By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Retail | Issue: March 2010
Donations are down, and bins sit empty. Community Relations Director Nancy Webster asks residents to bring clothing and household goods to any Goodwill collection center to help keep people working.
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa is one of the largest employers of people with disabilities and other barriers to employment in the state of Oklahoma. Since the December, 2009 snow storm, donations of clothing and household goods to Goodwill have been down – way down. Nancy Webster, community relations director for Goodwill Industries of Tulsa, is making a plea to area residents to please take a look around their closets and homes to see if they have items that could be donated to Goodwill for their resale stores.
Each spoke in a wheel is critical to keeping the wheel turning effectively. The same is true for Goodwill. When you donate items, you are helping provide employee wages for those working at Goodwill who sort through the bins of donated goods. Because 2010 donations are running lower than expected, Goodwill has had to reduce the number of hours worked by some of the employees responsible for sorting donations.
After donated goods are sorted, they are distributed to various Goodwill retail stores throughout the area. The revenue keeps people working and keeps training programs operational. Job training programs provide workforce development that has a major economic impact on our community.
“Every organization must have an economic engine that provides the resources that allow it to support the programs that they offer,” said David Oliver, president of Goodwill Industries of Tulsa. “At Goodwill Industries, that economic engine is our donated goods program. It is the generosity of our community that provides the fuel that drives our economic engine.”
Tina Sweet shows off the spring collection at a Goodwill store.
Through your generosity of donated goods in 2009, Goodwill was able to employ nearly 600 individuals with disabilities and other employment barriers. Collectively, these people earned wages and benefits in excess of $7.2 million. Additionally, Goodwill provided job training and support services to more than 1,300 individuals with employment barriers. Goodwill provided job placement services that resulted in the placement of 337 individuals, who collectively earned more than $2.3 million in 2009.
The mission of Goodwill Industries is to provide work opportunities, job training and support services for people with disabilities or other barriers to employment. Through your past generosities in donating clothing and household goods to Goodwill, their mission has been made possible for over 80 years. Today, whether from bad weather or current economic conditions, Goodwill desperately needs your help in bringing donations up to a level that will ensure their ability to continue growing the impact of their mission. Although Goodwill retail stores are seeing more shoppers than ever, donations for 2010 are down 13 percent, according to Nancy. “If we are not able to keep the clothing racks and shelves full of merchandise, shoppers might become discouraged and not return to Goodwill to do their shopping.” To find a Goodwill donation center near you, call (918) 581-1200 or go online to 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.