This Earth Day, Save, Shop at and Donate to Goodwill to Help People in Communities

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Goodwill’s commitment to sustainability and job creation makes for a happier planet

Every year, people clean out their closets and homes to start fresh for the spring season. This Earth Day, Marion Goodwill is encouraging people to live more sustainable lifestyles and help people in their local communities find jobs. In addition, people can shop at our Goodwill stores and save while collectively diverting more than three million pounds of items from landfills impacting environmental sustainability. By shopping at and donating to Goodwill, you can people find employment, and build their work skills.

Goodwill’s donation-resale model extends the life of clothing and other goods, and earns revenue for Goodwill job training programs, employment placement services and other important social services, such as credentials, job readiness classes, financial education, and more. Donating to Goodwill is a simple way to begin living more sustainably. Last year, college students at more than 55 colleges and universities participated in Goodwill Campus Move-Out donation programs. Students donated what they no longer needed to Goodwill before moving out of their dorms or apartments for the summer. In the process of giving these items a new life and collecting more than 1.1 million pounds of donations, the Goodwill Campus Move-Out programs collectively helped fund more than 26,000 hours of critical job training and placement services for the people in the various communities where the programs took place. Our Goodwill partnered with Ohio Wesleyan University on the move-out donation program.

“Revenue raised through the sale of donated goods creates employment opportunities and important social services to help transform someone’s life. This is all done through the simple act of cleaning out a closet,” said Bob Jordan, President, CEO of Marion Goodwill. “Making a commitment to reduce, reuse and repurpose this Earth Day is as simple as heading to the nearest Goodwill store or donation center.”

Every donation at Goodwill provides on-site training, access to computers for job search assistance, employment placement job training and other community-based services such as career counseling, financial education, industry-recognized credentials, and résumé preparation for anyone facing challenges to finding employment.

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Dispelling the “One Person Can’t Make a Difference” Myth

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Public awareness about the value of recycling is at an all-time high, but currently fewer than 35 percent of households and 10 percent of businesses in the United States recycle, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Sometimes the enormity of a problem, such as massive amounts of waste headed to our landfills, keeps people from taking small steps that could add up to make a big positive change. It’s the “one person can’t make a difference” myth.

November 15 is America Recycles Day, an initiative of Keep America Beautiful. This national commemoration is the perfect opportunity to raise public awareness while encouraging action, because every person can make a difference.

Marion Goodwill Industries is a proud supporter of America Recycles Day. Environmental sustainability has been central to Goodwill’s mission since its founding 111 years ago. Goodwill’s donation-resale model extends the life of usable clothing and other goods, and earns revenue for Goodwill job training programs, employment placement services and other important social services that benefitted more than 6.7 million people last year alone. In the process, thousands of tons of waste are diverted from landfills.

Goodwill offers this advice for America Recycles Day in hopes that occasional recyclers will become regular recyclers.
1. Make it simple.
2. Make it meaningful.

This model works successfully for Goodwill’s donated goods retail business. We provide easy-to-access donation drop-off points in convenient locations. We demonstrate how donations make a positive impact on the donor and the community: Donations are sold in stores. Store revenues fund job training and career services. People get jobs. Families grow stronger. Communities thrive.

The model can work for recycling as well. Breaking down your efforts into simple steps can help. To start, choose to recycle one item — whether it’s newspaper, aluminum or glass — for six months. After that time period, start recycling a second item that you use regularly until it becomes a habit. You can continue to add to your recycling efforts as they become part of your daily life.

Then, understand that your actions have impact. For example, recycling one aluminum product can save enough energy to allow you to listen to a full music album on an iPod. Recycling 100 cans can light a room for two weeks.

Whether you donate regularly to Goodwill or just recycle your aluminum cans, you help dispel the myth that small acts aren’t important. On America Recycles Day, it’s appropriate to celebrate all the ways we collectively and individually protect the planet.

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