As spring approaches, many of us clean out our houses of unwanted clutter and decide to donate these items. The environmental impact of this is huge with millions of pounds of unwanted goods being recycled and given a second chance for someone else to purchase and use. However, donated goods also have the power to change lives!
Organizations, like Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake, Inc. receive and sort through thousands of pounds of gently-used clothing and other household items each day to help keep millions of pounds of goods from polluting the Earth each year. Additionally, the proceeds from these goods help fund job training and placement programs for individuals struggling to enter the workforce.
By donating to Goodwill, you are taking part in a Circle of Hope, and you not only keep the environment clean but fund an economic engine that helps individuals in our very own communities here in Baltimore and on the Eastern Shore who need help finding employment. When these individuals find jobs, they are helping the community move forward, and the process starts over again.
In 2015, Goodwill received over 34 million pounds of donations, helping keep the environment clean for future generations. That’s almost 55 pounds of donated goods for every person in Baltimore! Over 430,000 pounds of computers were recycled through a partnership with Dell Reconnect, which then refurbishes and recycles electronics responsibly.
Donors and shoppers are critical to Goodwill’s success. Goodwill’s ultimate goal is to help eliminate poverty, one client at a time, while also helping to build a sustainable Maryland. This is achieved through material donations from the public sold in Goodwill’s 29 retail locations. Last year, Goodwill was able to help place over 3,300 individuals into the workplace. Intensive job training and job placement programs help make sure these individuals are ready to work by focusing on training that teach job readiness skills, boost their work history and help them advance their skills.
Goodwill’s overall employment strategy is to develop partnerships with employers to provide them quality employees and beneficial employment opportunities. Some of these partnerships include a 17-week certified culinary program with St. Vincent de Paul, a 12-week Culinary Arts Training program with The Maryland Food Bank, a 16-week Certified Nursing Assistant training program operated by St. Vincent de Paul and the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), an eight-week cashier training program at ShopRite Food Stores, and a Certified Apartment Maintenance Technician Certification with the Community College of Baltimore County. Goodwill also works with employers by holding hiring events for those expanding their workforce with multiple staffing opportunities.
Some positions can be extremely difficult to fill with employees who are “job-ready.” Goodwill focuses on training individuals to help them learn job readiness skills, boost their work history, and help them advance their skills. Goodwill’s education and training programs help individuals achieve success in fields like healthcare, manufacturing, retail, customer service, and hospitality.
Additionally, Goodwill partners with community organizations, schools and businesses to coordinate donation drives on a temporary and permanent basis.