Goodwill Industries of Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia is a nonprofit, community-based organization with a mission of putting people with special needs to work.

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The charity has been serving the area since 1948, with a simple and effective concept. They sell donated items at their chain of thrift stores, with profits going towards the funding of training programs and career services.

"I want people to know that when they donate their items to Goodwill, they are helping New Jersey families," said President and CEO Mark Boyd.

These individuals earn a paycheck working at the thrift stores, or with area companies through Goodwill's large contracts division, while also learning critical job skills.

"Our mission has always been about the same thing," Boyd explains, "helping people with disabilities and disadvantages earn a paycheck to help them on the path to realize their economic potential."

Goodwill Industries is the largest employer of people with disabilities in the world, while the Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia branch touches the lives of over one thousand individuals and families in the area each year. However, their concept is not about helping the masses like many great charities around the state, Boyd explains.

"Because we're not a relief organization, we believe in working with people very deeply," he says.

One of the biggest recent successes is the weekly job club day each Wednesday from 10AM to 2PM at their Maple Shade office. At the job club, Goodwill Industries assists people with trying to find a job, and working on things from interview skills to resumes. The program has been so successful that beginning in March, a second weekly job club will be added and take place at the Stratford location.

"The number of people who are taking advantage of this who are showing up is amazing," Boyd said, "people come to us with degrees and had a long work history, and they are really struggling in this economy."

Learn more about the charity, their programs, and how you can donate by visiting the Goodwill Industries of Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia website.


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