Goodwill workers offer a hand to the community

       A team of Goodwill Industries employees has begun helping out in the community, and one of the earliest beneficiaries is the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS).

A crew from Goodwill Industries cleans up in and around the Old Colorado City History Center patio this week. Part of the non-profit agency's Community Participation program, the work is provided free. Helping supervise the work from the History Center is Judy Willey (third from right, in white cap).
Westside Pioneer photo

       A supervised group of up to eight workers has been coming to the OCCHS' History Center every Tuesday afternoon since May to do free yard work for an hour.
       The assistance is through Goodwill's Community Participation program, said Becky McCain, the case manager who supervises the workers. “They like to get out and help out,” she said.
       A Broadmoor-area church is receiving similar help through the program, said Laura Marth, a Goodwill spokesperson.
       The work at the center includes sweeping, window-cleaning, weeding, sorting and dusting, she said. Lawn-mowing is also part of the service, but McCain pointed out that she has to do that herself for liability reasons.
       The employees, who have varying levels of disabilities, normally work in the collating area of Goodwill headquarters in the 2300 block of West Colorado Avenue and take life skills classes to become better at living independently, Marth said. In addition to being useful, the new program “lets others see them out in the community,” she said.
       Joanne Karlson, president of the OCCHS, said the Goodwill visit was especially appreciated July 7 because that night was a fundraising ice cream social, and they left the yard and patio “looking very nice.”
       As an all-volunteer organization, the OCCHS would otherwise have to do such cleanup work itself. “This is like having one more set of volunteers,” Karlson said.
       Goodwill is looking for other groups or businesses that could benefit from the outreach, Marth said. For more information, call Goodwill at 635-4483.

Westside Pioneer article