.

From the time we receive your donation, your donations are supporting a growing list of free job training programs and continuing services offered by Career Solutions. How so? When you donate to Goodwill, things like clothes, small appliances, furniture, and toys, at one of our 67 Donation Express Centers, your donations provide jobs and free job training services.

Each item is handled by an attendant, many of whom may have some barrier to employment. The journey continues when the items are transported to our Goodwill’s main processing plant in Nashville where each piece is processed by Goodwill employees for resale, many of whom have disabilities or other disadvantages. Your donated items are then sent to one of our 30 retail stores for resale.

Once each item sells, with the help of our retail staff, again many of whom have come through our job training programs, the revenue from that sale supports our community-based employment and training programs. Thanks to you, these programs provide thousands of hours of free classes and on-the-job training to thousands of individuals in our communities who have an economic, educational, social or vocational barrier to employment.

The bottom line? When you donate forward, your donations become an investment in the futures of the thousands of individuals who participate in our programs and services each year, and an investment in our communities. It’s a good thing!

Join our movement during the week of March 20 and donate forward.

Have you calculated your impact?

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