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southlandshari's Journal
Posted by southlandshari in Editorials & Other Articles
Sat Sep 20th 2008, 02:51 AM
While I'll agree with you that some of the language in the article was clumsy at best and rather ignorant in more than one place, I have to disagree strongly with your characterization of the $160,000 as less in value to Goodwill - and ultimately to those who truly need its services - than the clothes the participants in the fundraising event left with that evening.

I have been both an executive director and a development director for local chapters of national nonprofit organizations (like Goodwill) and I've got to say that raising $160,000 with one event is a dream come true for any local grassroots organization struggling to serve those in need (whether their needs be clothing, food, shelter, whatever). People give boxes and bags of clothes en masse every day to Goodwill. Even if the fundraiser participants did take "the best of what was in the DC area stores," it will be replaced by new donations in short order. Call your local Goodwill if you don't believe me.

What people don't give in great amounts every day to Goodwill and other worthy nonprofit organizations is money. And like it or not, hand-me-down clothes don't pay the power bills or the phone bill or the tiny salary any employees might actually be paid. The insurance, rent and taxes on the Goodwill facility. The gas and insurance and maintenance on the trucks that pick up the donations, the stipend for the drivers who do the heavy lifting. And so on.

So what if the rich folks were introduced to Goodwill on their own turf and in a way that was comfortable to them? Isn't that better than not being introduced to Goodwill at all?

People - rich or poor - don't change easily. Small steps are the real path to real change. I don't know what you expected from those at this event, but in the real world, Goodwill spoke truth to power that night. They didn't shove it down their throats and then sit back, smug and self-satisfied - and still empty pocketed and no better able to serve those in need than they were yesterday - and congratulate themselves on sticking it to the man.

And here's more food for thought - I'll bet that a good number of the women that bought clothes at that auction will return to Goodwill within a matter of less than a month with far more clothing to donate than the items they purchased that evening. While the money raised will go a long way to help that local Goodwill, the awareness of and interest in Goodwill's work among those who attended will last even longer.




Ok, that was more than two pennies and a whole soap crate instead of the usual box. Sorry. Just something I feel really strongly about.

Carry on.

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