SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – Goodwill Manasota understands the value of engaging and deploying members of the community who share its passion for making a difference. People trust the recommendations of their peers and, since 2011, Goodwill Ambassadors have shared their enthusiasm for the nonprofit’s work with their friends, family, co-workers and employers. This month, Goodwill Manasota celebrates the five-year mark of its award-winning Ambassadors Program.
In 2011, Goodwill vice president Veronica Brandon Miller reviewed the nonprofit’s strategic plan and asserted, “We’re going to need an army!” She began recruiting that army of volunteers, now composed of nearly 1,000 people who have made a commitment to share the mission of Goodwill with the greater community by volunteering at events, speaking on the organization’s behalf, creating new fundraisers, and introducing their friends, family and colleagues to Goodwill.
Over the past five years, the Goodwill Ambassador program has grown into successful partnership that connects volunteers to the philanthropic community. These volunteers learn about and share the story about how improves the quality of life for many people in the community by creating jobs and offering training to help people become more employable. In 2013, the Goodwill Manasota Ambassadors Program was honored by Goodwill Industries International as the “Volunteer Program of the Year.”
“We provide the training and education for our Ambassadors and they, in turn, let the community know how Goodwill helps those with barriers to employment to move toward self-sufficiency,” Miller said. “Goodwill could simply not succeed on the scale it does without the dedication and outreach of its supporters.”
Goodwill Ambassadors are a diverse group, with people of all ages, economic levels and professional pursuits. What they have in common is their commitment to communicate the importance of Goodwill programs in our community. “These volunteers know that, for more than 100 years, Goodwill has made a commitment to helping people with disabilities and other barriers to employment and self-sufficiency,” said Miller.
“I am proud to be a Goodwill Ambassador because Goodwill has such wonderful job assistance programs, from résumé building to classes to improve a variety of business skill-sets,” said 92.1 CTQ radio personality and Goodwill Ambassador Maverick Johnson. “Plus they have their wonderful retail centers, with fantastic clothes and accessories.”
Maverick and 92.1 CTQ have partnered with Goodwill Manasota on several initiatives, including the weekly radio show, “Deployment to Employment,” the “Spirit of ‘45” dinner in honor of WWII veterans, and the GRACE (Goodwill Returning Ambitious, Confident people to Employment) program.
Ambassador activities include monthly “Lunch & Learns,” complete with behind-the-scenes tours; networking socials; engaging Goodwill speakers for service organizations, churches, clubs or businesses; and/or volunteering for Goodwill initiatives and events.
With the help of our Ambassadors, Goodwill is not just surviving, we are thriving,” said Bob Rosinsky, president and CEO of Goodwill Manasota. “Goodwill exists to create employment and opportunities for those who face challenges. Without the commitment, passion and generosity of our supporters, we could not succeed in our mission of changing lives through the power of work.”
Visit experiencegoodwill.org/goodwillambassadors or call (941) 355-2721, ext. 107 to learn more about the Goodwill Manasota Ambassadors Program.
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2015, Goodwill Manasota served 22,739 people, placed 961 people in jobs and assisted 358 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $81.3 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted 41 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota in essence belongs to this community, and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org.