Before coming to Goodwill Finland I drifted around for years studying, working fixed-term employment contracts and being unemployed. I also had some health problems. The puzzle of my life was always missing some pieces. I graduated from Business School in 1994 with a major in accounting, and then I did my military service in 1995.
Earlier this month, Goodwill San Antonio (TX) and it’s community partner Starbucks celebrated Veterans Day by unveiling a mural by acclaimed artist Jesse Treviño, a veteran who painted the mural to honor the men and women who have served in the United States military.
Last week, Goodwill Ambassadors – community members who volunteer and support Goodwill Manasota’s (Sarasota) work throughout the area – from the First United Methodist Church of Sarasota donated 30 turkeys and Thanksgiving baskets to the organization's Veterans Services Program. These items were provided so that area veterans could enjoy a delicious holiday meal with their families.
Like millions of workers, my day starts with a commute. While the mere mention of the word, “commute” is enough to make most workers groan, my ride is a daily highlight because it takes me past a list of must-see Washington, DC sites, starting with the Marine Corps (Iwo Jima) Memorial, and continuing with Arlington National Cemetery. Whether it’s Veterans Day, Memorial Day or any other day of the year, as my thoughts drift from the wife and kids to my daily to-do list, these adjacent memorials never fail to give purpose to my day by reminding me of the sacrifices made, and being made, by people who have served in the armed forces and their families.
On October 22, Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina (Winston-Salem) held the Women’s Employment and Empowerment Symposium to serve female veterans, service members and others in the community. The first-ever event welcomed about 30 participants.
After serving our country and returning home, some veterans find themselves homeless. Many receive help from local programs to get them back on their feet. But, as they transition into their own homes, they often don’t have a bed to sleep in or table and chairs. Goodwill Industries of Michiana (South Bend) committed to resolving this issue by hosting a donation drive in partnership with the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association. The D-Day Donation Drive, called “Operation 4D” was the first partnership of its kind for the agency.
On August 15, women dressed as Rosie the Riveter welcomed 248 veterans and their families to a 1940s-themed party hosted by Goodwill Manasota (Sarasota, FL) to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Veterans from all military branches, wars and conflicts attended, dancing the night away to the sounds of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey and the Andrew Sisters.
At the end of President Lincoln’s second inaugural address, he implored a war-weary nation “…to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan….” All the country was aware of the sacrifice. From big cities to small rural towns, there was either direct destruction because of the civil war or their soldiers had been lost or wounded in battle. As in most of his addresses to the nation, Lincoln spoke to both current and future generations.