Marion Goodwill Honored With PALS Award

The Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE) exists to provide leadership, communication, professional development and advocacy for adult education and literacy practitioners in order to advance quality services for all adult learners. Thirteen thousand members strong, COABE provides competitive national-level awards, incentive grants, and scholarships opportunities annually through special funding provided by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

The Partners in Adult Learning Services (PALS) Award honors an individual or organization that is not employed in the field of education, but that has made an outstanding contribution to adult basic education/literacy as a community leader at the local state, regional, and/or national level. Contributions may be in one of several areas such as: legislative/public policy, leadership, instruction/tutoring, innovative services, initiating cooperative interagency activity, school/community/business partnerships or advisory committees.

Marion Goodwill is just one of the many Goodwill agencies serving across the United States, however it is a valuable partner to the Marion Technical College ABLE program. In January of 2012, the MTC ABLE program was informed that the program site located at Lincoln Center and owned by the Marion City Schools would no longer be available after June of that year as an ABLE site. The news was overwhelming. Lincoln Center was a site that was open mornings, afternoons, and evenings. It was located in the heart of Marion’s most economically challenged area and walking distance from many of the agencies and homes in the area. Thankfully, the Marion Technical College offered class-room space to the ABLE program on a relatively short-term basis. But the long range plans for the MTC space would prevent continuous use by the ABLE program. Plus Marion Tech is located on the edge of Marion and is not easily accessed by someone whose only means of transportation is on foot.

In the fall of 2012, Marion Goodwill had purchased a building which had previously been a bank. The plan was to use it for an additional office space for Goodwill staff. However, a chance conversation between a board member and the MTC ABLE Coordinator resulted in the exploration of the concept of the ABLE pro-gram using the building as a learning center along with Goodwill using some of the space for office and training. Exchanges of thoughts and ideas came furiously as the needs of the ABLE program were shared with the architect who incorporated them with the needs of Goodwill. November through January were months of incredible remodeling! The bank space became a computer lab area and two classrooms with the wiring for individual computer stations were incorporated. Doors opened in February 2013 to the staff and students of MTC ABLE. The building is formally known as the Goodwill Education and Training Center. It quickly earned the nickname of the GET Center. After everything was in place, the coordinator thoughtfully reflected on why she had not sought Goodwill as a partner earlier.

The mission of Marion Goodwill Industries, Inc. is to assist individuals with disabilities and other special needs to attain self-sufficiency through employment and training, thus enabling them to reach their maximum potential within the community. The mission of Marion Goodwill aligns perfectly with the mission of ABLE. Goodwill’s specialty is assisting clients to obtain and retain jobs—a measurement of the ABLE program as part of the National Reporting System. ABLE could focus on its strength—helping to improve people’s academic skills and partner with Goodwill to provide the soft skills needed to obtain and retain employment.

To be a good partnership, it should be beneficial to both participants. And this one is. The ABLE program has a location to provide educational opportunities to adults but Goodwill is also able to use the space for their pre-employment program that they offer free to the community. Their clients can use the computers and Internet access when not used by the ABLE students. It is definitely a win-win for the all involved.

Marion Goodwill received a $1,000 financial award plus a travel stipend and complimentary registration to attend our annual national conference which was held in Pittsburgh, PA on March 16-19, 2014 where they were recognized at a ceremony in their honor.





Goodwill Sale Delivers Five great Reasons to Declutter Your Closet

By Lorie Marrero

Elder Beerman Sale

Elder Beerman Sale

Getting organized is about making decisions, and sometimes we need help figuring out when to let go of that sweater, shirt or dress that never quite fit. Here are some things to consider as you’re deciding what to donate during the Goodwill Sale, taking place March 13 – 29.

•Make room for the new and useful: How can you get anything new if there is no room for it to go? And the things you use the most are harder to find and reach when clutter is in the way. The extra clothes are taking up space that could be for things you actually like and use.
•Later might never come: Do you get stuck saying “I might need it later?” When was the last time you wore that pair of jeans or boots? If it’s been over a year — and especially if it’s been over two years — strongly consider the possibility that you may never use it again.
•Save time and money: Is the maintenance of the item or the dry cleaning bills worth the enjoyment you get from it? When you factor in the bill to clean the item or the time caring for it, this kind of attention and time might be better used elsewhere.
•Simplify your decisions: Are you overwhelmed with choices? Getting clear on your favorite items in your closet means that you’ll have better visibility to things you really use and wear, and ultimately save time and stress every morning. Fewer choices mean easier decisions.
•Give “perfectly useful” items to others: The item might be “perfectly useful,” but is it useful to YOU? If you are ambivalent about keeping the item, would it make you feel better to know it was released to live out its full potential by meeting someone else’s needs and also helping the community? Donating it to Goodwill, for example, puts people to work! A bag of clothes may help provide an hour of on-the-job training. And jobs change lives. You can actually see the impact of your donations with the calculator at, and find your nearest donation center too.
Ultimately, one of the best ways to let go is to be grateful, acknowledge the role the item has played in your life, and then say goodbye. If items don’t accurately represent who you are or who you want to be, consider donating them to Goodwill and making your surroundings support you in your current life and goals.
Visit the Goodwill Sale website to learn how you can get involved.

%d bloggers like this: