A message from Goodwill of Central Iowa CEO/President:
Right now, we need you. Here’s how you can help:
Hi Everyone! I’m Jackie Norris and I am the Proud President of Goodwill of Central Iowa.
I’m sitting here at Goodwill of Central Iowa headquarters and I’ll be honest, it’s a little quiet here.
On a typical day this place is bustling with people. Whether it be people in our food service training program in the kitchen, People in our warehouse logistics and packaging program in the warehouse or in our retail stores. We are almost completely closed and made that decision to support the health and well being of our employees, customers and program participants. And I really miss our employees – all 321 employees that we sent home and hundreds of our program participants.
Most people, when they think of Goodwill, they think of our retail stores. What they don’t know is that our retail stores serve as a training and employment center AND fund 83% of our programming. So, when our stores closed, our revenue dropped overnight. Honestly, we are going to struggle financially and we’ve had to make deep cuts to do it. Non-profits exist to serve the community, and do not have a substantial cash reserve to ensure survival during crisis.
Our mission, our reason for being, is to help Central Iowans earn and keep jobs through workforce training in our businesses and your communities. These are people with physical and intellectual disabilities, refugees and immigrants, reentering individuals from the criminal justice system. They need us now and as soon as jobs become available.
In the months to come, our employment services will be in record-high demand, once this health crisis is over. Unfortunately, without revenue from our retail stores for funding, our ability to meet this demand will be severely hindered.
Goodwill of Central Iowa is committed to having our stores, donation doors and programs back open as soon as it is safe to do so, but we need help from the community now. Usually, we only receive 2% of our revenue from fundraising. Think about that. Our retail sales and fee for service work fund us. But I need you this year.
We have set up a fund to help us get our mission programming back up and running as soon as possible so we can support our community moving forward.
I’m asking you to donate to our mission services fund. Here are four ways you can help
- Donate your money, as much as you can to support this great organization in the months and years to come. I know you are likely anxious about your financial health but please give what you can.
- Go to shopgoodwill.com/desmoines and buy something! That helps fund our mission.
- If you are a business that needs help – we provide business solutions. We are ISO certified, provide on time delivery and high quality results – and do lots of assembly, packaging and kitting services.
- Clean out your closets and set aside a box of donations for Goodwill. Your donations fund our stores and we will need them when we open up.
So in closing, I appreciate you for listening. This has been a very tough 11 days for the team at Goodwill. As the leader, I have to tell you, they don’t teach you this stuff in Leadership 101. I am grateful to the team and our board and ask you to keep our employees in your thoughts.
I appreciate you and I urge you to look for as many ways possible to support non-profits and local businesses during this time. They are the lifeblood of our community, and we need to band together to lift them up.
At Goodwill of Central Iowa, we know we will have a tough job ahead of us as we work toward re-building our workforce. We are ready to serve. Thank you for your continued support.