Goodwill celebrates 85 years
In 1927, Arkansas experienced its most devastating natural disaster to date. One day in April, over seven inches of rain fell in less than two hours. This flash flood was so bad, it caused the Arkansas River to overflow its banks and eventually crest at 51.5 feet. The entire levee system collapsed under the pressure, placing over 6,600 square miles of Arkansas under several feet of water. In comparison, this flood is said to have been the worst in the nation until the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, according to encyclopediaofarkansas.net.
Most of North Little Rock and much of Little Rock was under water. To assist in recovery efforts, Little Rock Mayor Charles E. Moyer founded Goodwill Industries of Arkansas, which became an affiliate to the national Goodwill office in April 1929.
This year, the local Goodwill affiliate is celebrating its 85th year of service and focus on assisting people with disabilities and other special needs reach their highest potential through education, training, career services and employment. The consistent focus on workforce development and providing education and training has allowed Goodwill to amass an impressive track record of helping people develop real-world job skills.
“Most of the UALR community may only know of us through our retail outlet that is located just across University Avenue from the campus,” said Rebecca Brockman, Public Relations & Community Engagement Manager, “but our stores are just the tip of the iceberg as far as the services that we provide to Arkansans in need of our support.”
With the assistance of its community partners, including Argenta Community Development Corp., Arkansas Department of Human Services, Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, Arkansas Rehabilitation Services, Arkansas Rice Depot, The Benefit Bank, Centers for Women in Transition, Cintas, Our House, United Way and UALR, Goodwill provided services to over 5,000 Arkansans in 2011.
As part of its year-long reflection of over eight decades of achievement, Goodwill is offering Arkansans significant savings opportunities throughout the year at its retail locations, which account for over 90 percent of its annual budget.
“Every month during 2012, we will have special 85-cent sale items that will be available to those UALR community members that either like us on Facebook (on.fb.me/goodwillar) or sign up on our email list (bit.ly/goodwillemail),” Brockman said. “And, through Jan. 31, we have an online quiz (bit.ly/goodwillar85) available on our Facebook page and our website. The answers to the quiz can be found by taking a scavenger hunt of our website. The person who answers most of the questions correctly will win an $85 shopping spree.”
Additionally, this year Goodwill is planning to make it easier for UALR students to donate at the end of each fall and spring semester by parking a semi-truck in the dorm parking lot so students can easily donate belongings when that move out of the dorms.