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Copyright 2021 Goodwill Industries of the Valleys
Copyright 2021 Goodwill Industries of the Valleys

Goodwill Industries of the Valleys: Leading the Way in Giving Back to the Lynchburg Region

James Black

Goodwill Industries of the Valleys serves thirty-five counties and fourteen cities throughout Central, Southwest, and Southside Virginia, and their mission is to help people and families in the Lynchburg region achieve a better life through work and independence.

Since 1931, Goodwill Industries of the Valleys has been committed to serving people in need in the Lynchburg region. Originally established as a three-story brick building on Norfolk Avenue in Roanoke, the original Goodwill facility had a cabinet, shoe shop, store, mission hall, and 32 rooms for the homeless. The organization as we see it today was created in January 2000 through the merger of four similar organizations with similar missions and values, including the New River Valley Workshop, Developmental Center of Franklin County, ARC, and Goodwill Industries Tinker Mountain.

The organization serves not only the Lynchburg region but also dozens of counties and hundreds of localities, as far north as college towns like Harrisonburg and Charlottesville and as far south as areas in rural southwest Virginia, including Wytheville. Goodwill Industries aims to give individuals in these communities the service and help they need to get back on their feet through job training and employment services. Available programs can help assist individuals with disabilities, disadvantages, and job seekers pursuing improved employment opportunities.

Across the Lynchburg region, the numbers show how Goodwill Industries is making such an incredible impact on the area. In Lynchburg, the Goodwill store on Wards Road employs 22 combined full-time and part-time employees and contributed $685,000 to the company’s mission in 2019 after consistently raising over $500,000 in the three years prior to 2019. Additionally, the Old Forest, Timberlake, Madison Heights, and Forest locations, contributed $293k, $262k, $388k, $755k, and $572k in 2019, respectively.

In Madison Heights, Goodwill Industries also operates a recycling center, which recycled 2,347,160 lbs. in 2019, but still managed a respectable 1,964,997 lbs. of recycling in 2020 despite an obvious downturn from the COVID-19 pandemic. From a donated goods perspective, five Goodwill employees and one district manager work out of that hub.

Additionally, Goodwill Industries, through its “Mission Services” provided employment services to 40 individuals with disabilities, as well as job training and employment services to 33 older workers through the organization’s “Senior Community Service Employment Program”. In the Lynchburg region, the nonprofit’s “Good Care Health Service” featured the most active participation, featuring 140 individuals who participated in training as part of the service and helped 65 individuals enter careers in the healthcare field averaging a wage of $14.35 an hour.

In 2019 alone, Goodwill Industries provided services to over 38,200 youth, adults, and seniors, and 2,921 of these individuals were placed into competitive employment in their respective communities, as well as 2,550 individuals who earned credentials while participating in Goodwill programs. These incredible achievements were made possible in part by customer-driven revenue totaling $432,230, plus 661 donations from individuals or businesses, and over 1, 166,710 material donations that helped drive revenue for the organization. Additionally, 89 percent of Goodwill’s revenue went directly to help support their training and employment programs.

The cycle of customer revenue going to support the organization’s employment training programs helps fulfill what Goodwill’s President and CEO, Bruce Phipps, calls the “Circle of Hope.”

“The Circle of Hope begins when you choose to donate and shop at Goodwill. Store sales fund training and employment programs that empower people to achieve their greatest level of independence and have hope for a brighter future” explained Phipps.

Organizations like Goodwill Industries of the Valleys are leading the way in community outreach and development in the Lynchburg region. As the country, and the world continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, Goodwill is setting the stage for other nonprofits to grow and prioritize service to the communities in which they are located. This philosophy can also serve as an invitation, for other organizations who want to not only grow exponentially but make their communities a better place in the process, to come to the Lynchburg region and make their home here just as Goodwill has.

To find volunteer opportunities and to learn more about Goodwill Industries of the Valleys, click here: https://sharegreaterlynchburg.org/nonprofit/goodwill-industries-valleys