Celebrating 90 Years - Stories from the Community

by Lauren Robinson, Seattle Goodwill
February 20, 2013

As part of our 90th anniversary celebration, we are asking the community to share their Goodwill memories with us. Read two of our favorite stories so far, and then take a minute to share your own Goodwill story!

Roller Skating to Mt. Si High School

Mary Heileson - 1966

It was May of 1966 and as celebration for turning from juniors to seniors, a few of us girls decided it would be fun (and it was) to get a lot of roller skates, bring them back to school for our fellow soon-to-be-seniors, and skate from the tiny town of Meadowbrook, just up the street, back to school one day before we would formally become seniors. We would be making a Serious Senior Silly Statement. But where to get a LOT of roller skates? One of my friends suggested the Goodwill, so one Saturday off we went in my 1956 four-door Ford thirty miles to the Seattle Goodwill to get as many pairs of skates as we could afford and handle. Now these weren't shoe skates. They were the old "keyed" models, made of heavy metal with metal wheels. And if memory serves, they were about 25 cents each. I'm guessing we spent around eight dollars (a bit of cash back then) for around 32 pairs of skates (Mt. Si was a small school). On Skate Day we trotted the short way up to Meadowbrook, clipped on the skates as best we could, and skated very slowly and perilously on part sidewalk, part gravelly asphalt back to campus. I'm pretty sure we weren't "sanctioned" to do such a "wild and crazy" prank, and it may not have garnered all the attention we had hoped, but we did have fun. AND we learned that you could get all kinds of stuff at the Goodwill! I have been a loyal customer ever since.

Huge Help for Immigrants

Nina Folden – 1955

My mother and father arrived here from Finland to start a new life here. Both spoke very little English and had to scramble for work. Back then they had no government support at all - they relied on the generosity of friends and neighbors. When they finally found a modest apartment on Beacon Hill they were told where they could find slightly used but wonderful household items and furniture at an affordable cost - the Goodwill.  Goodwill is where they found everything they needed, and they continued to go back, especially when I came along... then they needed baby items. Great memories - always loved the popcorn! Happy Birthday!!

Check out our 90th anniversary timeline to read more Goodwill stories and share your own!


Lauren Robinson is the Digital Communications Coordinator at Seattle Goodwill.

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