Goodwill® agencies joined an estimated three million Americans to take part in Make a Difference Day this past Saturday. USA Weekend Magazine started Make a Difference Day in 1992 and the observance has grown to be the largest national day of community service, a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors.
This year, agencies either performed community service projects or accepted the help of volunteers dedicated to supporting Goodwill and our mission of helping people find jobs.
- Michigan Technological University Alumni performed fall clean-up and winter preparation duties at the Goodwill Inn Homeless Shelter in Traverse City, MI. Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan (Traverse City, MI) operates the shelter, which provides emergency and transitional housing, food, and basic essentials to men, women, and children experiencing homelessness.
- Members of the Goodwill Southwestern Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh, PA) Youth Mentoring Program volunteered at the Northside Common Ministry, a nonprofit organization and collaboration of 30 local churches to meet the needs of the local homeless population. Projects included picking up litter, painting decks and weeding container gardens at the facility and organizing food at the food pantry
- Goodwill of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA) employees collected items to create hygiene kits for people who are homeless and receiving help from Hope of the Valley, a homeless shelter for families in the San Fernando Valley. Hope of the Valley offers meals, housing, health and healing programs for people who are homeless. Goodwill employees distributed the items last Saturday.
- Goodwill Industries of North Louisiana partnered with a local Girl Scout troop for a donation drive. The girl scouts were asked to collect five grocery sacks or two 25-gallon bags full of gently used clothing or household goods from friends, neighbors and family members for Goodwill. Their efforts helped them earn a patch.
- Participants of the Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina (Greenville, SC) GoodGuides youth mentoring program built a greenhouse and planted a community garden as part of a service-learning project for Make a Difference Day. The greenhouse helped residents of a retirement apartment complex and the surrounding community grow and harvest vegetables during the winter.
- Goodwill Industries of the Valleys (Roanoke, VA) GoodGuides program participants dedicated a community garden on Make a Difference Day. The youth in the GoodGuides youth mentoring program hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony as well as provided games, light refreshments and fun activities for members of the community.
The volunteer projects made a positive impact at Goodwill and the communities we serve. Shawn Weber, the operations manager of the Goodwill Inn Homeless Shelter in Traverse City, MI, facilitated a volunteer project. “We were very pleased to have had the volunteers share their time, enthusiasm and talents with us during Make A Difference Day,” said Weber. “The project made a positive, lasting impression on staff and also on those living at the shelter,” she said.