Celebrating 90 Years - The Gift of Education

 
by Assunta Ng, Northwest Asian Weekly
February 28, 2013
 

Assunta and KenThanks to Goodwill, I’ve been able to secure deals and treasures that no one else can find. In fact, there were a couple of times when my finds were so desirable that other shoppers took items off my cart before I even paid for them!  Items you get from Goodwill always find a way into multiple hands. They are loved by multiple hearts.

Years ago, I bought a shoe rack from Goodwill for 7 bucks that looked brand new.  When I decided to donate it back to Goodwill, one of my employees intercepted and said, "Please, can I have it?"  Sure, I said.  And it made her day.  The dining room table set with chairs that I bought for my son’s apartment was also recycled among several of his former roommates and friends.

Goodwill is not just a brilliant business model, but it's also one which provides for needs in our community. The profits from selling recycled goods provide job training programs for the disadvantaged and the needy. Thanks to you - the donors, shoppers, and volunteers, Goodwill can continue to provide these services to the community.

I believe in Goodwill’s mission: Helping individuals get jobs and work towards self-sufficiency.  As an immigrant who came to this country from Hong Kong, I know how hard it is to find a good job and get on your feet.  That’s how I know Goodwill's programs are invaluable.

Not only was I raised in a traditional Chinese family, but I was also the product of a broken home.  So I had to fight my family to let me come to America.  My bold wishes and determination shocked my parents.

I was not afraid to go to America alone.  After a month of attending school in America, I started looking for work.  The only way to find a job was a bulletin board in the dormitory.  I took a job as a dish washer on weekends at the school cafeteria for $2.50 an hour.  I took other jobs along the way, babysitting, selling ice cream, and waiting tables.  

My grades earned me a scholarship at UW, so I was able to finish my studies without having to be as concerned about paying my tuition. That scholarship, and my education, was a great gift to me. When I think about the programs offered at the Goodwill, I think about how empowering the gift of education was for me.

What if my scholarship was a loan and Goodwill’s training programs weren’t free? It’s awful to be in debt. It would be a burden if I had to pay back all my scholarships.  Without that gift and opportunity, I would not have been able to save up the money to become the publisher of the Seattle Chinese Post and the Northwest Asian Weekly.

I see Goodwill as a company and organization that promotes sustainability on all levels, through reusing and recycling commercial goods and distributing money to services that can benefit and empower the community.

Photo: Assunta with Seattle Goodwill CEO & President Ken Colling

 


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


 

Assunta Ng is the founder and publisher of Seattle Chinese Post and Northwest Asian Weekly.  Assunta has spent decades working tirelessly as an advocate and prominent voice for Seattle's Asian community.

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