Is it March yet?
That's the question I've heard people ask on more than a few occasions during the last six weeks as the region has endured a seemingly endless barrage of snow, ice and extreme cold.
At Goodwill Industries of Kentucky, we're glad it's March. Statewide, the relentless winter weather has resulted in thousands fewer donations each week, which severely impacts jobs for an already vulnerable population during tough economic times. We hope that milder March weather leads to a turnaround in donations.
We need your help. If you have delayed running errands during the deep freeze, and have donations accumulating for Goodwill, we hope you will come see us this month.
While the early months of the year are typically slow for us, the weather is compounding the slowdown.
At some stores, workers' hours have been cut due to lack of donors and customers, and stock rooms are nearly bare since donors are reluctant to head out in the snowy weather and extreme cold.
Donations are the lifeblood of Goodwill. We rely on the generosity of our donors, which allows us to create jobs from your donations of jeans, coats, shirts and household items.
In fiscal year 2013, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky employed nearly 1,200 Kentuckians, placed 2,470 in jobs, and paid almost $18 million in wages to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment — thanks to your tax-deductible donations.
In addition to operating 63 donated goods centers statewide, which provide jobs and hands-on training, Goodwill offers employment counseling, adult literacy programs, and job search and resume-writing help.
We are asking people to look inside their closets to see how they can help. Every donation makes a difference. Just one jacket provides 11 minutes of employment counseling.
Your donations stay local and are made available to people right here in Kentucky's communities. Only 10 percent of Goodwill Industries of Kentucky's revenue supports administrative costs, leaving 90 cents per dollar to support Goodwill's critical job training, placement and employment counseling programs.
Goodwill relies on donors to fulfill our mission. Thank you for your past support, and please help us turn the month of March into March Gladness for people right here in our local community.
Roland R. Blahnik is president & CEO, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky.