Helping people prepare for, find, and keep good jobs is what Goodwill is about.

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people placed into jobs within area businesses

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program participants who worked and earned paychecks at Goodwill

Mar 16, 2018

Success Story
Garry

Garry with awardChange is difficult. It takes determination and sometimes includes setbacks. Garry’s story demonstrates that no matter how challenging or long the journey, a person can change and be successful.

Garry had been in and out of prison multiple times dating back to 1983. He was enrolled in Goodwill’s Offender Success program multiple times, but the lessons did not stick.

“Each time we hoped he would be successful,” says his Goodwill Case Manager Rita Hickman. “We always felt he had it in him, and believed in him … he just needed to believe in himself.”

Before coming to Goodwill, Garry struggled with making the right choices and continued to return to past habits. “I didn’t know what I was going to do with the rest of my life,” he said.

When he was released from prison in June of 2017, Garry made a decision that this time would be different. “Garry showed us a different spark of commitment,” Hickman says.

He dedicated himself to the program, learning résumé writing and job search skills. Goodwill also provided him with clothing and supplies to start a new life. As his new-found confidence was growing, his case manager encouraged him to apply for an open position in Goodwill’s retail production division for a textile baler. “He was a perfect candidate. He is very quiet and just wants to do a good job.” Garry interviewed and landed the job on July 20, 2017.

“We are all so very proud of him and his parole agent is very proud of him also. This is the best he has ever done,” Hickman said.

Garry has done so well that in January of 2018, he was discharged from parole, making him a free man for the first time in 34 years. His parole agent tweeted this message:

 garry

Garry really likes knowing that he is doing something good. He says he is a better person than he was before, and says anyone can achieve success if they are motivated.  

“If you want to get yourself together, Goodwill will help you, but you have to want it if you are going to make it,” he said.

Offender Success

The Offender Success program (formerly called Prisoner Reentry) is a state-wide strategic approach to creating safer neighborhoods and better citizens through the delivery of a seamless plan of services, programming, support, and supervision for prisoners re-entering the community. Program participants are referred by the Michigan Department of Corrections Parole Board.

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As we reach the end of another challenging year we reflect with gratitude on our resiliency and recovery, and the special help of donors. Not only did we survive another year of COVID-19, staff shortages, and uncertainties, we have several new initiatives to celebrate and, with you, look forward to their continued growth.

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Become a Goodwill VITA volunteer!

Goodwill VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) volunteers provide free tax assistance to low- to moderate-income workers and families eligible for significant state and federal tax credits.

Make a difference! Help working people claim and keep all the refunds they are entitled to.

No accounting experience required! Volunteers receive FREE IRS training and certification.

Flexible hours! You can volunteer for day, evening, and/or Saturday hours in any of our tax-prep sites.

Call 231-722-7871, ext. 8482 for more information.

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Success Story: Bruce

After spending 30 years in prison, Bruce returned to a town he didn’t recognize and faced the daunting task of starting a new life. Goodwill’s Offender Success (OS) program worked with Bruce to define and achieve the goals he set for himself.

“Thanks to Goodwill, I have been given a new opportunity,” he said.

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Senior leadership changes announced

Kristin Garris was recently promoted to chief workforce officer, a new position that oversees Goodwill’s workforce development and human resources departments, as well as GoodTemps Staffing Solutions.

Goodwill Industries is also pleased to announce the recent hire of Nick Carlson as the agency’s new business development director. Carlson will provide operational oversight and business development of Goodwill’s Janitorial Services and Industrial Services business-to-business contracts, as well as lead the organization’s sustainability and recycling initiatives.

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Virtual awards ceremony shared with community

Goodwill’s Achievers of the Year in-person celebration was cancelled again this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We enlisted the help of Andy O’Reilly and Derek Wong from the Muskegon Channel to record a virtual event. We taped each award winner separately and safely, and then stitched them together with our video achiever profiles recorded back in March of 2020.

Congratulations to Achievers of the Year: Kawan, Tim, Quentin, and Hailey; Employer Partners of the Year: Northway Lanes, SRS Fiberglass, and McDonald’s of Hart; Contract Partner of the Year: Spectrum Health; and Volunteer of the Year: Susanne McGee.

View the awards ceremony video and the individual stories from our Achievers of the Year page:

Achievers Page


Achievers of the Year

Each year we celebrate community members who overcame adversity through the power of work, and the employers who supported them.

Achievers page


GIWM named regional facilitator hub for MI Tri-Share Child Care Program

The MI Tri-Share Child Care Program is a new innovative approach to increasing access to high-quality, affordable child care for working families. The “tri-share” model splits the cost of child care three-ways — between state funding, employers enrolled in the program, and eligible employees.

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New electronics room in Apple Avenue store

On March 1, the Goodwill retail store  at 1501 E. Apple Avenue opened a new "Electronics Room" in a previously unused space just off their regular sales floor.

"Previously owed desktop and laptop computers, stereo systems, speakers, TVs, DVD/Blu-Ray players, video game systems, PC parts, and more, are for all for sale at great prices," said E-Commerce Manager Adam Kragt.

 "It's an excellent resource for customers," added Team Leader Clayton Burch. "Everything has been completely tested and ready to go for customers."

 Check out the WZZM-TV video story with Jon Mills here:

View Video


View our annual report

Our 2020 annual report recognizes a year of providing community support as well as achievements in our business, our culture, and in changing lives through the power of work. The annual report also recognizes the four 2019-20 Achievers of the Year and tells their stories.

View our annual report pdf.

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Goodwill is Committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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Goodwill Career Center

Currently open by appointment only. Call 722-7871.

  • Job search assistance
  • Résumé development
  • Career exploration
  • GoodTemps application
  • Resource assistance

Masks are required for entry.

271 E. Apple Ave, Muskegon

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