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Here Are the Latest Big Stories from Goodwill Industries’ Newsroom

goodwill logoNow in its 12th decade, Goodwill Industries continues to make an impact in communities nationwide through its programs and activities that help people live more independent and fulfilling lives. Today, corporations, staff members, and community supporters help advance the organization’s work, which focuses on providing job training for youth, seniors, veterans, and individuals with disabilities or criminal backgrounds. As Goodwill prepares for another year of service, take a look at some of the group’s recent news highlights.

 

General Motors Invests in Job-Training Initiatives

Thanks to an investment of nearly a half-million dollars from General Motors, Goodwill organizations in three US communities are adding or expanding job-training programs for local residents. With the investment, Goodwill and General Motors have launched the GoodProspects for Careers initiative, which will be implemented at Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit, Goodwill Central Texas (Austin), and Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona (Phoenix).

GoodProspects will focus on building specific job skills needed in each community. In Detroit, Goodwill is partnering with Henry Ford College to help individuals earn an automotive technician certification. For their part in the initiative, Goodwill Central Texas and Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona will both offer digital skills and computer literacy training to help job seekers enter careers in the IT field.

 

Goodwill Industries Recognizes National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Since its founding in 1902, Goodwill Industries has become a national leader in providing career training and support services for individuals with disabilities. Currently, Goodwill employs over 28,000 people who tackle each workday while dealing with some sort of cognitive or physical disability. Each year, the organization highlights the importance of advocating for people with disabilities by taking part in National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), which is observed every October.

In 2018, the NDEAM theme of “America’s Workforce: Empowering All” aligns perfectly with Goodwill’s mission to help all job seekers develop the knowledge and skills needed to find employment. Goodwill commemorates NDEAM by highlighting the ways in which American workers with disabilities contribute to various industries. Goodwill also uses the month-long awareness event to call for additional support services aimed at reducing the unemployment rate among those with disabilities, which is more than double that of individuals without physical or mental impairments.

 

National and Local PSAs Celebrate Goodwill Shoppers

For the last five years, the Ad Council has partnered with Goodwill to raise awareness of the organization’s programs focused on job skills and career development. In September 2018, Goodwill and the Ad Council announced the launch of a new national ad campaign called Bring Good Home. Through print, TV, and digital PSAs, Bring Good Home highlights how each purchase made by a Goodwill shopper helps fund local initiatives that prepare people for careers in various industries, including retail, information technology, manufacturing, and health care.

In addition to the national ads, the campaign features social media activations that encourage people to share their favorite Goodwill finds using the hashtag #BringGoodHome. The advertising agency Digitas created the campaign, which is supported by digital media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Teemo. Since the Ad Council and Goodwill began its partnership, the resulting PSAs have helped drive over 360 million pounds of donations to local Goodwill organizations across the country.

 

Walmart Foundation Grant Extends Operation: GoodJobs Program

In its efforts to help veterans and military families gain financial stability, Goodwill Industries oversees Operation: GoodJobs, a national initiative that helps people overcome the sometimes-difficult transition from military service to the civilian workforce. Launched in 2012, the initiative was developed using a $1 million grant from the Walmart Foundation. Following a successful pilot program in two states, the Foundation provided an additional $5 million to expand services into 12 communities.

Since its launch, Operation: GoodJobs has reached over 7,800 people in California, New York, North Carolina, and Texas. In May 2018, the Walmart Foundation gave Goodwill another $5 million grant to continue the program for an additional three years. With the grant, Goodwill has expanded Operation: GoodJobs to include South Carolina. The next phase of the program will focus on providing career-development resources and job training for female veterans, who are among the fastest-growing groups in the veteran community.

 

Goodwill Takes Home Award for Social Media Campaign

Goodwill Industries recently partnered with Sony Pictures Entertainment on a social media campaign that reached millions of people through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms. The Spider-Man-themed initiative challenged social media users to create their own Spider-Man costumes using materials sourced entirely from Goodwill stores and/or the organization’s online auction site, shopgoodwill.com.

The success of the campaign caught the attention of Engage for Good, which oversees the Halo Awards to acknowledge outstanding social impact programs from businesses and nonprofit groups. For its work, Goodwill was awarded the 2018 Silver Halo Award in the Best Social Media Activation Initiative category. In total, the campaign reached over 9 million social media users and chalked up an impressive 828,000 views on YouTube.

More information about Goodwill’s recent activities is available at www.goodwill.org.

 

Disclaimer: This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy or validity of any statements or information provided on this website. Do not rely on this information as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another professional healthcare provider. You should seek immediate medical attention if you think you are suffering from a medical condition. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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Spotlight on the Latest News from Wounded Warrior Project

wounded warrior projectAs Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) celebrates 15 years of service, the veteran-focused organization continues to provide a variety of programs designed to enhance the lives of former and current military members and their families. In addition to improving veterans’ physical and mental well-being, WWP helps them to gain independence through social activities and career-development initiatives. The organization also oversees a variety of programs to serve the spouses, caregivers, and other loved ones who support the nation’s military members. Here is a look at recent WWP news from across the country.

 

Veterans and Supporters Participate in Inaugural Carry Forward Event

In San Diego, veterans and military supporters took part in the first-ever Carry Forward, a unique 5K fitness challenge designed to raise money for WWP programs and activities. During the event, which occurred on October 6, 2018, at Liberty Station NTC Park, participants pushed their physical limits by carrying a flag, weights, or another person while running or walking a 5K course. All participants completed the challenge as individuals or squads of three or more runners.

A total of 706 people and 140 squads participated in the 2018 Carry Forward San Diego. Their support, along with that of virtual participants, raised over $45,000, which was just shy of the event’s $50,000 goal. WWP is also holding 2018 Carry Forward challenges in Nashville and Jacksonville, Florida.

 

Soldier Ride Crosses the United States

Along with Carry Forward, WWP hosts several other fund-raisers and awareness events, including Soldier Ride Across America. Launched in 2003, the Soldier Ride program engages veterans and caregivers in multi-day adaptive-cycling events. The main Soldier Ride events occur in mid-summer, but teams of cyclists recently completed a special Soldier Ride Across America in commemoration of the program’s 15th anniversary.

During the cross-country trek, three teams biked nearly 3,300 miles in just under one month. The first team of cyclists set out from One World Trade Center on September 8, 2018, and traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, where a second team took over and began traveling to Lubbock, Texas. From there, the final team started the last leg, which finished in San Diego on October 7. Each of the 36 men and women who took part in the journey rode approximately 1,000 miles while helping to raise money and awareness for various WWP initiatives, including its job training, adaptive sports, and combat recovery programs.

 

WWP Leads Suicide Prevention Efforts

Since its inception in 2003, WWP has been committed to assisting men and women with mental health issues associated with their military service. As part of these efforts, leaders from the organization recently testified before the House Committee on Veteran Affairs to discuss approaches to meeting the unique challenges that some wounded veterans face after returning from combat.

During the testimony, Mike Richardson, WWP’s vice president of independence services and mental health, discussed how a multi-pronged approach to prevention and treatment can effectively reduce post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. He also described how WWP programs such as Warrior Care Network and Project Odyssey have been successful in assisting wounded veterans. In addition to advising Congress on suicide best practices, WWP recently launched its #ShineTheLight campaign to raise awareness of suicide among veterans.

 

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Golfers Raise Money for Warrior Care Network

Each year, the Blue Angels Foundation teams up with WWP to host the Konica Minolta Golf & Tennis Classic with the goal of helping to improve mental health care for wounded veterans. Over the weekend of October 4-7, participants in the 2018 event hit the links at Del Mar Country Club and The Park Hyatt Aviara Resort Golf Course in Carlsbad, California. A tennis tournament was also held during the weekend at the Aviara Resort’s tennis facility.

In addition to enjoying golf, tennis, and fun activities, Konica Minolta Golf & Tennis Classic participants helped to support WWP’s Warrior Care Network. The Network is a collaboration between WWP and four academic medical center partners: Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, Massachusetts General in Boston, UCLA Health in Los Angeles, and Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Since it launched in 2016, the Warrior Care Network has delivered over 92,000 hours of mental health therapy to veterans across the country.

 

WWP Elects New Leadership to Board of Directors

In a September 2018 press release, WWP announced that its volunteer board of directors had elected Dr. Jonathan Woodson and Kathleen Widmer to serve as its new board chair and vice chair, respectively. Both leaders are experienced board members and have a military background. Dr. Woodson is a brigadier general in the US Army Reserves, and Ms. Widmer is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point who served for five years in the US Army.

In addition to electing a new chair and vice chair, WWP welcomed two new board members: Lisa Disbrow and Michael Hall. Two other board members, Anthony Odierno and Roger Campbell, departed because they had reached their term limits. WWP’s nine volunteer board members work throughout the year to assist the organization in meeting the various needs of wounded warriors.

Disclaimer: This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy or validity of any statements or information provided on this website. Do not rely on this information as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another professional healthcare provider. You should seek immediate medical attention if you think you are suffering from a medical condition. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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A Look at the Top Policy Priorities at Wounded Warrior Project

wounded warrior projectAlongside its enrichment programs to improve the lives of veterans and their families, Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) promotes a variety of advocacy initiatives to ensure that those in the military community continue to receive the government support they need. Towards this end, members of the organization’s Policy and Government Affairs team identify and campaign for policies that improve veterans’ services and assist caregivers and military families.

Over the years, WWP has played a key role in advancing legislation and policy initiatives that have improved Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs and created new opportunities for veterans who require care outside of the VA. The organization’s efforts have also led to increased financial assistance, training, and healthcare coverage for caregivers and veterans living with life-altering injuries. Read on for a closer look at some of the current advocacy activities that WWP is pursuing on the local and national level.

 

Promoting the FAIR Heroes Act

Since November 2017, WWP has been leading a coalition of 15 military service organizations pushing for the passage of the Fair Access to Insurance for Retired (FAIR) Heroes Act, which was introduced by Senator Bill Nelson of Florida and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. The Act could help veterans with serious injuries save on healthcare costs by allowing them to choose between Medicare Part B and TRICARE, a low-cost insurance plan for active military members, military retirees, and their families.

Under current law, many veterans with serious injuries qualify for both Medicare and TRICARE but are forced to purchase Medicare Part B coverage, which is nearly five times more expensive than a TRICARE plan. It’s estimated that nearly 30,000 veterans nationwide could stand to benefit if Congress passes the FAIR Heroes Act into law. Other organizations that support the legislation include the Military Order of the Purple Heart, AMVETS, and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

 

Creating Support for Family Caregivers

Many post-9/11 veterans living with combat-related physical and/or mental health issues rely on the daily assistance of family members and other caregivers. Because WWP understands this fact, the organization works to ensure that caregivers have access to all the services and resources they need. WWP strongly supported the passage of the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010 and has since worked closely with the VA to help the department effectively implement its Caregiver Support Program.

WWP recently advocated for the passage of the VA Mission Act, which President Trump signed into law on June 6, 2018. In addition to streamlining the VA’s community care programs and healthcare delivery systems, the law contains provisions expanding eligibility for the Caregiver Support Program to more veterans. The law also requires the VA to implement information technology solutions to manage and monitor the program. WWP is now working alongside other veterans groups to ensure that the VA Mission Act receives proper funding without triggering cuts to other VA programs.

 

Enhancing Services for Female Veterans

In recent years, women have become the fastest-growing demographic in the military. They now comprise 8.7 percent of the country’s veteran population and 16 percent of WWP alumni. To help ensure the availability of programs and services tailored to the specific needs of female veterans, WWP has been advocating for the Improving Oversight of Women Veterans’ Care Act of 2017.

woman

If passed into law, the Act would require the VA to submit an annual report to Congress on access to its female-specific services such as family planning, mammograms, and gynecological care. It would also require VA medical facilities to submit quarterly reports to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs addressing their compliance and non-compliance with environment-of-care standards for female veterans.

Along with working to improve oversight of care for female warriors, WWP is focused on creating more gender-specific peer-support programs for veterans. The organization is increasing the number of all-female alumni workshops and support groups, which are currently in high demand. WWP is also advocating for the passage of H.R. 4635, a bill that would require the VA to increase the number of counselors providing peer-to-peer services specifically for women veterans.

 

Advancing Mental Health and Toxic Exposure Research

Since its founding over 15 years ago, WWP has been leading efforts to better understand and treat combat-related mental health issues. The organization has been particularly focused on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), which are the most prevalent injuries facing veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. In addition to working to improve mental health services for PTSD and TBI through its Warrior Care Network, WWP pushes the US Congress, the VA, and the Department of Defense (DoD) to advance research into these issues.

WWP is also advocating for more research to examine how exposure to toxic chemicals has affected post-9/11 veterans. Military members who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts may have been exposed to a range of chemical and environmental hazards from fuel and exhaust fumes, chemical spills, and open burn pits used for waste disposal. WWP is currently partnering with other veterans groups to ensure that veterans and military families are aware of ongoing research as well as the risks and effects of exposure to toxic substances.

 

Disclaimer: This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. This information is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy or validity of any statements or information provided on this website. Do not rely on this information as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another professional healthcare provider. You should seek immediate medical attention if you think you are suffering from a medical condition. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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Here Are the Top Community Partners at Wounded Warrior Project

As one of the nation’s top veterans services organizations, Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) oversees a range of life-changing programs for those who have served their country. The organization also supports family members and caregivers of veterans by assisting with Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense claims and providing opportunities for military families to connect with one another in their communities. In 2017 WWP invested $166 million into programs that promote wounded veterans’ physical and mental health, emotional well-being, and independence.

Although WWP already offers programs in a variety of areas, the organization is always looking for better and more efficient ways to improve the lives of those in the military community. WWP extends its reach by working with individual volunteers and corporate supporters as well as a network of community partners. This network includes nonprofit groups working to assist veterans and military families throughout the country. The following is a closer look at WWP’s top community partners:

 

America’s Warrior Partnership

americaswarriorpartnershipThe mission of America’s Warrior Partnership is to bring veteran-focused nonprofits together to improve various initiatives for military families. Rather than working directly with veterans, the solution-based organization provides support, tools, and resources to help communities nationwide serve local veteran populations.

America’s Warrior Partnership’s signature initiative is its Community Integration program, which provides affiliate communities with a customizable framework for service in eight areas, including health, housing, education, and employment. America’s Warrior Partnership also oversees an annual symposium that educates veteran-serving professionals about the latest service solutions available.

 

Military Child Education Coalition

militarychildeducationcoalitionBased in Texas, the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) works with individuals and organizations across the country to ensure military children have access to quality educational opportunities. MCEC focuses much of its work on helping military installations and surrounding school districts address the academic and social needs of children who move multiple times and must deal with family separation throughout the school year because of their parent’s or parents’ military service.

In addition to a number of programs and training events for educators and other school professionals, MCEC offers various resources for military-connected parents and students. Through its Parent to Parent program, the organization conducts workshops that empower military families to advocate for the needs of their children. MCEC also oversees Student 2 Student, a national program that helps ease transitions to and from schools for military children in grades K-12.

 

Team RWB

teamrwbIn its mission to enrich the lives of America’s military veterans, Team RWB oversees physical and social activities that help veterans connect with one another and their communities. Team RWB activities include athletic and exercise events, community service projects, and small social gatherings. In 2017 the organization held more than 47,000 events in cities across the country. Team RWB currently serves over 137,000 veteran members through 204 local chapters nationwide.

 

National Military Family Association

NMFAAs the name suggests, the National Military Family Association (NMFA) is focused on supporting the spouses, children, and other family members of those serving in the United States military. Since its founding in 1969, the organization has played a key role in advancing several initiatives benefiting military families. The group’s past successes include helping to pass the Survivor Benefit Plan and extend Supplemental Security Income benefits to military families stationed overseas.

More recently, NMFA established a scholarship program for military spouses and launched its Operation Purple youth camps and family retreats to help families reconnect and take a break from the stresses of military life. The organization also provides information and resources on a variety of topics.

 

Team Rubicon

teamrubiconTeam Rubicon leverages the skills and experiences of military veterans to support emergency response efforts around the globe. The volunteer-led organization comprises 65,000 registered members who work alongside first responders and medical professionals in areas affected by natural disasters. Although veterans are not the focus of Team Rubicon’s mission, the organization provides a purpose, community, and identity to help individuals transition from life in the military.

Since 2010, Team Rubicon members have provided nearly $11 million in volunteer labor. Volunteers assist with disaster cleanup, incident management, damage assessment, hazard mitigation, and community rebuilding. The Team has responded to numerous natural disasters across the United States, including Hurricanes Harvey and Maria. Team Rubicon has also completed operations in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America.

 

The Mission Continues

themissioncontinuesLike Team Rubicon, The Mission Continues provides military veterans with the opportunity to continue to serve after their time in the armed forces ends. Volunteers with the organization work alongside other nonprofit groups to address issues facing their communities. The Mission Continues also deploys teams of volunteers to support cleanups, building renovations, and other community revitalization projects.

Along with holding local weekly, monthly, and quarterly events, volunteers with The Mission Continues take part in weeklong mass deployment projects in underserved cities nationwide. The organization also oversees a fellowship program for post-9/11 veterans and reservists who are interested in volunteering six months of their time in exchange for a living stipend and assistance with leadership and professional development.