Sponsored by: Palmetto Goodwill
When you pull up to a local Goodwill retail store with a trunk full of items to donate, you’re relieved to rid your house of some clutter. You feel good about giving your unwanted items a second chance instead of tossing them in the garbage.
But do you realize how your clothing, books and household items are transforming the lives of people here in the Charleston area? That blouse or coffeemaker you no longer need may seem insignificant as you put it in a donation box, but the sale of those items in a Goodwill store generates funds for much-needed community programs.
More than 90 cents of every dollar from Palmetto Goodwill’s retail stores go toward programs and services for people with disabilities and other barriers to employment in the Lowcountry.
Local businesses and organizations partner with Palmetto Goodwill to put people to work in custodial service, warehouse operations, mailrooms and ground maintenance. The Naval Weapons Stations employs Goodwill workers in its galley.
Thanks to local donations and shoppers at the retail stores, Goodwill provided job training and employment services to 43,297 individuals in lower South Carolina in 2016. Goodwill also helped 1,847 people find jobs through its Job Link Centers, Hire Me! events and other programs.
And for people like Allen Jones, a job with Goodwill has had a life-changing impact.
About five years ago, Jones went to work in the galley, cleaning pots and pans. Assistant Project Manager Scott Kinney says Jones was shy and timid at first. He didn’t interact much with the other employees or patrons. Over time, Jones came out of his shell, growing more confident and developing his people skills.
Now, Jones is the one training new employees and taking on any task asked of him.
“It’s awe-inspiring the growth he’s had in five years,” Kinney says. “Allen is one of the hardest workers we have in the galley.”
Goodwill’s goal is to train, support and challenge individuals to overcome employment obstacles and gain greater independence through work – individuals like Jones.
Named Palmetto Goodwill’s 2016 Achiever of the Year, Jones says he’s so impressed with what Goodwill has done for him and others.
“It means a lot to me,” he says. “I never thought I would do something like this.”