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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Goodwill Industries, Job Training

Mission: We sell donated goods to provide employment and training opportunities for people who have disabilities and others who have trouble finding and keeping jobs.

Results: In 2009, we served 11,237 Tennesseans with employment and training. Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee is based in Nashville, Tenn. The agency employs more than 1400 people and serves 46 counties throughout middle and west Tennessee. We operate 33 retail stores, including an outlet store, 66 donation sites and 15 Career Solutions offices. Goodwill is middle and west Tennessee’s largest employer of people with disabilities with 90 percent of our workforce reporting some type of disability or disadvantage.

Geographic areas served: Middle & West Tennessee

Programs: Provides training in job seeking skills (employer expectations, completing job application, resume development, interview skills, finding job leads) and job retention support services for a minimum of 90 days after person begins employment.

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

8

Donor

Rating: 5

When I was a kid, I would go to Goodwill to find the perfect addition to make my Halloween costume that year authentic. During my early 20's, I worked as a news reporter. Many stories I covered had tragic endings. The only good that came out of these awful situations was the kindness of stranger's hearts. Complete strangers would donate items that could help what was so wrong become right again. Some people didn't know how they could help, they didn't have their own possessions to give up or the money to spend on brand new items. Goodwill was a constant resource for those that wanted to contribute. One man I interviewed said he went from Goodwill to Goodwill location trying to find a couch big enough for a family of four, who lost their home in a fire, to be able to sit on as a family. He couldn't afford a new couch, but this is what he wanted to give the family and he found that gift at Goodwill. I remember the last thing he said before we wrapped up was, "What's better than being able to sit on your own couch?" As highly as Goodwill stood out in my mind, it wasn't until my late 20's that I saw the benefit of shopping at Goodwill to decorate my home, my wardrobe and my heart. It's a good feeling when someone compliments a lamp or vase in your kitchen or a cashmere sweater you got for $7.99. When I donate to Goodwill, there is a satisfaction in knowing the items you bought for whatever reason, that no longer hold value to you, will become of value to another. That's how Goodwill decorates my heart. The only thing about Goodwill that I believe would be a neat, interesting and beneficial addition, would be to have, on specific items, an explanation of where they came from, the background of how that particular piece got into your hands. I realize not all items carry this sort of history. I recently donated a red and white polka dot, strapless dress with red crinoline to the East Nashville Goodwill. I couldn't have paid more than $25.00 for that dress when I purchased it off the clearance rack at a New Jersey Macy's 5 or 6 years ago. When I dropped it off, along with many other random items that no longer have a place in my life, I wanted to attach a note to the dress that read: "Every time I wore this dress, I had a great time. Please have fun when you wear it too." - Gina B, Nashville, TN. Yes, individuals go in and buy personal items at Goodwill and people get a paycheck to work there, but I see Goodwill's main goal as giving back, paying it forward and putting others first.