By: Duane Blankenship | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: June 2007
Thomas proudly displays the Goodwill Industries 2006 Annual Report, which bears his image on its cover.
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa recently celebrated 80 years of service with its 2007 Awards Luncheon. Over 700 people attended the event on May 8 at the Southern Hills Marriott Hotel, setting a record as the largest luncheon turnout ever.
Brian Hunt, chairman of the Goodwill Industries Board, began the luncheon by welcoming everyone in attendance. Goodwill Industries of Tulsa President David Oliver introduced Kristin Dickerson, news reporter for KTUL Channel 8, as Mistress of Ceremonies. Dickerson was upbeat and humorous in her remarks and told the audience, “With an hour of free time prior to our luncheon, I visited a Goodwill store on the way here and bought a nice pearl necklace. And it only cost me $2.”
Award recipients honored at the luncheon included the Tulsa City-County Health Department and the QuikTrip Corporation. Both organizations were recognized as Community Partner Award recipients. With more than 20 years experience in sales and human resources, Bobbi Dobbs was named Professional of the Year. Alorica, Inc., named Employer of the Year, was recognized for hiring 15 Goodwill graduates in 2006 and three so far in 2007. The Employee of the Year Award was given to Carol Hart. Hart has spent over 30 years with Goodwill and has taken on a variety of roles at Goodwill’s processing facility.
Goodwill offers many employment and training programs, which are funded in part by the sales of donated items in Goodwill stores. Hundreds of people have been given jobs that provide them with paychecks and benefits. As productive members of the Tulsa community, Goodwill employees know the truth and power of the company’s motto: “People working. Lives improved.”
Two award recipients spoke at the luncheon about the remarkable improvements made with the help of Goodwill in their lives and in the lives of their families. Both recipients received standing ovations for their accomplishments.
Another award recipient, Jeff Fulton was named Graduate of the Year. Homeless, jobless and battling chronic health problems, the army veteran turned to Goodwill for help. The TulsaWORKS program prepared Jeff for his job search. With help from Goodwill’s Supported Employment Program and a job coach, Fulton found work with Tulsa Public Schools’ food service. “Goodwill treated me as a human being, and that’s the way I think everyone should be treated,” said Fulton. “We all want to do the best we can.”
LaTricia Debose was named Achiever of the Year. Needing extra help before joining the workforce, Debose entered Goodwill’s Work Adjustment Training Program. She has since completed other programs. Goodwill’s Supported Employment Program helped Debose find a job, while TulsaWORKS taught her job and life skills. Learning about driving, caring for her twin girls, cooking and money management have improved her life. Now a dietary aide at Saint Francis Health Center, Debose and her two daughters are proud of her progress and accomplishments.
For more information on how you can help others in our community through Goodwill Industries, give the organization a call or visit Goodwill online at www.goodwilltulsa.org.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.