By Kimberly Paulk, Senior Connector at SHARECharlotte.com, a free, easy and local website that makes it easy to learn about and engage with our local nonprofits
We all know what Goodwill does, right? Think big blue collection boxes, stores where you can find deals on everything from unique Halloween costumes for your kids to the occasional antique table, and (most important part) a well-known job training program.
That’s what I thought. Until we spent an afternoon with LaRita Barber and Kilby Watson at the Career Development Center on Freedom Drive a while back.
The place was a beehive of activity, from the job training center where people worked collaboratively at computers learning how to put together a resume, to a training room down the hall where adult students were learning customer service excellence and banking skills. There was a recycling center in the back, filled with computers destined for new beginnings. In a separate room, shelves were filled with neatly organized books that served as inventory for an online used book store.
Since that visit, a tech store in the University area called The GRID has opened, where they say you can find just about anything related to computers and technology—at Goodwill prices. That adds a whole new cool factor, and opened up new possibilities for Goodwill to accomplish its role as a leader in job training and placement programs for people with barriers to employment, like homelessness, lack of education, and physical or mental disabilities. Our visit was also before the organization’s latest announcement about a new Opportunity Campus, where even more amazing work will be done.
If you think you know Goodwill, like I did, take another look. They are moving fast and moving forward – and there are tons of ways you can be involved. Check out a few volunteer opportunities below, then visit SHARE Charlotte to learn more.
Resource Assistant Volunteer – assist at the Gastonia Job Connection with customer service, filing and assisting instructors (must be 21 or older).
Client Services Assistant – use your resume-creating skills! Welcome clients to the Job Connection, help them research positions online, answer computer questions and help them write resumes.