During this season of giving, Goodwill reminds us all that helping others can be much easier than we think.
Throughout the year, all items donated to Goodwill do more than pass to the next user. In fact, donations made to any one of the many Northwest Indiana locations support Goodwill community programs that offer support, training, education, and job placement.
“Donations to Goodwill come full circle,” said Chief Mission Officer Kelly Nissan. “We take something that would be thrown away and turn it into cash that supports our mission and builds a better community.”
As a social enterprise not-for-profit, Goodwill has spent the last 120 years supporting local communities and providing opportunities for training and for work.
Every donation made to Goodwill helps make that mission a reality.
“We are a not-for-profit that does more than take monetary donations,” said Mark Ziegert, Vice President of Retail Operations. “We go further by using gently used goods to provide services.”
In Northwest Indiana alone, Goodwill operates community programs that provide education, training, and support services to community members in need.
“Funding that comes from the retail side is paired with funding that we receive through grant applications,” Nissan said. “When we say that those donations create jobs, it's far more than that.”
With each donation, Goodwill sells or recycles that item. Revenue generated from these donations goes directly to our community through free programming.
“The profits generated from retail operations offset the services we offer for education, training, and ultimately job placement and job security” said Nissan.
Understanding that we all need assistance to get on our feet, Goodwill’s Northwest Indiana programs are quite varied.
For example, clients can attend a Goodwill Excel Center and obtain a Core 40 high school diploma. Additionally, new mothers can have support adjusting and caring for their babies through the Goodwill Nurse-Family Partnership program.
“Nurse-Family Partnership has always been close to my heart,” Ziegert said. “I have two daughters, and when you think about Indiana’s infant mortality rate, it’s staggering. Anything we do to help stem that tide and support our most vulnerable get a better start to life is wonderful.”
Nissan feels the same way and advocates additional programs such as the S.A.V.E. (Stand Against Violence Everyday) program in South Bend to protect our community as well.
“S.A.V.E. is a two-pronged approach to addressing group violence,” Nissan said. “First, we have a team of responders who work in partnership with the South Bend police department. Then, they work with the family as liaisons to stop future violence.”
In 2022 alone, Goodwill used community member donations to serve over 13,000 people and recycle over 22,000 tons of material.
When considering what to donate, Ziegert encourages community members to think beyond clothing and book donations.
“We obviously always take clothing,” said Ziegert. “However, we always need more household items such as pots, pans, and decor.”
To make donating even easier, visit Donate-Goodwill.org to learn more donating and how to schedule a home pickup.
To learn more about Goodwill and where you can donate, please visit Goodwill-NI.org.