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Community donates 180,000 pounds of items during March to Goodwill drive

Apr. 20, 2013
 

By the numbers

Total donations collected, in pounds: 180,000
• In the Fox Valley: 77,000
• In Green Bay: 75,000
• In Oshkosh: 28,000
Source: Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin at www.goodwillncw.org

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Fox Valley residents donated enough clothing, shoes and household items during Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin’s “March to Goodwill” campaign to fill 10 53-foot trailers.

“We’re really pleased with the results,” Bob Pedersen, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin, said of the 180,000 pounds of items dropped off at designated donation sites in March.

Gannett Wisconsin Media markets in Appleton, Oshkosh and Green Bay partnered with Goodwill for “March to Goodwill,” a monthlong campaign to help Goodwill stores stock their shelves. Fox Valley residents contributed 77,000 pounds of items, while Green Bay donated 75,000 pounds and Oshkosh dropped off 28,000 pounds.

Community members were invited to participate by filling boxes or bags with gently used clothing, shoes and other household items. During the campaign, people dropped off the donations at Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin stores, Donation Express sites and Goodwill-branded donation bins.

Post-Crescent Media has partnered with Goodwill on “Sack It to Goodwill” since the 1990s, as one of The P-C’s annual Do It! Community Challenges. “March to Goodwill” replaces it in the “Do It!” lineup.

“We are happy with the results in the ‘March to Goodwill’ campaign from Green Bay to the Fox Cities and Oshkosh, and we know that the donations will make a significant difference in the lives of thousands of residents in all three markets,” said Dan Flannery, Post-Crescent Media’s executive editor.

“It’s always a great feeling to be able to help others, and through this campaign, we’ve helped donors, Goodwill and those who will benefit from the programs and services Goodwill provides.”

Proceeds from the sale of donated items and goods support more than two dozen programs Goodwill provides in financial advice, healthcare, job skills and training, and more.

“Whenever we can increase donations and boost retail sales, that increases our capacity to serve people,” Pedersen said. “Given the number and variety of people Goodwill serves, it’s important we have a very healthy donated goods and retail environment.”

Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin last year served almost 20,000 people in the Fox Cities, Green Bay and Oshkosh through its programs and services. Oshkosh resident Rachael Bauer, the mother of three girls — including 4-year-old Olivia, who has autism and other health conditions — has participated in Goodwill’s Early Intervention Services program and now uses its Beyond Boundaries of Autism program.

“They have trained us to help make changes in (Olivia’s) life that make her life easier and ours,” Bauer said. “They’re really amazing. They’ve helped us through good things and bad. They’re always there for us.”

Goodwill did not set a specific collection goal for the inaugural “March to Goodwill” donation drive.

Last year “Sack It” — which had been Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin’s largest annual single donation drive — brought in about 287,000 pounds of donations. In 2011, the campaign collected nearly 400,000 pounds of items.

Pedersen said the new approach to the donation drive has allowed Goodwill to leverage its environmental stewardship.

“One of the things that has happened as a result of this new strategy is we really reduced the amount of truck time, the amount of fuel spent and the amount of energy required to get the work done,” he said. “People donated in their natural rhythms of life, in the normal course of their day. There was a significant green impact.”

— Kara Patterson: 920-993-1000, ext. 215, or kpatterson@postcrescent.com; on Twitter @ArtsMinded

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