Common Threads

Organization Name:
Goodwill Industries of Akron
City & State:
Describe your creative piece – what is it and what has it been used for, and why is it innovative?
For 31 years, Barb drove a forklift. For the last 3 years, she’s been in phlebotomy. “I went for it, and I couldn’t be in a better place.” That’s a quote from Barb Short, just one of more than 8,600 individuals that Goodwill Industries of Akron served in 2009. These people – unemployed, underemployed, downsized, new to the workforce – make up the common thread that binds all of Goodwill’s operations together. Goodwill’s 2009 Annual Report is titled “Common Threads.” It aims to educate the reader about all the things that Goodwill does through storytelling. Each person’s story follows the cycle to demonstrate how… It begins with a donation. It becomes a job. The mission of Goodwill Industries is innovative – taking gently used items that are no longer needed, employing people to sort and sell them, and then funding services to help people find meaningful and sustainable employment.
What issue or problem were you working to address with this piece?
We sincerely hope that our readers learn about Goodwill’s true workforce development mission and see how every time they donate to Goodwill or shop at one of our stores, they are helping Goodwill put good people to work. Most people know Goodwill for its retail stores. Very few truly understand the mission behind that storefront. “Common Threads” takes the reader on a journey to demonstrate how a donation to Goodwill is transformed into employment opportunities in our community.
How has your submission successfully impacted your organization’s ability to solve this issue/problem?
Goodwill Industries of Akron serving five counties in Ohio was established more than 80 years ago, and Goodwill Industries International has been in existence for more than 100 years. Education of our mission is an on-going struggle. With “Common Threads,” we hope to draw the attention of the reader and interest them in learning the true meaning of Goodwill. “There's a thread that binds all of us together, pull one end of the thread, the strain is felt all down the line.” Rosamund Marshall
Creative Submission - Files
Creative Submission - URL