CHIPLEY — Mayor Linda Cain and Councilman Lee Dell Kennedy, on behalf of the Chipley City Council, presented Goodwill Industries-Big Bend, Inc. with a proclamation in recognition of Goodwill’s outstanding community contributions. The ceremony was held at City Hall.
The presentation was made to Goodwill Vice President of Human Services Stacy Larkin.
The intent of a proclamation is to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of city residents and non-profit organizations, to honor occasions of importance and significance to local residents and to increase public awareness of issues with the hope of improving the well-being of citizens.
Goodwill’s unique business model is what makes it a stand-out worthy of recognition. The organization accepts new or gently used donated items — like clothing, appliances, electronics and furniture — and sells them in retail stores. The sales of those donations fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs for people who have disabilities, lack education or job experience, or face employment challenges.
“We are honored for the recognition and thank the Chipley City Council for their endorsement,” said Larkin. “We believe in the power of work and are here to help people reach their fullest potential.
In recent years, Goodwill Industries-Big Bend, Inc. has begun to expand their attention to other supportive services including safe, accessible and affordable housing for people with disabilities and the elderly. In 2013 one such living community will be breaking ground here in Washington County.
Chipley Village will be Goodwill’s 12th apartment community in the Big Bend area. Each of the 15 units will be specially designed with wider doorways, lowered cabinets, roll in showers, and roll under counters along with other amenities to help people live independently. In addition, units can be equipped for people with visual and hearing disabilities.
The charity has also a successful Contract Services division which creates jobs by contracting with businesses and government to provide a wide range of commercial services including custodial, grounds keeping, packing and shipping and administrative support. Some of the businesses include Bay County Department Of Transportation, Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, Florida Lottery and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission. Approximately 75 percent of the employed staff in the Contract Services division have verifiable disabilities.
All of these important community service programs are funded through the sale of donated goods at the retail stores. Goodwill Industries International collectively reports $4.4 billion revenues and 82% of those revenues go directly toward supporting and growing community-based programs and services.