March 2017: What do you see when you look through your closet? The suit you haven’t worn in years? Five nearly identical white blouses? The shoes you promise you’ll wear someday?
When Goodwill Industries of Tulsa sees your gently used clothing and household items, they see the beaming smiles of confidence and accomplishment of the over 6,000 individuals served in their training and placement programs in the past year.
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa is celebrating their 90th anniversary in 2017– 90 years of operating with integrity, treating others with respect, upholding commitment, celebrating diversity and providing space for empowerment.
“This anniversary just gives us an even greater reason to celebrate,” said Nancy Webster, the director of community relations. “We’ve been privileged to serve the community for 90 years, and are excited to continue growing our programs and the number of people we serve.”
A staple in the community since 1927, the mission of Goodwill Industries of Tulsa is simple: to provide work opportunities, job training and support services for people with disabilities and other employment barriers.
“Our employment and job training programs also focus on job retention which truly transforms lives, now and into the future,” Webster said.
When you donate to one of the Goodwill’s 28 Donation Centers, or shop at one of the 11 area retail stores, you directly support the company’s mission. In 2016 alone, 469, 933 people donated 21 million pounds of clothing and household items. The revenue that was generated by the sale of those goods allowed Goodwill Industries of Tulsa to provide job training and other related services to 2,156 individuals, and to serve 3,935 people through their Goodwill Job Connection program. During 2016, Goodwill training participants filled 593 jobs in the community, and graduated with GEDs and other certifications.
Goodwill’s TulsaWORKS Career Academy offers occupational skills training for various industries: computer skills, employment essentials, Computer Support Tech, forklift/material handing operation, hospitality services, and unarmed private security training; each course is licensed by the Oklahoma Board of Private Vocational Schools. In the tradition of Goodwill Industries’ founding motto, “A hand-up, not a hand out”, program participants receive the tools they need to help themselves. These tools include: resume workshops, mock interviews, interview clothing and job fairs.
Rita Gilliam, director of retail sales said, “We’re always looking for opportunities in the community to determine what programs we can provide that will meet a need and help people to be successful in the work place.”
Interested in becoming a part of Goodwill’s mission? There are three major ways to get involved: donating monetarily or with gently used goods, shopping at Goodwill stores or by calling Goodwill to volunteer.
“We’re so thankful for the support of the communities we serve and we believe that continued support will increase when people see our mission and vision in action,” Gilliam said.
Lend a hand and visit Goodwill today to see why they’ve been helping others for almost a century.
See more about Lending a Hand for 90 Years: