Goodwill - More than Deals, Donations, and Discounts
Dropping off donations.
Those images may dance through one's mind when thinking of Goodwill.
But Goodwill is much more, and Director of Marketing Crystal Hardesty wants to make sure everyone is well aware.
“Goodwill is much more than a store or a place to drop off donated items,” Hardesty said. “Our mission is to help people become independent through education and training leading to employment. When you support Goodwill, you’re really making an impact on people’s lives and for people right here in South Carolina.”
Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina (Goodwill) has been impacting lives in our state since 1973. Goodwill Industries, which was founded in Boston in 1902, employs over 850 people in S.C., including 23 at the newest location in Lexington.
Goodwill recently joined the Greater Lexington Chamber and celebrated its membership with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the store located at 4708 Sunset Blvd.
“The Lexington community has been supporting Goodwill for many years,” Hardesty said. “This location gave us (Goodwill) the opportunity to give back with an additional access point for those needing employment services, and the addition of a convenient donation center and a convenient, pleasant shopping experience for the community.”
One of Goodwill’s primary services is Goodwill Job Connections, which helps job seekers access the resources they need to find employment. This includes resume development, job search and application, and employability skills. The next step is actually connecting them with open positions. Goodwill also helps employers find qualified applicants through pre-screening and referral services and job fairs.
Goodwill also offers employment training programs. This provides intensive training and certification for people interested in careers in manufacturing, retail, food service, custodial, call center and as certified nurse aides.
The retail side of the business offers quality merchandise at a great value.
“Our employment services are designed to provide each individual with the support they need to find jobs,” Hardesty said. “Our employment specialists work with each client one-on-one and truly care about helping each and every person find success in employment.”
The company’s intent is to continue offering meaningful, high-quality services to assist people who are looking for jobs and to make it as easy as possible for people to access those services.
It’s a job that can be very gratifying.
“We talk a lot about the ‘power of work’ - what a job can mean in someone’s life; how it affects their self-esteem and self-image. It’s amazing to hear the stories of people who have come to Goodwill believing that they can’t be successful, or dealing with obstacles that may feel insurmountable, or not knowing what the next step may be,” Hardesty said. “People feel such joy and accomplish when they DO succeed and know how it feels to have steady employment and the ability to provide for themselves and their families. It’s truly a transformation, and it’s such an honor for us at Goodwill to be a part of it.”