Donor Newsletter - Spring 2016


‘You’re Stronger Than You think’


Kevin Harden is a custodial employee at Goodwill Columbus headquarters and just celebrated his second anniversary on the job. Before he got involved with Goodwill, life, according to Kevin, was pretty bleak and included a near seven-month stretch living in homeless shelters.

“Self-esteem and confidence go out the window when you go into a homeless shelter,” he said. “But Workforce Development at Goodwill helped me to turn my life around.”

Kevin credits Goodwill’s “Next Step” program — and Workforce Development Business Services Liaison Lloyd Lusher— for reinvigorating his spirit and encouraging him to move forward. Next Step provided Kevin with a customized plan to obtain employment utilizing a case management approach paired with a 16-week course and internship. Upon graduating from the program, Kevin was hired by Goodwill almost immediately.

“There are many people at Goodwill willing to help, you just have to show you’re willing to work,” said Kevin. “Lloyd really stuck with me. And the program reminded me when things get bad, don’t give up. You’re stronger than you think you are.”

With great work experience under his belt and living life with new confidence, Kevin is now inspiring the next generation of Workforce Development grads. He was recently featured as the keynote speaker at Workforce Development’s graduation celebration, “Stepping Up.”

“No matter where you’ve been, you can rise above it,” said Kevin. “And Goodwill is an excellent way to get there. There are people here who go above and beyond to see that you succeed.”



Smart Business Magazine Honors Goodwill Columbus President and CEO Margie Pizzuti



Goodwill Columbus President and CEO Margie Pizzuti was recognized at the Smart Business “Smart 50” Awards dinner held at the Hyatt Regency in October.

The Smart 50 Awards celebrate the top executives of the region for their ability to effectively build and lead successful organizations. At the event, three of the 50 organizations were given juried specialty awards for their achievements in three categories – Innovation, Impact and Sustainability.

Margie received the coveted “Innovation” recognition.

“Through her business acumen and dedication to serving the community, Pizzuti has helped nearly double the agency’s annual revenue since 2005,” said Robert Klonk, CEO of Oswald Companies, who presented Margie with the award. 

Along with Margie, Bill Ingram III, Chairman of the Board and CEO of White Castle, was given a specialty award in the category of “Sustainability.” Kimberly Blackwell, CEO of PMM Agency, received a specialty award in the “Impact” category.


Cold Day, Warm Welcome As Goodwill Opens New Store in Canal Winchester


Despite cold winds and the occasional snow flurry, in the early morning hours of January 29, a line of excited shoppers eagerly awaited the grand opening of Goodwill's newest retail store in Canal Winchester.

The store, located at 775 W. Waterloo Street, was packed with Goodwill treasures and new goods and ready for shoppers. The store grossed nearly $38,000 in sales over the weekend, Goodwill’s second strongest opening weekend ever.

And here is why retail success like this is so important: Goodwill Columbus took a long, hard look at the landscape of serving jobseekers with developmental disabilities and other barriers in central Ohio, and one thing became clear…steps must be taken to ensure the sustainability of the organization. The agency must continue advancing—rigorously—with this model of social enterprise to sustain a level of predictability and financial stability with earned income revenue streams. With 90% of every dollar earned in Goodwill Retail locations going directly to support programming, it’s time and money well spent.

You should stop by! The new store in Canal Winchester, like Goodwill’s  other new flagship stores,  features a spacious drive-through donation drop-off area, as well as an enhanced retail experience with natural lighting, exposed ceilings, polished concrete floors and a micro-gallery of artwork created by artists with disabilities and other barriers.

Goodwill Columbus has proudly served the local community for 76 years. Since 1939, the agency has dedicated itself to transforming the lives of individuals with disabilities and other barriers through pathways to independence and the power of work. 

For more information about the people and programs of Goodwill, please visit our website at 




Partnership with Local High School Proves Fruitful for New Canal Winchester Store 

Customers may notice some younger faces on the staff when they shop at the new Canal Winchester Goodwill retail store. In partnership with Canal Winchester High School and the Ohio Department of Education, Goodwill is piloting a project where students as young as 16 can receive school credit while working at Goodwill part-time. Five Canal Winchester students have been hired as part of the pilot program, which includes 10 to 20 hours a week of in-store work after class or on weekends as well as in-school curriculum and weekly assignments. The classroom portion includes journal entries on topics like interviewing, communication styles, workplace challenges and discussions and presentations. In mid-May, each student will give a portfolio presentation at Goodwill headquarters summarizing how their work translates into a career path. The program lasts approximately three months with the hope that students will stay on once their school placement is complete. Just another reason to visit us in Canal Winchester! Great students doing great work.



SWACO Selects Goodwill As a Preferred E-Waste Recycler



The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) has created a new E-Waste Diversion Program that will partner with local communities to provide environmentally friendly disposal options. SWACO has selected Goodwill Columbus as a preferred e-waste collection community organizer for Franklin County.

Last year, Goodwill helped divert more than 1 million pounds of e-waste from landfills through grassroots, community-based drives. Goodwill has a longstanding history as a ‘recycling powerhouse,’ last year diverting 7.5 million pounds of waste from landfills through donated goods retail stores, attended donation centers and other recycling efforts.

 “Goodwill is good for our planet and great for our clients with disabilities and other barriers,” said Goodwill Presidnt and CEO Margie Pizzuti. “We help transform lives by providing pathways to independence through the power of work.”

Franklin County communities interested in participating in the program can go online to enroll at or by calling 614-871-5100.



E-Waste Collection Drive at Huntington Park Saturday April 23



Help keep e-waste out of our local landfill by donating your used electronics to Goodwill Columbus. It’s good for the environment and good for people, with recycling proceeds going to support Goodwill Workforce Development programs for people with disabilities and other barriers. And while supplies last, you will receive a thank you goody bag courtesy of our sponsors—Qfm96, Sunny95, Donatos, ABC6, Pepsi, The Clippers and Franklin County—when you drop off your unwanted electronics. Please see our list of accepted items to best plan your donation experience, then meet us at Huntington Park located at 330 Huntington Park Lane, Columbus, Ohio 43215 from 9:00 12:00 p.m. on April 23 and help make a difference in your community!



Be Our Friend on Facebook!



Keep up with all of the latest and greatest Goodwill news and accomplishments by liking our Facebook page: By following us on Facebook, you will be among the first to hear about the latest sales, promotions, what is new at the auto auction and all of the great accomplishments of Goodwill participants and staff. See you online!




Looking for a “New to You” Car? Consider Purchasing from the Goodwill Auto Auction…



If you’re looking for a great deal on a used car, truck, boat, RV, scooter or motorcycle, be sure to visit one of our upcoming auto auctions. You can sign up for alerts at this link too.

Proceeds from the vehicles (even riding lawnmowers!) resold through our Auto Auction are used to support the Goodwill Columbus mission: providing rehabilitation, training and employment services to those with barriers to employment. It’s your opportunity to support people with disabilities, while bringing home the vehicle you need.

And if you have a vehicle you’d like to donate, we will pick it up and do all of the paperwork for you! You get a tax break and help people with disabilities and other barriers in the process. Call 614.444.AUTO for more information.





Save the Date! Join the Celebration of Extraordinary People



Each year at Goodwill Columbus’s Extraordinary People Luncheon, the agency honors three individuals who have transformed their lives through participation in one or more Goodwill programs.

This event grows every year as the Columbus corporate community embraces Goodwill’s mission to transform the lives of individuals with disabilities through pathways to independence and the power of work.  In 2015, the luncheon raised more than $158,000 through corporate sponsorships and individual ticket sales. 

Sponsorships start at $1,950 and single tickets are $100. If you’d like information on how to purchase tickets or become a sponsor, contact Development Director Esther Brody at

You can watch the inspiring stories of last year’s Extraordinary People honorees here:





Clothing & Goods

Just because you no longer need something doesn’t mean it can’t be useful. Before throwing it away, think of Goodwill. 

Goodwill Columbus accepts donations of clothing, furniture, household items, and electronics for resale in our retail stores and attended donation centers. Proceeds from your donation are used to provide services to people with developmental disabilities and other barriers.

And you know what? Your donations do not have to be pretty, wearable or even usable! Goodwill recycles the materials in damaged goods and clothes, keeping these unwanted items out of landfills and moving them on to a new, recycled life.

Your Time

At Goodwill Columbus, we couldn’t do what we do for our participants without a committed group of volunteers ready to offer their time and talents to help others. We hope you’ll join us!

As a volunteer at Goodwill Columbus, you will have an opportunity to make a genuine difference in the lives of those with developmental disabilities and other barriers. Whether you desire to work directly with our participants, help at one of our retail locations, or engage in a variety of fundraising activities to support our many programs, your skills, talents and interests are valued and have a place at Goodwill Columbus.

Your Financial Contribution

Equip a job seeker. Help those with disabilities tap into their creativity through fine arts. Move people to independence through life skills and financial skills classes. Partner with Goodwill Columbus! Your financial support of Goodwill Columbus makes a tangible difference to those we serve. Please join us in building opportunities for work, independence, and a better quality of life for people in right her in our own community.



DSW at Goodwill!




On Jan. 27, over 80 DSW employees took time out of their afternoon to volunteer for Goodwill, splitting their time between assisting at the Goodwill distribution center (above) and helping prepare the new Canal Winchester store for Grand Opening.