Inside this issue: Breakthrough Philanthropist of the Year: ImageFIRST; Pathways to Opportunity celebrate Halloween; Island Park Goodwill re-opens; Goodwill exceeds United Way fundraising goal; Festival of Trees volunteers needed;Veterans job fair set Nov. 7; Digital Training Center classes announced; Trailways Camp provides friendship, fun.
Congratulations to our Breakthrough Award Winners, who are being featured through the end of the year.
This month: Breakthrough Philanthropist ImageFIRST
Healthcare Laundry 'Leads' the Way
Founded in 1967, ImageFIRST is the largest national healthcare laundry service specializing in the outpatient medical market. They have 36 locations serving more than 11,000 medical facilities across the country, including a location in Cape Coral.
  
Once you get to know the associates of ImageFirst, you soon realize the company genuinely reflects the caring culture inside the healthcare laundry business. 

It starts when associates walk in the door and gather for the morning huddle to go over the day’s activities. A large banner spells out how the company encourages associates to act by "Leading the Way."

“Each of our 27 associates learn that Leading the Way means they work in an environment where they can be respectful, be remarkable, be safe and be honest,” explains Heddy Collazo, ImageFIRST Human Resources Administrator.

Living those values starts with their coworkers. They work around large machines to clean, dry and disinfect linens, towels, scrubs and rugs for healthcare offices. A bin of pink gowns sits waiting for the next available washing machine.Production Associates carefully go through a bin of garments and occasionally may find needles to safely dispose of in a container. Exposure to chemical cleaners and biohazard fluids requires they wear personal protective equipment and have each other’s back while working in the plant. 

That caring attitude extends to the community, whether to the medical teams and patients they serve or the broader Southwest Florida community.  ImageFIRST CEO Jeff Bernstein is the driving force behind the company’s philanthropic work ethic.  
Image First Sergio
Sergio Hernandez, ImageFIRST General Manager
“It starts at the top,” says Sergio Hernandez, General Manager for the Southwest Florida territory. “As a privately-owned company, we can design how we want to live those values.”

In one example that meant bringing the entire ImageFirst crew to Goodwill's Opportunity Center to paint classrooms in the Pathways to Opportunity program space. On another day they bought lunch for the program participants and then management stayed to serve it to the participants, all while in costume for Super Hero Day

A bulletin board in the ImageFIRST lobby is filled with thank you letters from organizations who have benefited from their volunteer efforts. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, school back pack distribution, food collections, and the list goes on.   

“We have a Community Giving Team of associates who meets to decide what motivates us. They are the voice of our operating principles,” says Collazo. 

The committee’s goal was to develop quarterly events each calendar year, which led the way to now monthly philanthropic activities. 
2018 halloween participants
Halloween is Spooky Fun at Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida
Halloween is celebrated at Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida with the Pathways to Opportunity Participants, who judge a costume contest.

Pathways participants also trick-or-treat through the Opportunity Center department hallways, which staff decorated in anticipation for the program participants' arrival.
Island Park Goodwill Re-opens 13 Months After Hurricane Irma Flood
One year ago the rains that accompanied Hurricane Harvey and then Irma caused the closing of the popular Southwest Florida Goodwill Island Park Retail and Donation Center. Heavy rains left 12 inches of water in the parking lot which threatened the main entrance of the store.

At the same time, severe leaking inside the store was causing major damage. Despite extensive clean-up efforts, the retail and donation center incurred a total loss of merchandise. A much smaller store was temporarily set up across the street while renovations of Island Park took place.
 
Many locals remember the Island Park Goodwill store as the former skating rink building back in the 1980s. Goodwill purchased the building in the early 2000s and kept the layout as is, including the sunken skating rink floor. After the storms, it was determined that an update was clearly needed. 

Renovations included raising the elevation and improving the slope of the parking lot, filling in the sunken skating rink floor and giving the building a fresh new coat of paint and look.
Store 136 Reopens
A Ribbon Cutting welcomed shoppers to the newly re-opened Island Park Goodwill Store Oct. 25.

Now Accepting Applications for Open Positions: Click HERE to apply online!
“When the customers see the remodeled store they will feel like they are in a brand new state of the art Goodwill like we have been building for the past several years. We are very excited to be able to service our loyal Island Park customers with a vastly improved shopping experience.” states, John Nadeau Vice President of Operations.

More Grand Re-opening photos can be viewed on Facebook.com/goodwillswfl
Goodwill Surpasses 2018 United Way Goal
Employees of Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida raised more than $15,000 for United Way campaign.

This is a 19 percent increase over last year. Goodwill is proud to be a United Way partner with other area non-profit agencies who serve the Southwest Florida community.
UW Thermometer 2018
Festival of Trees Needs Volunteers
More than two dozen themed trees will be decorated by sponsors and raffled at the 12th Annual Festival of Trees, Nov. 27-Dec. 2 at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in Fort Myers River District.

More than a hundred volunteers are needed to guide festival attendees on how to participate in the raffle and how to vote in various categories for the awarding of ribbons.

Register for a shift or two online.

For more festival information, visit our festival Facebook page.
Goodwill Job Fair Available at Military Appreciation Day Event Nov. 3
Goodwill will have staff at the 7th Annual Military Appreciation Day event to help veterans and their family members apply for jobs at Goodwill. The event begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 at First Christian Church, 2061 McGregor Blvd. in Fort Myers.

Goodwill offers several types of job openings, which can also be found online.
Digital Training Center Features Free
Computer Skills Training Classes
Those seeking to learn or to improve their digital skills may register for free computer courses offered at five Southwest Florida locations, available through Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida.

A new initiative, the classes offer a personalized way to enhance a person’s computer skills or to become Northstar certified in one or more software programs.

“Goodwill is excited to launch our new Digital Training Center. Anyone who has ever wanted to learn about using a computer for home or work should take advantage of this opportunity to learn for free,” said Fred Richards, Vice President of Goodwill’s Community Support Services.

Locations include Goodwill’s Opportunity Center in the Community Support Services Computer Lab, 5100 Tice St. Fort Myers; and Job-Link Centers in Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Naples and Lehigh Acres.
GDTC
Trailways Campers Find Friendship, Fun
Founded by Sharon and Jerry Miller of the  Robert V. and Benjamin G. Miller Fund, Trailways Camp provides camping experiences for adults with disabilities in Southwest Florida.Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc. has been the service provider for the Trailways Camps since October 2012 and serves 60 campers annually at our overnight camping sessions. Campers enjoy fishing, canoeing, arts and crafts, swimming, campfires, nature walks, and much more at Trailways Camp. 

The November camp session is full. For more information about future camps, contact Mike Clay.
Trailways Campers 2018
October campers enjoyed cold treats after games.
Thank You to our 2018 Partners in Opportunity
hahn
GCG Construction
TDC logo
Lee Designs logo
Security Specialists logo
Persian weavers
Sullivan
Southwest Florida Goodwill Foundation
BandI logo
Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc. |(239) 995-2106 | Emai l | Website
Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc.’s registration # is CH1930. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-435-7352 WITHIN THE STATE OF FL.REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. PLEASE VISIT www.800helpfla.com FOR OFFICIAL REGISTRATION INFORMATION AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.
Southwest Florida Goodwill Foundation’s registration # is CH29995. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-435-7352 WITHIN THE STATE OF FL.REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. PLEASE VISIT www.800helpfla.com FOR OFFICIAL REGISTRATION INFORMATION AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.