The Tennessee Volunteer Region of the American Red Cross and Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee’s Goodwill Cares program have announced that the two organizations have formed a unique partnership allowing both nonprofits to better serve the community during a crisis.
“Last year, our National Headquarters challenged all of the Red Cross Chapters across the country to form partnerships with their local Goodwill offices in order to direct donations of physical goods to their organization in times of disaster,” said Red Cross Regional CEO, Joel Sullivan. “We immediately reached out to Goodwill and reconnected over our shared response effort following the Murfreesboro tornadoes a few years before, and established an official agreement on how we will work together during times of disaster, in order to better utilize donated funds and material goods from the community.”
The Red Cross helps those who have been affected by disasters and, while the organization provides assistance including shelter, the Red Cross is not able to accept donations of clothing or household goods, due to limited resources available internally to sort, store and distribute donated items. The new partnership with the Goodwill Cares program will change that.
When a disaster takes place, a Goodwill donation truck will be placed at the disaster relief site. In exchange for the donations, Red Cross will give Goodwill Cares gift cards to their clients who have suffered a loss. Those Goodwill Cares gift cards can be used at any Goodwill store in Middle Tennessee.
“Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc. is pleased to be able to partner with the Red Cross in times of disaster to assist our neighbors and friends in times of disaster,” said David Lifsey, president/CEO of Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc. “Our partnership will allow each of our agencies to utilize our strengths and expertise to facilitate prompt assistance.”
Disasters create a wide range of emergency needs, more than any one organization can meet. It takes a large network of people and systems to ensure that communities and individuals get all the help they need during and after a disaster. While one organization can’t meet every need, a partnership like this one can help the Red Cross and Goodwill better serve those who are going through a difficult time.
For more than 55 years Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has provided job training and job placement free of charge to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment through the sale of donated items.
In 2012, Goodwill served 16,159 people in Middle and West Tennessee and placed 3,154 clients in jobs. Goodwill also assists the community through its Goodwill Cares program. In 2012, the program provided more than 1,000 Goodwill Cares gift cards to people who had experienced a recent hardship. Goodwill Cares also gave more than 1,200 pieces of medical equipment to people who could not afford to buy it. For more information about Goodwill Cares, Career Solutions, retail stores and donation centers, please visit <www.giveit2goodwill.org> or call 1-800-545-9231.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families.
The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, visit <redcross.org> or join our blog at <blog .redcross.org>.