Inside this issue: Breakthrough Employer: Caloosa Humane Society; Veterans services, discounts; GBS Power Washing September Special;News-Press Readers Vote Us Best Non-profit; Community Garage Sale; Italian Fest; Festival of Trees; Success Story: Missy Brown and A.J.
Congratulations to our 2017 Breakthrough Award Winners, who are being featured through the end of the year.
This month: Breakthrough Employer Caloosa Humane Society
Students with Disabilities Care for Caloosa Humane Society Animals
An emaciated caramel-colored dog is brought to the lobby of the Caloosa Humane Society Shelter, her ribs protruding and her appetite voracious. All eyes are on the rescue dog as she laps up the dish of food prepared to help fill out her large frame. 

Outside, an energetic bulldog named “Chubs” tests the strength of his leash as Kennel Technician Patrick Grant soothes the rescue pup, whose new fit-and-trim figure no longer matches his name.

Executive Director Jennifer Johnson rushes to beat the clock and deliver 10 strays to a Naples adoption center before they close. These are snapshots of a day in the life of animal shelter employees.

The LaBelle “no kill” shelter cares for hundreds of dogs and cats annually and relies on many volunteers to perform some of the less appealing shelter jobs, such as cleaning the kennels and litter boxes. That doesn’t bother Grant, who began volunteering at the shelter as part of the Able Trust Florida High School High Tech Program, which is offered at several high schools, including LaBelle High School. Administered by Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, the program helps students with disabilities or disadvantages establish career goals.

Grant had an allergic reaction to plastic ear tubes, which caused deafness for two years and delayed his speech development. 

The shelter seemed like a good fit for the teen, who has owned and cared for dogs, cats, birds, fish and hamsters as pets.
Caloosa Humane Society
Caloosa Humane Society Executive Director Jennifer Johnson and Kennel Technician Patrick Grant.
After graduation, Grant tried working a job as a retail stocker and janitor, but he changed course and applied to work at the shelter because he likes “hanging with the animals.”

“He’s a model employee,” says Shelter Manager Ida Erwin. “I don’t know of many kids who don’t like animals, but it has to be the right fit. It’s nice to show the students what a job can be and to give them something constructive to do in the community.”

Several students enrolled in the program have chosen the shelter, which allows them to volunteer before and after school and during the summer months.

“Education is huge and if we can give these young adults a step up in life to find their passion, we will,” Johnson said.
Goodwill Mobile Job-Link Serves Vets at Community Cooperative Pantry Events
Goodwill joins the Community Cooperative to provide services to veterans at the Lee County VA Healthcare Center now through the end of the year.

The Cooperative will distribute food from The Mobile Pantry, while Goodwill will provide help with job applications, family strengthening services and more from its Mobile Job-Link. Goodwill also is reminding veterans that they may receive a 20 percent discount on donated items they purchase every Thursday at retail locations operated by Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida.

Veterans may attend one distribution event each month. Times are from 9-11 a.m. and dates include Sept. 13, Sept. 27, Oct. 11, Oct. 25, Nov. 8 and Dec. 13. The Center is located at 2489 Diplomat Parkway E. in Cape Coral.
VA Lee Healthcare Center
Fall Cleaning: Take 10% off Power Washing Services from Goodwill
As the weather gets sunnier and the winter rains subside, fall is a great time to prepare for "season" by power washing.

Goodwill Business Services is offering 10 percent off power washing services from Sept. 1-30. Valid on residential or commercial services.

You can trust our insured staff with cleaning your home, business, lanai, boat, driveway, walkways and more.

Call (239)872-7998 to schedule an estimate or appointment.
News-Press Readers Name Goodwill
"Best Non-Profit" in Fort Myers
Thank you News-Press readers for voting Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida as the "Best Non-Profit" in Fort Myers in the 2018 awards.

The award was announced July 24 during the 28 th Annual Best ceremonies at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theater.

Goodwill is a past recipient of the award. The non-profit has provided programs and services in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties for more than 50 years.

"News-Press readers continue to recognize the opportunities we provide to people with disabilities and disadvantages in the Southwest Florida area," said Rick Evanchyk, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida.
2018 Best of News Press
Nancy Solliday and Rick Evanchyk
Don't Put Your Junk Back in the Trunk
after the Community Garage Sale: Donate It!
Join Goodwill at the area's largest community garage sale, sponsored by hello SWFL media.

Junk in the Trunk is scheduled from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15 at the Alliance for the Arts, 10091 McGregor Blvd. in Fort Myers.

Turn in your unwanted items to Goodwill and shop for new and gently used merchandise displayed by dozens of vendors. There will be food trucks too.

Vendors, after the event, don't put unsold items back in your trunk; donate them to Goodwill!

hello swfl
Rotary Presents 10th Annual Italian Festival;
Proceeds Will Benefit Goodwill Industries
The Rotary Club of Fort Myers is pleased to announce the 10th Annual Italian Fest Sunday, Oct. 28 at the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers!

Some of the finest Italian food establishments from across Southwest Florida will take part, serving up authentic culinary delights throughout the day. 

For more information on the Rotary Club of Fort Myers Italian Fest, email or call (239) 332-8158.

Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida has been chosen as the non-profit benefactor of proceeds from the 2018 Italian Fest.

Italian Fest 2018
Seeking Tree Sponsors, Wreath Designers, Volunteers & Donations for Festival of Trees
Are you creative? Do you love preparing for the holidays? Need Volunteer Service Hours and are age 16 or older?

Goodwill is looking for fun and active people who want to give back in their own creative way this holiday season. We have openings for:
  • Tree Sponsors
  • Wreath Designers
  • Volunteers
  • Silent Auction Donations

Festival of Trees is presented by Goodwill and hosted at the Sidney and Berne Davis Art Center Nov. 27-Dec. 2. In addition to viewing about two dozen spectacularly decorated holiday trees, attendees can register for special events are scheduled most evenings and all day Saturday, Dec. 1.

Updates and Information will be posted at Goodwill Trees or EMAIL Susan with your questions.
Success Story: Mother, Daughter Find Goodwill in Charlotte County
Missy Brown was searching for a place where her daughter, 15, could do community service to satisfy requirements of her probation. At age 15, A.J. was still too young to volunteer at Goodwill, but after learning about the Southwest Florida non-profit, Missy put in her application and was hired as a part-time cashier at the Port Charlotte Goodwill.

Missy’s positive attitude and strong work ethic played a large part in her achievements at Goodwill and she quickly climbed the retail ladder.
A.J., now 16, again needed community service hours, so she turned to Goodwill too. She enjoyed the supportive environment.

Mother and daughter agree: They owe their success to learning more about Goodwill and how the non-profit enables people with disadvantages to create a better life for themselves.

“I love my job,” says Missy, who quickly advanced to full-time, then was promoted to shift manager at the Punta Gorda Goodwill Retail and Donation Center. By June 2018, she was promoted again to Assistant Manager and assigned to the Kings Highway store location.

“I’m not done making a name for myself at Goodwill,” says the single mother of two who previously worked as a home health aide. “That didn’t pay the bills,” she said. She also worked in the fast food industry for 12 years before applying at Goodwill.
Missy Brown
Missy Brown and A.J.
“I’m not done making a name for myself at Goodwill.”
Problems at home resulted in the mother and daughter starting over. They moved into efficiency housing with almost nothing. Again, they turned to Goodwill for help. Community Support Services gave A.J. a $25 clothing voucher.

 “We have our ups and downs like any other family. You can’t run away from your problems. Goodwill has been very understanding and flexible,” says Missy, who occasionally needs time off to attend appointments with A.J., who is pregnant.

Missy says they’re grateful for their newly adopted family—their Goodwill family, who are invited to a baby shower A.J’s son, for Missy’s first grandchild.
Thank You to our 2018 Partners in Opportunity
GCG Construction
TDC logo
Lee Designs logo
Security Specialists logo
Persian weavers
Southwest Florida Goodwill Foundation
BandI logo
Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc. |(239) 995-2106 | Emai l | Website