Spring 2013

Letter from Ken

Dear Friends,

This year, Seattle Goodwill is celebrating our 90th anniversary!  Since 1923, we have helped individuals get the skills and training needed to become employed.  While programs have evolved over time to meet changing needs and emerging trends in employment, our mission has not. Having a job and with it the ability to support oneself and one’s family is as critical today as ever.

Ken CollingThis celebratory year is the backdrop for more exciting news at Goodwill.  In April, we opened our new building in Seattle that houses a flagship job training and education center where students can learn in a facility with lots of natural light, room to collaborate and facilities conducive to learning for all.  Our free job training programs are in the third year of a 5-year strategic growth plan that offers additional classes to more students and expanded support services such as case management and employment placement geared towards making our students ready for today’s workplace.

We have much to celebrate in 2013, including you - our shoppers, donors (of both financial and material donations) and volunteers who make it all possible. Please go online to our 90th anniversary page to learn more about our history and share your favorite Goodwill story.

With gratitude,

Ken Colling, President & CEO
Cathy Gibson, Board Chair


Goodwill's New Building

The new building for Seattle Goodwill’s Job Training and Education Center and Administrative Support Services opened in April 2013.  The 49,600-square-foot facility will allow Goodwill to expand its capacity to serve more individuals in the free job training and education programs and to offer our programs and services in a more dignified learning environment.

The new three-story building has classrooms, a Worksource drop-in center and a student lounge on the first floor with two levels above of instructor and administrative offices.  It is set back from the road to preserve a large Bartram Oak and create a small entry plaza. A two-story lobby and front porch wrapped in cedar siding articulate the design’s simple rectangular form.

The project is expected to achieve LEED Silver through energy efficiency, daylighting, water conservation, and stormwater retention and treatment.

The building is designed by Mithun; Foushée & Associates, Co., Inc. is the general contractor for the project.

New Building

The varying programs Seattle Goodwill offers train people for work and are adapted to meet emerging needs of employers in today’s culturally complex and high-tech work environment. Goodwill programs are designed to be relevant to the changing needs of our students and to help them learn the skills that are necessary to compete for entry-level positions and create career ladders.


A Brief History of Seattle Goodwill

Seattle Goodwill was founded in 1923 by a group of local business people who recognized a need for training and employment for those without job skills These founders established Seattle Goodwill at its original location at the corner of Boren Avenue and Virginia Street.Two years later, Seattle Goodwill moved to the corner of First Avenue and Cedar Street.

By 1930, the building at First Avenue and Cedar Street had become too small, and Seattle citizens raised the funds needed to purchase an old hotel at 1400 South Lane Street—the site of Goodwill’s current facilities.

Click on this link to read more about Goodwill’s rich history serving the North Puget Sound Region.


Celebrating 90 Years!

90 YearsIn celebration of our 90th anniversary, Goodwill encourages our local community to learn more about Goodwill’s history, to share their own story or to read about other community members’ stories at http://seattlegoodwill.org/90

“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.” – Assunta Ng, publisher of the Seattle Chinese Post and the Northwest Asian Weekly

Jess Estrada“I remember shopping with my grandma, aunts and mom. I found a lot of books and toys while they shopped for clothes! Goodwill (at the Dearborn location in Seattle) seemed so huge to me when I was little. It was like being in a big treasure trove every time.” – Jess Estrada, writer of lifestyle blog FreshJess.com




“The Seattle Storm and the Seattle Goodwill have had a valued partnership for many years. As a Supporting Partner of the Storm’s Go Green campaign, Goodwill has brought our fans information, recycling options and a lot of fun. From re-usable Go Green themed bags that Storm fans still use to offering players and even Head Coach Brian Agler the chance to shine on the runways during the annual Glitter Gala, the Goodwill has been an integral part of making the Storm community great.  Congratulations on 90 years from everyone at the Seattle Storm.”  – Seattle Storm players and staff

“In my position at Goodwill, I am able to see myself in the students that we help, and now I’m continuing the work of the people who helped me.  I know what it is like to be broken, both financially and spiritually, and what it means to have someone believe in you.” – Barbara Nabors-Glass, Vice President of Job Training and Education for Goodwill

Anna Ivarra“My whole house is from Goodwill.  I used to work at the Lynnwood Goodwill and it was one of my favorite jobs.  I still go to Goodwill about once a week.” – Anna Ivarra (Punk’n Pie, #57), Rat City Rollergirls



“I get huge satisfaction from both managing our site and teaching students. I believe everyone has potential, and it is inspiring to see the students gain confidence and skills.” – Elizabeth Acorda, Burien Job Training & Education Center Site Manager

“The first time I remember shopping at Goodwill was in high school. I needed a dress for a party and ended up buying a dress that I wore multiple times. When I first moved to Seattle after college and was living by myself, I would visit Goodwill all the time to look for furniture and items for my apartment.” – Darcy Camden, stylist and owner of Styled Seattle

“When I moved to Seattle in the 1990s I discovered the Dearborn Goodwill Store and would spend hours shopping, hunting for buried treasures. I furnished most of my apartment with Goodwill purchases. I also used to act in local plays and would furnish my own costumes with pieces I found at Goodwill. Even though I can afford to buy new goods, there’s just something about vintage and pre-loved items that appeals to me. Thrift store shopping is just part of my life, and Goodwill stores are my first choice.” – Tina Witherspoon, creator of glam.spoon, a blog and line of eco-chic clothing of the same name that incorporates recycled and re-purposed fabrics.

“Goodwill is about people for me.  The mission is demonstrated in the way we serve the community and the way that we treat each other.”– Arie Mahler, Donations Manager for Seattle Goodwill


Make A Financial Gift

Building the FutureEvery day, since 1923, Seattle Goodwill Industries in partnership with the community has been in the business of helping people in north Puget Sound communities transform their lives. Our mission is to provide quality, effective employment training and basic education to individuals experiencing significant barriers to economic opportunity. Because of those partnerships, people are building their futures, families are strengthened and our communities are enriched.

The programs we offer train people for work and are adapted to meet emerging needs of employers in today’s culturally complex and high-tech work environment. Our programs are designed to be relevant to the changing needs of our students and to help them learn the skills that are necessary to compete for entry-level positions and career ladders.

Through our shared commitment, we can work to reverse the cycle of poverty by helping people gain the skills needed to be successful in work and in life.  Will you consider joining the Building the Future Campaign by investing in our vision to changes lives one job at a time?

With your help we will:

  • Expand our workforce development by opening new or improving existing job training centers.
  • Grow our Career Pathways Program (college or vocational training) and Youth Year-Round Program.
  • More than double the number of people that we place in jobs.

If you are interested in joining or learning more about the Building the Future Campaign, contact Gina Hall at (206) 583-8055 or visit our campaign website at www.seattlegoodwill.org/buildingthefuture.

Thank you for your commitment to our mission and support of our programs.  With your help our vision for the future will be a reality.

Donate Now


The Life Cycle of a Donation

To support our nonprofit mission of free job training and education, Seattle Goodwill’s goal is to optimize the value of every single item that is donated to us.  This also makes Goodwill a significant contributor to a better environment for all of Puget Sound through recycling useful items and diminishing landfill.

Where do your material donations go? On an average day, Seattle Goodwill puts 100,000 unique, quality items on the sales floors of our 22 stores.  To further maximize the overall value of our donations, items of high value are placed for sale on one of our online sites, including shopgoodwill.com, Amazon and eBay.  Each of these sites allows buyers to find items they can use, thereby extending the life of the donation.

If an item is not sold in our stores, it is taken to one of two outlet centers (located in Seattle and Everett) where customers can purchase items by the pound.

Then, if an item still does not sell at an outlet, Goodwill has an extensive list of companies who will purchase this merchandise.  This helps Goodwill maximize the value of an item and continue to be good stewards of donated goods.  These companies include metal recyclers, textile resellers, and toy resellers.  Last year Seattle Goodwill sold 38 million pounds of merchandise to support our mission of free adult job training and education.

Seattle Goodwill is also a certified E-Waste collection site, allowing us to recycle computers and computer parts.

By making your material donations to Goodwill, you are not only providing education and job assistance for those facing economic barriers to employment, you are also helping the Earth.  Thank you for your support.

The Goodwill Way


Job Training & Education

Jobs change lives by providing a means to be independent, secure and confident. That’s why Goodwill offers job training and education programs to people in the community, as well as help finding a job. All completely free.

The people who come through our doors are a diverse group, from single mothers and recent immigrants to ex-offenders and adults who never finished high school. But everyone is looking for the same thing - a better life. They take that first step towards their future. We help them create a path to get there.

Goodwill’s job training and education programs benefit more than just our students - they enrich our whole community. The workforce grows, and companies can hire knowing they are gaining a well-trained and committed employee.

New Beginnings for Students

GeoffreyGeoffrey Kinyua wanted to find opportunities that he did not have in his home country of Kenya.  He selected Seattle because he had friends in the area.  “Coming to Goodwill was really a turning point in my life,” he remembered. “Goodwill gave me a lifeline to determine what I wanted to do.”  So at age 55, Geoffrey, enrolled in a college preparatory class at Goodwill, determined he wanted to pursue a career in mental health because he has a “passion for helping people.”

Despite the fact that English is not his first language and facing a strenuous education program, Geoffrey has done exceptionally well.  He is studying to become a Chemical Dependency Professional Counselor at Seattle Community College. “I feel indebted to Goodwill because without Goodwill I would not be in school.” He hopes his wife will soon be able to join him in Seattle, and his adult sons plan to attend his graduation. Geoffrey is now also a Goodwill shopper.  “I’m part of the Goodwill family and will hold Goodwill at the top of my heart.”

NgocNgoc Nguyen moved from Vietnam to Seattle with her husband this past winter.  One of her first tasks upon arrival in Seattle was to enroll in classes so that she could get an early start practicing English and familiarizing herself with classroom culture in the US. She studied vocational English and cashiering at a Goodwill Job Training Center and “was very glad to have learned about Goodwill.” 

Ngoc plans to continue her education and study business at Seattle University to earn a Master’s in Business Administration. “Since I have the support from Goodwill I will be able to find a job after I graduate,” said Ngoc Nguyen.  “I would recommend the Goodwill programs to others who need support.”

Nemesio“Life is a learning process,” said Nemesio Lozano. The desire to keep learning is what brought him and other family members to Seattle Goodwill about three months after they arrived from the Philippines. He already had a degree in business economics, but needed some work experience in the United States. His aunt connected him with Goodwill’s Retail and Customer Service Program.

The intensive nine-week course that combines classroom instruction with on-the-job training made him feel more comfortable about his skills. “Goodwill really helped us adjust to being in a new country while training us at a store,” he remembered.

Now he is a supervisor at the Renton Goodwill, a job he really enjoys. “I feel good about helping customers and providing good service,” added Nemesio.

RogerOriginally from Belgium, Roger De Rudder came to Seattle at the age of 58 because he met the woman he wanted to marry.  “At that age and without having a diploma or GED, it was hard to find a job,” he remembered. Roger came to Goodwill to take some computer classes because he wanted to find employment to start his new life here. After finding the classes beneficial, he signed up for the Retail and Customer Service Program.  “The classes go over retail skills, but it is a lot more like learning to manage your life.  You also learn to focus your time and finances.”

After he completed the program he was able to find a job at the Seattle Goodwill on Dearborn. He continues to work for Goodwill and understands the value of the shoppers who support Goodwill.  “I like working for Goodwill because I am helping support the mission.”


Remember Goodwill in Your Estate Plan!

Lauriann“Jobs save lives. When a parent has a job and is able to be a positive role model for their children, that is real impact. Goodwill is making a real difference and has for generations.”- Lauriann Reynolds and her husband

Norton are donors who support Seattle Goodwill in their estate plan.

A planned gift merges your long-term financial and estate objectives with your desire to support Goodwill. Whether it is remembering Goodwill with a bequest in your will, designating us as an IRA or 401K beneficiary, or another planned gift, know that you will leave a long-term legacy with your contribution. Talk to your financial advisor to learn more and contact Goodwill at (206) 583-8055 or by email to discuss your planned giving goals.

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