Most people think of Goodwill as just a thrift store. But our business is really about changing lives. As a not-for-profit leader, Goodwill offers job training and other services to help people with disabilities and disadvantages achieve their independence. Through Goodwill; job seekers, individuals with special needs, families and other members of our community gain self esteem and become independent, self-sufficient citizens. Lives are changed through the Power of Work.
Goodwill was conceived in 1902 by Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister in Boston. He created jobs by collecting unwanted household goods, then employing people to repair and resell them. The income from resold goods paid the worker’s wages. In turn, the reclaimed items became available to anyone at affordable prices.
Goodwill Industries of East Texas is a “not-for-profit”, tax exempt (under section 501-C-3 of the IRS tax code), charity.
Goodwill Industries of East Texas has 2 stores in Tyler, 2 stores in Longview, and 11 stores in the surrounding towns of Mineola, Canton, Athens, Palestine, Jacksonville, Henderson, Kilgore, Gladewater, Marshall and Carthage. In 2008, we provided low cost, high quality items to 600,000 customers. Customers can include persons wishing to stretch their personal needs budget further; collectors, flea market resellers, furniture/antique refinishers/restorers, do-it-yourself costumers, and value shoppers/treasure hunters in general.
At our Extended Employment Center (sheltered workshop), named Opportunities In Tyler, we cut lint free, re-useable paper towels, bake dog cookies, and make scented candles.
Goodwill is a service provider authorized by TIBH and DARS. TIBH, who oversees state purchases from the blind and handicapped and DARS, the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services are state contracting agencies. We have just begun to work with a federal agency (NISH).
For TIBH, we have several state set-aside contracts for litter pick-up/grounds maintenance at local office buildings, I-20 rest stops, and state parks. We also provide grounds maintenance to private residences and local businesses.
For, DARS, we perform Vocational Evaluation tests. We provide Work Adjustment, Job Quest, Vocational Adjustment, Personal/Social Adjustment training. We provide Job Placement, Job Coaching and on-the-job (OJT) support. And, we offer counseling from a degreed Licensed Professional Counselor and Career Focus consultations.
For NISH we are repackaging disaster relief supplies to be distributed through FEMA.
In addition, we are a sub-contractor to local manufacturing companies and provide packaging and assembly labor for labor intensive, highly repetitive, simple tasks. These contracts are performed at our Opportunities In Tyler workshop where we employ over 60 individuals who are so severely handicapped that they couldn’t work in regular competitive situations and are qualified under section 14c of the Department of Labor compensation code.
We provide jobs, on a daily basis, to between 400 and 450 people. In 2008, we paid over $5 million in salaries and wages that equates through a ripple effect, to an economic impact for the community of close to $15,000,000.
At the same time that we provide jobs, we also act as a stepping stone for individuals to move on to better paying, long term, permanent employment. In 2008, we issued W-2’s to approximately 625 – 650 different people.
In 2008, Goodwill Industries of East Texas diverted from the landfill over 3,000 tons of donated items to third party users. Textile items may have been shipped to third world countries for sale there or converted into other products such as oil cleaning rags in garages. TV’s, vacuums, etc. may have been cannibalized for parts and resold in a used appliance store. Goodwill is part of the Dell Reconnect computer de-manufacturing process. We have also diverted almost 400,000 pounds of e-waste.