Category Archives: News


Over the next three years, the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator will result in more than 1 million people around the United States being trained in skills that will make them more marketable workers for the digital age.

“The Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator initiative means that Goodwill – Big Bend will have one more tool to help local members of our community build their skills and expand their career options,” said Cody Gray, Goodwill Public Relations Manager. “There is no question that workers with up-to-date digital skills will be in a better position to advance in today’s labor market.”

Digital skills include basic computer skills that would be used to establish an email address, apply for a job or perform many entry level tasks. More advanced digital skills include computer support or programming, digital marketing, and cybersecurity, which are increasingly relevant for achieving well-paying, in-demand careers across the country.

“As a baseline, employers look for workers and job applicants who can proficiently use computers and other electronic devices,” said Jacquelline Fuller, CEO of “The Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator will greatly assist those hoping to get ahead in their careers and obtain the types of jobs that will remain in demand for years to come in a demanding digital economy.”

Goodwill Industries – Big Bend, Inc. will receive a $50,000 grant to fund its participation in the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator, along with an additional Google IT Certificate sub-grant that includes 60 scholarships with a grant award of $39,216.

With this investment, local U.S. Goodwill organizations have three options for participation in the grant, based on their current digital skills training operations, capacity to initiate, enhance or expand digital skills training, and local labor market demand. Those three options include Digital Change Agents, Digital Champions and Digital Enthusiasts. Goodwill Industries – Big Bend, Inc. will be a Digital Champion.

Ten local Goodwill organizations have been chosen to be Digital Change Agents, receiving a $300,000 grant and serving as leaders in digital skills expansion and training across the network. Seventy-five local Goodwill organizations will participate as Digital Champions in three cohorts of 25. Each Digital Champion will receive a $50,000 grant and engage in extensive learning and technical assistance opportunities to help enhance and expand training offerings. An additional 14 local Goodwill organizations were chosen to participate in the second cohort of Digital Champions and eleven more will be recruited in early 2018. Eighteen local Goodwill organizations are participating as Digital Enthusiasts with an $8,000 grant to participate in learning events. The remaining Goodwill organizations will be recruited in 2018 for a total of 125 participating Goodwill organizations.

To see the full list of participating Goodwill organizations and their geographic areas, visit


DCF Teams with Goodwill to Provide Better Access to Services

DCF Goodwill FlyerThe Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) joined the Goodwill to provide residents in need with better access to public assistance services.

Monday and Wednesday of each month, from 1pm-5pm, there will be a trained Community Partner available to assist clients in navigating the self-service application and answer general questions about their MyAccess accounts.
No appointment needed
Prosperity Center at Goodwill
300 Mabry St., Tallahassee
Call 850.576.7145 for more info.

Good Turn for Goodwill: A Partnership with Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle

November 12th – December 12thGirl Scouts Logo

Goodwill Industries-Big Bend has proudly teamed up with the Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle to help teach the importance of recycling, philanthropy, and community service. Girl Scout will earn a Good Turn for Goodwill patch, and troops will compete to win a pizza party provided by Goodwill.

How to Earn Patch

(one patch per Girl Scout – highest ranking patch will be distributed)


  • Every Girl Scout who turns in a 13-gallon tall kitchen bag OR copier boxes of donations between Nov. 12th – Dec. 12th will receive a Good Turn for Goodwill patch. A dated rocker will also be earned to show the year the girl participated. Each year the girl will earn a new dated rocker patch.
  • Each Girl Scout (3) in the three areas, Tallahassee, Panama City, Pensacola, who brings in the most bags or copier boxes of donations between Nov. 12th – Dec. 12th will earn a gold patch signifying GOOD TURN CHAMPION, a certificate of appreciation and tickets to a local fun spot.
  • The Girl Scout troop (3) in the three areas, Tallahassee, Panama City, and Pensacola, who brings in the most bags or copier boxes of donations between Nov. 12th – Dec. 12th will earn a certificate of appreciation and a gift certificate for a pizza party at their convenience.

How to Collect Donations


  • Collect items from family, friends, neighbors, And businesses
  • Fill out the donation form and take each 13-gallon bag or copier box of donations to any Goodwill Donation Center. Visit our donations center pagefor a list of all donation sites.
  • Tell the Donation Center attendant that you are participating in the Girl Scouts: Good Turn for Goodwill program. Have the donation attendant verify the donation, sign and date the donation form.
  • Turn in the donation form to your troop leader.


  • TURN IN YOUR PATCH ORDER NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 15: Troop Leaders must turn in your Troop’s TOTAL number of boxes and bags donated and the TOTAL number of girls who qualified for a patch, plus the name of the Girl Scout in your troop with the largest number of donations and her individual total during the Nov 12 – Dec. 12 Good Turn program timeline.  Winners will be announced in January 2016.

Image of computers

Goodwill Opens Electronics, Gaming Store

Call employees “Good Geeks.”

No, really, it’s OK.

That name is apt inside Goodwill Industries of the Big Bend’s new stand-alone store that will be selling video games galore (including retro favs), plasma and flatscreen TVs , computers, cords and all things electronics. Opening Sept. 11, the 6,500-square-foot outlet sits next to an existing Goodwill store on Capital Circle Northeast, across from Esposito’s.

“I think there will be a wow effect,” said Fred Shelfer, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of the Big Bend. “It’s a one-stop shop in concept for those looking for a good price and functional equipment and the parts to keep them running.”

The store, a unique entry among the nonprofit’s 26 stores in the region, represents Goodwill’s first electronics store in Florida.

Daily thousands of donations pour in, especially from businesses swapping out their computer systems. Goodwill officials saw a need for a separate store for electronics, and modeled the new store after one dubbed the “Grid” in Charlotte, North Carolina. The new local store will have nine employees. Read More 



fsu check presentation

FSU CU Presents a $3,460 Donation

 TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State University Credit Union presented Goodwill Industries – Big Bend, Inc. with a $3,460 donation on April 3,2015.  The donation is a part of the”Borrow 4 Less, Give Back More” program at FSU Credit Union. FSU Credit Union donated $10 per eligible loan in the month of June to Goodwill Big Bend to benefit the Goodwill GoodGuides Youth Mentoring Program. In addition, when you opened a kid’s savings account at the time of your loan closing, FSU CU also donated an additional $50 to Goodwill, resulting in a very generous donation of $3,460.  “We commend Florida State University Credit Union for their dedication to giving back to our community. The financial support they are generously donating to Goodwill Big Bend will directly benefit at-risk youth through our GoodGuides program. The results are stronger families and an even better communities,” Fred G. Shelfer, Jr. President/CEO of Goodwill Industries – Big Bend, Inc.   Read More


Prosperity Center Website image

Goodwill Big Bend Celebrates the Opening of the Prosperity Center

Goodwill Industries–Big Bend Inc.  launched an innovative project that will support and strengthen Tallahassee families, with the grand opening of the Fred G. Shelfer, Jr. Prosperity Center. A one-of-a-kind community resource, the Prosperity Center is designed to help Tallahassee residents lead healthy, financially sound and productive lives.
“Goodwill continually looks for ways to give back to the community,” said Fred Shelfer, CEO and President of Goodwill Industries–Big Bend Inc. “With this new Prosperity Center, we will be able to give back and support more families on their path to self-sufficient and prosperous lifestyles.”
The Prosperity Center, at 300 Mabry Street in Tallahassee, opened its doors to the public with a formal ribbon cutting and public tours. Tallahassee City Commissioner Nancy Miller and other local dignitaries participated in the grand opening, which was made possible through a partnership between Goodwill and the city.
“We are proud to partner with Goodwill in an effort to help citizens in Tallahassee improve their quality of life,” said Tallahassee Mayor John Marks. “The Prosperity Center is the result of a vision that we had two years ago to create a place for at-risk youth, homeless individuals and dislocated workers to obtain services that will have a meaningful and long-term impact on their lives.”
The Prosperity Center’s programs focus on personal wellness, music education, and financial and family strengthening services. Members may participate in music classes, youth mentoring, one on one financial mentoring and budgeting classes, and fitness and wellness programs. The Center will start offering its services June 9 and it will be open Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Interested individuals may call 850-576-7145 and ask for the Prosperity Center. They will then be scheduled to meet with a Prosperity Center staff member to arrange services.
The fitness facility will charge a $10 monthly fee to use the fitness equipment, participate in classes such as Zumba, yoga and self-defense classes as well as work individually with a fitness representative who will help determine the best mix of exercises to improve overall health.
The Prosperity Center also houses a large musical instruction hall. Dr. Julian White, Goodwill’s Director of Musical Outreach and a former marching band director at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, will lead a band made up of Center members. The band rehearsal hall is equipped with musical instruments and with practice rooms to allow for weekly rehearsals. In order to join the band, interested individuals must commit to attending the practice schedule and to participating in scheduled performances. Interested members will complete an application and be chosen among the group of applicants.
In addition to the programs to help residents become healthier and happier, the Center has a family and financial strengthening services program. All financial services are free and open to the community. Services include financial advice, education and tools to help members learn how to spend money responsibly and be financially independent. The Center promotes positive youth development by offering mentoring programs for young people. Brandon Peterson, Goodwill’s GoodGuides® Youth Mentorship Program director, will lead the nationally recognized youth mentoring program GoodGuides.
Through the sale of donated items, Goodwill is able to provide programs for people with disabilities and barriers to employment. The Prosperity Center is the newest program offered to the community through funds raised from the sale of donations.
Goodwill Industries-Big Bend, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit; Goodwill’s mission is to provide job training, education, and employment to people with disabilities and other barriers to employment, helping them reach their fullest potential in supporting themselves and their families. Goodwill also provides barrier-free apartment complexes in which people with disabilities can live independently.


Goodwill is hosting job fairs in your area for GOODWILL WEEK!

Tuesday May 6, 2014

12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m

Location: Chipley Agricultural Center   1424 Jackson Ave.  Chipley, FL 32428

Thursday, May 8, 2014

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.


  • TALLAHASSEE Goodwill Industries Employment & Prosperity Center  300 Mabry St. (Next to Goodcents Store)
  • DEFUNIAK SPRINGS: DFS Community Center – 361 N 10th Street
  • PANAMA CITY: Hilton Garden Inn 1101 US Hwy 231 Panama City  Network with local employers & agencies * Apply & Interview for Jobs * Win door prizes

This event is absolutely FREE!

Many employers will participate in the job fair. Be prepared, as many employers will be hiring and interviewing on the spot. Bring your résumé, photo ID, and Social Security card or birth certificate, and be ready to complete job applications. Dress for success




CARF Accredited

Goodwill Industries – Big Bend, Inc. Awarded Three-Year CARF Accrediation

Goodwill Industries-Big Bend Inc. is excited to announce that it has received a three-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) International, a prestigious recognition of Goodwill’s outstanding community employment services in job development.

This is the fourth consecutive Three-Year Accreditation thatGoodwill has been awarded by CARF. The accreditation was awarded for Goodwill’s dedication and commitment to improving the quality of lives for those served in the Big Bend region. With this seal of approval for its services and programs, the accreditation allows Goodwill to stand out as a respected, efficient and capable organization, which helps Goodwill win grants and continue providing community services.

“Our mission is to ensure that Big Bend residents facing challengesreceivea wide range of job development opportunities and are able to sustain themselves and their families,” said Fred Shelfer, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries-Big Bend. “We also believe emotional, physical and spiritual well-being are all parts of a prosperous life and career.”

This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows the local Goodwill organization’s substantial conformance with CARF standards. Goodwill was put through a rigorous peer review process and, during an onsite visit by a team of surveyors, demonstrated that its programs and services are of the highest quality. Through this meticulous survey and accreditation, community members will know that Goodwill’s programs are some of the best in the region.

As part of its commitment to providing top-notch services in the region, Goodwill is opening a Prosperity Center in Tallahassee later this year. The center will promote healthy and smart lifestyles for the community by offering a wellness center featuring a gym and financial literacy classes, among other services.

CARF is an independent, non-profit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process that centers on enhancing the lives of those served.


SunTrust Check Presntation

SunTrust Bank Presents Goodwill – Big Bend with $10,000 Donation

SunTrust Bank presented Goodwill Industries – Big Bend, Inc. with a $10,000 donation on Thursday, Nov. 21.  The donation is a gift from the SunTrust Foundation to help with the opening of Goodwill’s Prosperity Center.

“We are proud to help our friends and neighbors learn financial skills and increase their financial stability,” said Fred Shelfer, CEO and President of Goodwill Industries – Big Bend, Inc. “The Center will help Tallahassee citizens be prosperous community members and moreover, encourage family values.”

The Prosperity Center will assist low-income adults in improving their income earning potential and moving toward family sustaining wages, which aligns with the mission of the SunTrust Foundation. Visitors to the Prosperity Center will receive an evaluation of emergency needs, intensive budget analysis, and development of specific income goals, financial literacy training and ongoing financial guidance on site.

“At SunTrust, we believe financial well-being is a stepping stone to greater opportunity and prosperity, and we are committed to lighting the way to financial well-being for our clients and the greater Tallahassee community,” said Debbie Buckland Jacksonville City President and Executive Vice President Commercial Banking, SunTrust Bank. “Our partnership with Goodwill-Big Bend is one way SunTrust delivers on this promise.”