Your local Goodwill Organization, Goodwill Industries – Big Bend, (GIBB) was founded in 1965 with its first location in Tallahassee. We serve communities from Crestview and Destin in the west all the way to Perry, east of Tallahassee, and part of South Georgia. Goodwill Industries – Big Bend is a 501-c3 non-profit organization and is locally autonomous. Volunteer board members govern this and every Goodwill organization, and they are responsible for the oversight and hiring of the CEO. Goodwill Industries – Big Bend’s President /CEO is Fred G. Shelfer, Jr. who has served as a leader in the Big Bend area for more than 40 years.
Goodwill Industries also has an International President and CEO, Steven C. Preston. There are more than 150 Goodwills in the United States and Canada, which are all members of the international organization headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Goodwill Industries – International. The international organization is governed by a 30-member board comprised of directors, 15 being CE’s and 15 private sector members. GIBB is privileged to have Board member, Steve Preston serve on the Goodwill Industries – International Board.
Goodwill is not just a thrift store, nor are we “for-profit”. Goodwill Industries – Big Bend exists to help people overcome barriers to employment through training, job placement and education. In fact, $0.86 of every dollar spent in our retail stores is reinvested into our community through programs and services run by Goodwill. We offer programs that are free and available to anyone, ranging from CNA training, resume writing, interviewing, bookkeeping, Adobe and more. We are also very proud of our affordable living solutions. Goodwill Industries – Big Bend manages 12 accessible apartment buildings in North Florida and South Georgia. In 2010, we also purchased The Learning Pavilion, a child care service for everyone, but especially for children with disabilities, and we can care for more than 100 children in our community annually. You can check out all of the programs and services we provide to the Big Bend region here: What Services Do We Provide? – Goodwill Industries – Big Bend, Inc. (goodwillbigbend.org)
Goodwill Industries – Big Bend is a proud employer of people of diverse abilities and backgrounds. We believe in giving a hand up, not a hand out by employing people with greater barriers to employment. Everyone deserves a second chance, and we believe work is the best solution to society’s problems. In 2020, we employed more than 1100 people in the Big Bend community and provided services to more than 9,000 individuals even during COVID by moving all our programs and services online.
We are only able to do all of this with your help. When you donate and shop at Goodwill, you are helping to support our mission of changing lives through the power of work and helping them to obtain the tools and knowledge to be successful in the workplace. In 2020, Goodwill assisted more than 9,000 individuals with resources and support thanks to donations and purchases from our community. Chances are, you may know or have come in contact with someone whom we’ve helped because of your support!
Goodwill Industries – Big Bend is a registered, reputable 501-C3 nonprofit organization and has been serving our community for over 50 years. We are accredited by the Better Business Bureau and meet all 20 standards for charity accountability. We operate over 25 retail stores in the Big Bend region of Florida, and we provide job training, placement, and employment services in over 22 counties.