Monthly Archives: April 2020

Goodwill Will Reopen All Stores on May 1, 2020.

Goodwill Industries – Big Bend stores will be re-opening all retail stores starting Friday, May 1st, following strict CDC guidelines with safety for our employees and shoppers as a top priority. Please check back for most up-to-date information regarding openings.

We invite you to also shop online at

We are taking important precautions to ensure our employees and customers’ protection. We have done a deep, thorough cleaning of stores, trained employees in strict safety protocol outlined by the CDC, and are taking numerous safety precautions, including:

  • All employees will wear personal protective equipment
  • We will encourage and enforce social distancing in stores
  • One-way shopping aisles
  • Continue increased cleaning and disinfecting in all of our facilities
  • Sanitation pumps will be provided at the front and back doors
  • Sneeze guards will be in placed at all cash registers
  • Will be implementing options for no touch payment options at our stores
  • Limiting the number of customers allowed in each store at a given time
  • Customers don’t have to get out of their car to donate their items at our drive-thrus
  • All donation attendants will be wearing gloves and masks
  • For customers who wish to get out of their cars, donation bins will be placed 6 feet from any of our attendants
  • We are continuing to hold donations for safe periods before processing

As a self-funding nonprofit, the revenue generated from our retail stores directly supports our vision of ending poverty through the power of work. We do this by offering no-cost career development, training and education services to anyone in need of a job.

Now, more than ever, these services are critical to help Floridians get back to work.

Goodwill’s mission services team is on the front lines to help people with unemployment applications and other critical job services. Our stores will re-open May 1st to help these services and provide value shopping options for our community.

We appreciate your support of Goodwill Industries – Big Bend where training, equals jobs, equals community.

Remember, Good WILL Overcome.

Goodwill’s Annual Power of Work Awards Banquet and Luncheon

As we look to highlight positivity and share positive news, we are highlighting our Annual Power of Work Awards Banquest and Luncheon, which took place on March 11th, 2020. Our Annual Meeting is a time for Goodwill to celebrate achievements from the previous year and set new intentions for the coming year. Individuals, team members, and retired board members were recognized for the positive impact they’ve had on the community.

Fred Shelfer, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries – Big Bend acknowledged the many changes Goodwill endured over the previous year and embraces the changes yet to come. “We talk about the value of change, which is essential to the well-being of our Goodwill”, he said. Goodwill Industries – Big Bend continues to evolve and meet the needs of members in our community.

2020 Power of Work Award Recipients

“It’s been remarkable to not only see the value of what we do but the commitment of the people that are doing it” said Steve Preston, CEO of Goodwill Industries International. Goodwill recognizes the life-changing influence Goodwill participants have on the community through various awards. The following features our 2020 Power of Work award recipients:

Carvin Jay, Volunteer of the Year

Carvin Jay Johnson – Jay has been volunteering with the Valparaiso Goodwill Career Campus for three years. He makes a difference just walking through the door to work with our clients. He offers assistance twice a week at GIBB and does what is needed while never missing a beat! Thank you so much for your service, Carvin.

Jonathan Millner, Graduate of the Year

Jonathan is a full-time college student, Career Campus Training Center participant, and recent graduate of the Google IT Professional Certificate Program. Due to medical issues, he was unable to obtain employment. Once we determined that Jonathan was a very quick learner and had advanced computer skills, there was no doubt that he was qualified for the IT program. GIBB was able to help him obtain an entry-level position and now he has an interview for a cyber security position and will soon be moving up in his career path.

Ira Jones, Achiever of the Year

Ira is one of longest tenured employees of Goodwill Industries – Big Bend, Inc. He started working for GIBB in high school and first trained in upholsteries. After becoming skilled in this trade, he went on to teach others. As Goodwill has changed, Ira has adapted and changed with the times as well. GIBB discontinued re- upholstery and related services, so Ira moved on to Transportation. After working here, he then moved to Maintenance all along just learning new jobs and never complaining. When his supervisor asked him to move to the mowing department he agreed without hesitation. No matter what he is asked to do, he has always jumped in and given 100%. He has served GIBB for 44 years and we are very glad to have him!

Angela Smitherman, GIBB Employee of Distinction Award

Angela Smitherman is so much more than an HR Generalist. She is a great listener, always available for our staff and always exhibits a compassionate and caring attitude. She is a great representative of Goodwill Industries – Big Bend, Inc.

Tania Himes, The Learning Pavilion Award

Tania Himes is being honored as the 2019 Learning Pavilion Teacher of the Year. Ms. Himes treats each and every child with great dignity and respect. She is dedicated and compassionate and the children love her!

Goodwill Retail Store Closures & Donation Updates

In light of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, Goodwill Industries – Big Bend will be temporarily closing our retail stores effective Friday, April 3. We will remain closed until local and state mandates to close are lifted and we are able to resume operations.

During this time, we will be accepting donations, with a few guidelines to follow in order to keep you and our employees safe.

Our stores will have containers for you to drop your donations in, labeled for clothing, hard goods, books, and computer and electronic donations. To limit human contact, we will not be accepting furniture or large items such as bicycles and appliances.

Keep in mind, donations must be able to fit into a 3 ft x 3 ft container opening.

We thank you for your continued support during this pandemic. We encourage you to visit us once we reopen – as shoppers and donors are crucial in helping fund our employment programs for individuals facing significant barriers to employment.

Our social enterprise of stores provides resources and opportunities for job counseling, training, placement and coaching for thousands of people with barriers to employment in our communities.

We will be providing updates as often as we can. Stay informed by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @GoodwillBigBend. Thank you for your understanding and continued support of Goodwill Industries – Big Bend during these challenging times. We encourage those who wish to help people in need in our community to click here where we will gratefully accept your financial support.

We can all do our part to protect our community and support each other. We will get through this together. #GoodWillOvercome