• Goodwill Announces 2017 Volunteer Awards

    Goodwill Volunteer of the Year Laura Gage celebrates Dr. Seuss at McCabe Head Start Center in St. Petersburg

    Apollo Beach resident and Brandon group honored for their time

    Goodwill Industries-Suncoast will announce Laura Gage as Goodwill Volunteer of the Year, and the Kiwanis Club of Greater Brandon as Volunteer Group of the Year on Friday, April 21. The awards will be presented during Goodwill’s BookWorks recognition luncheon at 11:30 a.m., at the Columbia Restaurant, 2117 E. 7th Ave. (Ybor City), Tampa. 10 News Anchor Courtney Robinson will serve as master of ceremonies for the luncheon.

    Goodwill-Suncoast Volunteer of the Year 2017
    Laura Gage, Apollo Beach

    Laura moved to the Tampa Bay area two and half years ago from the Chicago area, and she jumped right in to volunteering – not only for BookWorks but also for her church, other areas of Goodwill, and with the Hillsborough Education Foundation. In fact, when Laura first learned about Goodwill’s BookWorks program in 2015, she was so impressed she went home and filled out her application to volunteer the very same day. As a BookWorks reader, Laura traveled to west Tampa to spend 122 hours reading to 456 children and distributing 2,773 books in 2016. She is very passionate about early literacy and a fantastic ambassador for the BookWorks program. The teachers and directors at the centers she serves cannot praise her enough for her kindness and dedication.

    Goodwill-Suncoast Volunteer Group of the Year 2017
    Kiwanis Club of Greater Brandon

    For more than a decade, the Kiwanis Club of Greater Brandon has devoted itself to volunteering for BookWorks. There are nine dedicated readers: Gena Schaffer, Janet Daigle, Janelle Hill, Eddie Jenkins, Lynn Langowski, Fran Palek, Curtis Rogers, Nicholas Schar and Dipa Shah. In 2016 they spent 231 hours reading to 878 children and distributing 3,625 books at 14 different locations. The group has made it one of their missions to serve kids who are in the greatest need of support – more than half of the children they serve have special needs. The group is a wonderful community asset for BookWorks, helping to spread the word, recruit volunteers and keeping us informed of local events. They also volunteer to drop off books donated to elementary schools through the BookWorks program.

    Goodwill Industries-Suncoast is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to help people achieve their full potential through the dignity and power of work. The organization’s successful donated goods retail operation helps support its human services in 10 counties in West Central Florida including employment services, training centers for people with disabilities, affordable apartment communities for seniors and people with disabilities, and community corrections programs. For more information, visit www.goodwill-suncoast.org.

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