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Foundation helping Goodwill Industries reach funding goals

By Staff | Aug 18, 2009

The Southwest Florida Goodwill Foundation, launched in October, is looking to assist Goodwill Industries’ goal of helping disadvantaged people.
Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida has been helping the community for more than 40 years, said Carolyn Johnson, vice president of development. While most people know about Goodwill stores, many do not know about other services for the disabled or indigent.
There are four areas that will benefit from the foundation’s fund-raising efforts — the youth division, job skills training division, planned giving and general giving — that serve Lee, Collier, Hendry, Charlotte and Glades counties.
The troubled economy has made fund-raising operations difficult, but Johnson is trying to spend the rest of the year educating the community about the foundation.
“It’s kind of a great vehicle to get out there and educate the community on what we have been doing for 40 years and tying in the fact that we have a foundation,” she said. “We will operate as a foundation does, which is to set aside funds to help keep our programs and services going.”
President and chief executive officer of Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida Tom Feurig said Goodwill’s mission is the backbone of the foundation.
“Having the foundation will ensure that Goodwill’s programs and services will continue to grow and meet the needs of an ever increasing number of individuals that need a hand up in our community,” he said.
In Southwest Florida there are 27 Goodwill retail and donation centers and 95 percent of sales revenue benefit local services. The Southwest Florida Goodwill Foundation will help to further secure these programs.
Goodwill programs include transportation for people who are employed or seeking employment, the L.I.F.E. Academy Charter School that serves students with disabilities ages 11 to 22, and creation of low-income housing for people with disabilities.
Career development programs also help thousands of people in finding a job by offering job placement and coaching. In 2006, the department helped more than 3,000 people.
Those in the community who are interested in donating to the foundation can contact Carolyn Johnson at 995-2106, ext. 247, or visit: www.goodwillswfl.org.