Last week, on behalf of the Board of Directors of Goodwill Industries of the Valleys, I announced the establishment of the HOPE FUND. This week, I thought I would share a little more about why Goodwill is so important to me and give you an update on the progress.
I’ve been in the financial industry for many years. This field has given me a unique perspective into the lives of individuals from all backgrounds, from the very wealthy to those who struggle to put food on the table and provide for their families. It is humbling to realize any of us could easily be in the latter situation. The COVID-19 crisis has quickly made this a reality for many who were simply going about their daily lives – until the world changed and Coronavirus became part of our vocabulary in March.
Nationwide more than 30 million people have filed for unemployment. In Virginia we’ve seen this number climb to nearly 500,000. As a member of the Goodwill Board of Directors it was gratifying to me to see the team at Goodwill quickly jump into action and remain of service. I’ve always said, Goodwill offers something unique: access to training and programs that allow individuals the dignity found through work. Today, while they can’t make the jobs reappear, the team is helping people navigate unemployment, offering classes so people can better position themselves for work after this crisis, and providing hope through free career coaching.
Since Virtual Services launched mid-March, Goodwill has seen more than 2,100 people access the website. Participation also includes:
- 1,392 online classes completed, of which 562 were LIVE classes
- Personal coaching for nearly 500 people
This has all been happening, while the stores have been closed, which means Goodwill’s primary revenue source is not generating funds to support the mission. So last week we turned to you to support the HOPE FUND.
I am happy to report because of you, together RER Energy Group and Energy Efficient Technologies will be matching $5,000 in gifts. You have helped us raise more than $10,000 and we could not be more appreciative. In just one week, through your support of the HOPE FUND, you have covered the cost of Virtual Services for two weeks! Additionally, the HOPE FUND is helping to support the cost of maintaining health insurance coverage for those employees who have been temporarily laid off. In addition to continuing their health insurance, these employees will return at their same tenure and pay rate after the crisis and have maintained their PTO accrual rate during the crisis as well. You are making this all possible through your generous support of Goodwill.
I hope this has answered your question of how the HOPE FUND is helping. And I hope you never wonder how much your support of Goodwill is appreciated. Stay safe and well.