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Kim’s behind-the-scenes look at Goodwill

February 28, 2012

We want to thank our blog readers, friends and supporters for your thoughts and condolences about our recent fire at the South Blvd. Goodwill retail store and donation center. For an update about our recovery efforts, please click here. The best way you can help us at this time is to donate to any of our other 30 local donation centers. Thank you Charlotte!


I was invited to take a tour of the Goodwill offices and training facilities late last year.  Honestly, I jumped at the chance to sneak a peek into the behind-the-scenes action of the organization that is a part of my life in so many ways.

I have been a Goodwill donator for years.  I make a regular habit of sweeping through my house for no longer used items.  Having a rapidly growing son made this a frequent occurrence in my household, whether it be clothes, toys or even household products as I have fine-tuned my design style.

Goodwill's "mission lockup" graphic helps illustrate how donations make an impact

These days, not a week goes by where I don’t visit at least one to three different Goodwill locations.  No longer am I just donating, but I’m now shopping or looking for inspiration for my bi-monthly blog posts for Wow! Goodwill.

Whereas I always felt great about donating “experienced” items to Goodwill, I have to say it was enlightening to learn not only about how Goodwill uses their proceeds from the sale of donations but also see in person what the operation looks like.

The timing of this visit, ironically, coincided closely to when I found myself out of work.  I am fortunate enough to where my chosen career path allotted me a generous severance package, which included career counseling.  In these hard times, this added benefit is even more valuable.  But not everyone has this luxury.  Goodwill fills this need in the community and then some.

Goodwill volunteer Elizabeth Cobb helps out a banking student

Taking a step back, there are few facts that I learned that I wanted to share.  Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont’s mission statement is “Changing Lives Through the Power of Work.”  Did you know that 90 cents of every dollar that Goodwill collects goes towards their training programs?  The remaining 10 cents funds funds the salaries and administrative/operational expenses of the organization.  The Career Development Center on Freedom Drive houses numerous resources for job seekers, including training programs in the areas of Banking/Customer Service, Hospitality/Tourism and Construction Skills.

They also have a Youth Services program which provides various soft skills training to youth, including a mentoring program as well as a program customized to serve a sector that has at least one barrier to employment.  It doesn’t stop there.  There is a Vocational Skills training program, as well as Operation Independence.  OI is dedicated to helping military veterans and their families make the transition to civilian employment.  More information on all of these programs can be found at

There are several ways you can contribute to Goodwill:

Taking your kids to Goodwill is a great way to teach them about donating!

Donate.  All donated goods are tax deductible.  Its a win-win. 

Purchase.  If you read Wow! Goodwill you will find a ton of inspiration for what you can find and do with your Goodwill purchases, for anything from home decor to keeping up with the latest fashion trends.

My hope is that most people who donate and/or shop at Goodwill know how the organization utilizes the funds generated from donations.  But if you learned something today, I hope it encourages you to donate/shop even more.

Happy Goodwill Hunting!

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