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Tidying up may be personally life changing, but donating those unwanted shirts, shoes and DVD players to nonprofits like Goodwill of Southern Nevada can also spark joy for your local community.
“Last year, we received over 780,000 donations from the Southern Nevada community, and we were able to divert over 26 million pounds from local landfills by reselling these items in our stores,” said Goodwill President and CEO Rick Neal. “The donations not only help people reuse items; they also help fund our mission services and career coaching programs.”
Goodwill operates two of those career centers in the Las Vegas area. One’s at The Boulevard Mall, and the other is inside the Goodwill store at North Rainbow Blvd and Alta Drive.
Anyone looking for a job can get help -- no appointment necessary. Employees match job seekers with a career coach, teach free workshops and provide support services. Goodwill recently added a mobile career coach program where Goodwill services are brought directly to job seekers at The Shade Tree, Veterans Village and other partner locations.
In 2018, Goodwill helped over 8,500 job seekers receive services and over 2,900 people get jobs. They also opened a new career center as part of its Veteran Integration Program.
Veterans and their spouses get help with skills like resume writing, mock interviews, how to dress for success and assistance with clothing and transportation. The program helped over 1,400 veterans and spouses with job training and placement services just last year alone.
“People want to do good for our community, so they donate their items to Goodwill and generously contribute financial donations to our Gift of a Job program,” Neal said.
There’s also been a large increase in thrift shoppers. America’s thrift apparel market was worth $24 billion in 2018, and it’s expected to eclipse the fast fashion market over the next few decades.
“Unlike other thrift stores, Goodwill is a nonprofit organization and reinvests back into the local community,” Neal said.
Donations to Goodwill are a big part of how the nonprofit was able to help an unemployed forklift driver named Steven Bankhead pay for a commercial driver’s license course. Goodwill also helped Bankhead connect to a program to provide rental assistance.
“I can’t thank Goodwill enough. I’ve never been in this kind of situation before, and I tried everything to just make it through my training,” Bankhead said of his experience with Goodwill’s career center services and career coach. “I knew I had a job lined up, but there’s no way that I could’ve got through training without Goodwill’s help.”
Bankhead is just one of many success stories Goodwill has highlighted on its blog. The nonprofit has also employed high school students with disabilities and hosts an annual summer camp program.
Goodwill of Las Vegas has been nominated for Best of Las Vegas, cast your vote at votebolv.com/goodwill
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