On April 19th, Goodwills from across the country met in Washington DC to advocate on behalf of Goodwill and the individuals we serve. This is something that we do once a year to ensure that our elected officials know the impact that Goodwills are having throughout our communities, but also to ensure they understand how they can support our mission through their work in Congress.
Our team from Goodwill Industries of the Valleys included staff as well as Christy and Bryan Morris. Christy is an individual who came through our GoodStart Prisoner Re-Entry program and is now working for Goodwill at the Workforce Center in Charlottesville. During visits to the offices of our Congressman and Senators, Christy shared her personal story of how Goodwill services helped her to find work after incarceration and to change her life. You can watch Christy tell her story, in her own words, by clicking here.
In addition to Christy’s personal story, we also talked with our elected officials about other issues that are at the heart of our Goodwill Mission:
- Charitable Giving Incentives: With the new tax law most Americans will take the standard deduction. This means that fewer people will itemize their taxes, and therefore will no longer benefit from incentives for donating to non-profit organizations such as Goodwill. We are requesting that lawmakers support the Universal Charitable Giving Act. This legislation would allow everyone to take a deduction for charitable giving before the standard deduction or itemized deductions. This will help to ensure that nonprofits like Goodwill can continue to provide needed programming in our communities.
- Reauthorize SNAP E&T Program in the Farm Bill: We believe that Congress should reauthorize the Farm Bill, including SNAP, maintaining funding for SNAP E&T that focuses on real workforce development, not just work requirements. This is a great opportunity for Congress to ensure that the program is as effective as possible to assist those Americans who rely on these supports.
- Invest in Federal Workforce Programs: Programs that help people get back to work is what Goodwill is all about. Congress and the Administration need to fund workforce and other programs that prepare people to be the qualified workers that U.S. businesses need. We were seeking support for the funding of programs including:
- Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act programs
- Senior Community Service Employment Program
- Career & Technical Education state grants
- Expansion of access to high-quality apprenticeship and work-based learning programs
- Youth programs to equip the next generation of workers to become productive citizens, achieve their career goals, and contribute to their local economies
- Programs authorized under the Second Chance Act
Just as it is important for Goodwill to let our elected officials know what is important to our mission, we encourage you to have a voice as well. Goodwill Industries International provides an advocacy portal where you can follow initiatives important to Goodwill and have the opportunity to take action.
Together we can all be a part of the solution that makes our local communities, our state, and our nation stronger.
If you would like to see more photos from our time in D.C. click here.