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    Sarnia Goodwill Kicks Off Year-Long Anniversary with Free Concert and Welcome Luncheon

    Jim Gibbons at Sarnia receptionOn May 5, Canadian singer-songwriter Justin Hines performed a free concert to kick off a year-long 80th anniversary celebration of Goodwill Industries – Essex Kent Lambton (Sarnia, ON). HVM Holdings and Glenn Recycling sponsored the concert, which was held at the Imperial Theatre.

    “Looking back on our organization’s 80 years of success, I’m struck by our community’s overwhelming support,” says Chief Executive Officer Kevin Smith. “From our humble beginnings in 1933 to present day, particularly over the last 10 years, we have seen our organization double and triple in size. We have gone from two locations to 14, including two career centres. Every year we help thousands of people in the three counties we serve.”

    Hines, who was born in Newmarket, Ontario, has a strong philanthropic streak. Not only has he performed at many fundraising events, he founded the Justin Hines Foundation, a charitable foundation for people with disabilities. This concert was part of a six-week tour called The Vehicle of Change during which he will help to raise money for various charities.

    On May 6, Jim Gibbons, the president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International, spoke at a breakfast hosted by the Sarnia-Lambton Chamber of Commerce. He also spoke at a luncheon hosted by the Sarnia Goodwill where he announced that the Goodwill agency will become the first Canadian Goodwill to receive the prestigious Centre of Excellence award from GII.

    “They’ve given out four [of these awards] a year for 10 years and this is the first time a Canadian Goodwill has been chosen as a Centre of Excellence,” said CEO Kevin Smith. He is attending the Goodwill International conference in Washington D.C., May 17 to be formally recognized.

    During his speech, Gibbons urged employers to anticipate their employment needs and work with Goodwill to facilitate a mutually beneficial training and development program.

    “A growing segment of the population, nearly one in six Canadians, has a disability,” says Gibbons. “That is why I am urging employers to consider the unique talents, perspectives and contributions that people with disabilities bring to the workplace. People with disabilities are hardworking, motivated and enthusiastic about doing a good job, and it costs little to nothing to accommodate them in the workplace. Every person deserves the opportunity to reach their fullest potential through the power of work.”

    Other anniversary events this year include the official opening of the Sarnia Goodwill One Tomato Community Garden on May 31, donation drives, a charity golf tournament and more.

    Dara Kahn
    Dara is Goodwill Industries International's communications project specialist. She works across the agency's communications team, helping with regular web communications and writing for various organizational publications.
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