By Jennifer Tucker, Mission Services Director
Goodwill Industries Week is to the mission services department, as Halloween is to our retail division … it’s better than Christmas. Celebrated nationally each year on the first full week of May, it’s our chance to put Goodwill’s mission in the spotlight.
In my eight years working with various Goodwill agencies, I’ve lost track how many times a member of the community would ask me which store location I worked at. Retail is our public face … but oh, there is so much more! Goodwill stores, and your donations for that matter, make it possible for us to invest in a variety of job training and employment services. If you think about it, Goodwill is a community commodity. Your donations, purchases, hiring of Goodwill program participants, and trust in us to connect you to good jobs, are what makes us thrive. In 2012, the revenue generated by our retail stores made it possible to place 1,824 people into competitive employment in our West Michigan community.
Having just recently come on board as the mission services director, I was pleased to be a part Goodwill Industries of West Michigan’s Achievers of the Year Luncheon held on May 8. This event was a great way to celebrate the mission-related work we do and the people necessary for our success. In particular, the spotlight shone on individuals and employers we have worked with throughout the year that have demonstrated success through employment.
Four of our community’s employers were honored for their support towards our mission at the Achievers of the Year Luncheon, including Peterson Farms, Century Foundry, Hazekamp Meats, and Medallion Instrumentation Systems. To see photos of the employers accepting their awards, click here. I was awed at the collaborative spirit and passion these employers demonstrated. It was obvious to me it wasn’t just about the bottom line for these four employers, but about investing in the community as well.
Selecting just four individuals that exemplified Goodwill’s mission was no easy task. The achievers that were chosen stood out for a variety of reasons. Shannon’s perseverance and positive attitude, Alfred’s journey to overcoming society’s perceptions, Dalton’s passion for providing for his family, and Debbie’s ‘can-do’ spirit, are all outstanding examples of why we at Goodwill do what we do. To view the stories of Shannon, Alfred, Dalton, and Debbie, click here.
I am very grateful to the community for continuing to invest, partner, and support Goodwill so that we can continue to provide opportunities for people with barriers to employment.