Bob Pedersen told how the Goodwill Movement began 110 years ago by Dr. Edgar Helms, a pastor at the Morgan Methodist Chapel in Boston. Now, there are 166 independent autonomous Goodwill organizations generating $4.3 billion each year.
Goodwill Industries of Northcentral Wisconsin is the 14 largest Goodwill in the country. It has retail stores for donated goods; post retail; provides vocational, community/diversity, financial and family programs and services; and a Community Center that contains 24 agencies providing a one stop shop for programs and services. Last year, Goodwill touched the lives of 48,000 people.
Bruce Senn took us on a tour of the Shiner Center which is currently undergoing a $3.5 million remodeling project including a production area, warehouse and outlet center. The outlet center is the last chance for the public to purchase items by the pound which gives Goodwill a new customer base. The area with the most growth potential is e-commerce – shopgoodwill.com. Goods Made Good was established to use material to design patterns and make products such as scarves, skirts, handbags, etc. Goodwill not only provides training and work opportunities for those with barriers to employment but also tries to find innovative ways to sell or use items donated so that they stay out of the landfill. The renovation of the Shiner Center should be completed by February 2013. By: Kathy Dreyer