In 2009, after watching a string of teenagers who committed criminal activities come through his courtroom, St. Louis, MO, Juvenile Court Judge Jimmie Edwards took action. Along with MERS/Missouri Goodwill Industries and St. Louis Public Schools, he founded the Innovative Concept Academy, a school dedicated to addressing the needs of students at risk of delinquency. Edwards has been selected by the editors of People magazine as a finalist for the publication’s 2011 People Readers’ Choice Hero campaign based on his work with the academy. The winner of the campaign, determined by public vote, will receive $10,000 to use for his or her charitable cause.
Sherry GordonWhen you’re facing challenges finding a job, talking to people who’ve been in your shoes and found success can give you the encouragement you need to keep your head up during the tough times. In late 2009, we launched Goodwill’s “My Story” series, giving job seekers coming to our page the chance to hear and read the first-person stories of people who have improved their lives through the Goodwill job training, career placement and volunteer programs your donations help support. Almost two years later, we are honored to share our 100th story on the site.
For some job hunters, finding affordable business attire to wear to interviews can put a strain on already-tight budgets. Goodwill® agencies in the Greater Washington-Baltimore region and Pennsylvania are helping area job seekers dress for success, thanks to a regional clothing drive partnership with ZIPS Dry Cleaners. Called Will2Work, the partnership aims to collect donated suits, dresses, blouses and slacks that adults from disadvantaged backgrounds can wear to job interviews or to the office once they are hired.
Maria Swartz, a single mom who never finished high school, assumed a career was out of reach until she was introduced to Goodwill Industries of Colorado Springs’ new Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training program. The course includes classroom and lab instruction, hands-on clinical training and valuable experience at Goodwill day programs serving individuals with disabilities and other special needs. Goodwill staff members help students prepare for the CNA exam and help place them with local health care providers after graduation.
All Americans remember where they were on September 11, 2001. It was a sad and frightening day that left many of us feeling vulnerable and unsure of our safety as Americans. Despite the shock and the sorrow, we refused to let the attacks weaken our great nation. We emerged from that day with a renewed commitment to one another, united with a common goal to help strengthen our communities and our country. This weekend, we reflect on how the Goodwill enterprise rallied to support workers and employers in the wake of the tragedy, and how that spirit of service continues 10 years after the attacks.
For many low-income job seekers trying to achieve economic stability, landing a job is only half of the battle. Monthly car payments can quickly drain already limited resources, and without a vehicle, just getting to work can be a challenge. In Michigan, growing numbers of low-income families are getting the vehicles they need to travel to work and run basic errands, thanks to Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan’s Workers on Wheels (WOW) program. The Goodwill agency has worked with a local car dealership, Jack's Auto Sales and Services, for the last 12 years to get the most value out of their vehicle donations.