NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— Most times we head to the Goodwill stores to find bargains or good deals on stuff we need, but in doing so you’re also helping to support a host of services that the nonprofit provides.
Goodwill is also celebrating 75 years in New Orleans
The retail store on Tulane Ave. is always bustling, and a place where deals on everything from clothing to furniture can be found.
Tim Salvato, VP of Retail stated, “This store is one of our busiest, we normally get 250-350 customers a day.”
There’s also a process for where items that didn’t sell can be recycled says Salvato, “These will go to and they’ll be resold in other areas by other companies. They also get turned into rags, insulation. They’ll have another life, outside of getting thrown away.”
Not throwing people away is also at the heart of what Goodwill does. The money generated by the store pays for services across the region.
According to VP Mission Services Scottie LeBlanc, “It supports our programs that we have for vocational rehab, for individuals with disabilities, we have programs for re-entry, where we start working with people 6 months pre-release, and we’ll work with anyone who has previous justice involvement.”
One of those individuals is Shounda Edward who had been incarcerated, and when she was released had few options.
According to Edward, “When I came home I was completely broken. Shattered, reached out for help and in that time of need I felt rejected.
Through employment and training from Goodwill, Edward eventually becoming a part of the management team in workforce development.
Edward sees her work as paying forward what was gifted to her, “There’s no way in the world that I can actually not render the services to our participants and to anybody who is in need in our community without giving them back what was given to me.”