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Dress for less. Shop at

Goodwill for school uniforms.


Holiday Shopping

Donation DOs and DON’Ts

Our business is changing lives.


Ambassador | Winter 2008

Goodwill Tops in PR

J. B. Baker President & CEO Volunteer Express, Inc. Cato A. Bass Retired Owner Midstate Tractor & Equipment J. Mike Bishop Asst. Vice President Pharmacy Services Health Trust Purchasing Group

Ambassador | Winter 2008

William H. Cammack Trustee Chairman Equitable Trust Company Steele Clayton Partner Bass, Berry & Sims, PLC David Condra Chairman Dalcon Enterprises


Vice Chairman:

John W. Stone, III, Partner White & Reasor, PLC

Vice Chairman:

Robert McNeilly, III, President and CEO SunTrust Bank


Robert B. Kennedy, Vice President First Horizon Insurance Group, Inc.


Legal Counsel:

Christopher S. Dunn, Attorney Waller, Lansden, Dortch & Davis, LLP

Other Officers:

David Lifsey, President Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc. Tammy Glass, Vice President of Finance Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc. Betty Johnson, Vice President of Employment & Training Services Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.

Kevin P. McDermott, Partner KPMG LLP

Gary W. Cordell Consultant Dr. Audra Davis Board Intern Owner Davis and Associates, LLC W. Frank Evans Retired President Red Kap Industries Farzin Ferdowsi Partner Management Resources Kate S. Gibson Accounting Manager Vanderbilt University Medical Center Department of Finance John C. Greer Vice President TennComm, LLC

L. Hall Hardaway, Jr. Retired Chairman The Hardaway Group Jeffrey A. Hoffman Richelieu America, Ltd. James L. Knight Trustee Retired President Check Printers, Inc. Fred T. McLaughlin Trustee Branch Manager Robert W. Baird & Co., Inc. Ty Osman President Solomon Builders Thomas S. Stumb President Nashville Bank & Trust

John Tishler Chairman Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP

Board of Directors

Board O ff icer s


R. Craig Laine, Director of Development Highwoods Properties

Dr. George Van Allen President Nashville State Community College John Van Mol President Dye, Van Mol & Lawrence

Timothy F. Vaughn President Cumberland Die Supply

Donna B. Yurdin Owner Credo Management Consulting

Ambassador INSIDE

Donation Tips..............................................p.4

cover story

Goodbee Doll..............................................p.5

With record-breaking attendance, this year’s Annual Dinner celebrated the achievements of Goodwill’s employees.



Shopping Tips............................................p.10 Goodwill Wish List...................................p.12 PR Award...................................................p.12 Success Story..............................................p.13 Holiday Decorating...................................p.14 E-Newsletter..............................................p.16

trendsetter p.10 Take it from Kaelah, Goodwill is an excellent place for the newest fashions.

President & CEO - David Lifsey Senior Director of Marketing & Community Relations - Karl Houston Writer & Editor - Keri Foy Graphic Designer & Photographer - Scott Bryant Additional Photography - Rob Lindsay Ambassador is a quarterly newsletter published by Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc. 1015 Herman St. Nashville, TN 37208

The Ambassador publication provides a voice for our clients and employees. While we are happy to share their stories, opinions expressed by the employees and clients in this publication are theirs, and do not necessarily reflect an opinion or position of Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.


Ambassador | Winter 2008

For the nearest retail store, donation center, or Career Solutions location, please call 615.742.4151 or visit

Donation DOs and DON’Ts


Prepare to donate before New Year’s Eve

ot all thrift stores are charitable operations. For-profit companies operate some thrift stores, yet they solicit donations under the name of a charity. In such cases, potential donors are not often informed of the arrangement between the charity and the for-profit company. As little as 5 percent of the money generated from these donations may actually go to the charity. The for-profit entity may control the entire operation, from solicitation to the resale of goods.

Making An Informed Choice You can be certain your donations benefit the people who need them most by asking a few key questions: • •

Ambassador | Winter 2008


Will your donation be used to support a cause you believe in? What percentage of the revenues generated by your donation will directly support the mission of the organization? Does the charity actually operate the thrift store in which your donation will be sold? Or is the store run by a for-profit operation? If the store is run by a forprofit, how will your donation help people in need?

What You Should Do •

Give to charities you know and trust. Note that fraudulent charities often modify the names of established groups, so be sure to identify the name of the charity before giving. • Familiarize yourself with the organization soliciting your support. Avoid giving to organizations that send unsolicited e-mails, to solicitors who ask for your credit card number over the telephone or request payment in cash. • Avoid donating to organizations that cannot immediately provide you with information about their mission, history and the causes they are asking you to support. • Find out how your donation will be used and how much the organization intends to raise. • Realize that the opportunity to give extends beyond an organization’s immediate need.

Donation DOs • Wash or dry-clean clothing. • Test electrical equipment and batteryoperated items to make sure they are in working condition. • Include all pieces and parts to children’s games and toys. • Check with Goodwill’s Web site,, to determine standards for acceptable donations.

Donation DON’Ts • Leave items unattended outside a collection center. • Donate broken or soiled items. • Give items that have been recalled, banned, or do not meet current safety standards. For more information, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission (www.cpsc. gov). • Donate large appliances, mattresses, or box springs.

Toy Promotes Goodwill Mrs. Goodbee Talking Dollhouse encourages sharing and donating.


earning Curve brands expects the Mrs. Goodbee Talking Dollhouse, popular among child experts, to be as popular this Christmas season as it was last year. The interactive toy promotes playing, sharing and community involvement.

Once filled, the child and her parents should drop off the donation at

their nearest Goodwill donation site. There, the donation attendant will give the donor, most likely a young girl, a certificate she can redeem online to help build her Garden of Sharing, a component of the dollhouse. Goodwill has prepared its donation attendants with instructions on how to handle these special donations. “We believe Goodbee donations will hit

a high note after Christmas,” says Houston. The toymaker expects the dollhouse to be a sought-after present this holiday season. The dollhouse retails for $79.99 and is available at Target, and Toys-R-Us.


Ambassador | Winter 2008 Ambassador | Summer2008

Caring Corners, Mrs. Goodbee’s creator, partnered with Goodwill as its charity of choice. The dollhouse

encourages children to fill the box in which the dollhouse is packaged with donations to Goodwill. “Kids are going to learn at an early age the value and joy of giving back to the community,” says Karl Houston, senior director of marketing and community relations for Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee.


Ambassador | Winter 2008

h i s year’s Annual Awards Dinner at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel broke attendance records with 665 business leaders, community members, clients and employees celebrating the success of Goodwill and one another. As the audience filed into the banquet hall, the anticipation was palpable. “The Annual Dinner reminds us, over the course of a good meal, the real strengths behind Goodwill’s success in helping others: people and relationships,” says David Lifsey, President and CEO. While several guests knew beforehand they would receive an award, it surprised and delighted other winners who did not know. Bernita Terrell, Retail Employee of the Year, could not hide her emotions as Lifsey shared Terrell’s accomplishments. Bernita held her award proudly as she succumbed to tears. “It was an overwhelming feeling because I wasn’t expecting to win this. I just think about where I came from,” says Bernita, assistant manager at Goodwill’s Berry Road Store in Nashville.

AHonoring nnual Dinner the heartbeat of Goodwill’s mission.


Business & Employee Award Winners Employer Partner of the Year: Books-A-Million Donor of the Year: Favorite Recipe Press, Inc. Ambassador of the Year: Mary Hance “Ms. Cheap” Donations Employee of the Year: Paul Goldborough Donated Goods Processing Employee of the Year: Patricia Burnett Transportation Employee of the Year: Maverick Sweatt Retail Store of the Year: Lewisburg Retail Employee of the Year: Bernita Terrell Career Solutions Employee of the Year: Idalba Tabares

Top Picture: Bernita Terrell accepts the Retail Employee of the Year Award from David Jenkins, Goodwill’s director of retail.

110 Percent Award: Lillian Kwok Lavoi-Katz Award: Gary Frazier


Ambassador | Winter 2008

Bottom: David Lifsey, president and CEO, introduces winners and shares their stories with a crowd of 665 people.

Office Staff of the Year: Sharon Hacker

2008 Graduates of the Year Nashville: Renee Harris Renee entered a Goodwill Job Readiness program with her head held down. She interviewed several times but remained unemployed. Renee’s career counselor placed her in a paid job training program Goodwill offers to help clients build their skills and gain a work reference. Goodwill hired Renee as a full-time employee.

Berry Road: Luis Mireles With a family to support, Luis moved to Tennessee in hopes of finding a job with good benefits. He found comfort in his new community when he came to Goodwill. His career counselor told him about Wal-Mart’s job openings where he was hired, promoted, and given a raise. Luis has relocated his family to Nashville.

Clarksville: Schequita Thomas Since the age of 15, Schequita had struggled with a drug addiction. After entering Goodwill’s paid training program, relapsing, and spending time in a rehabilitation facility, Schequita re-enrolled in Goodwill’s Career Solutions. She gained her forklift certification, is drug-free and now works at Electrolux.

Cookeville: Dwayne Stafford After dealing with an addiction and staying clean for one year, Dwayne started a job search, but with no work history he struggled to enter the workforce. Dwayne used all Goodwill’s training resources and landed a job at Goodwill. Dwayne has now completed his OSHA forklift certification and is trying to get his drivers license reinstated.

Ambassador | Winter 2008

Franklin: Paige Walters


After Paige was injured in a car accident, doctors wanted to send her to a nursing home. But that isn’t Paige’s style. She worked hard to overcome her injuries and began walking and talking again. Paige soon wanted a job of her own and came to Career Solutions determined to succeed. Paige now works as a Target cashier.

2008 Graduates of the Year Gallatin: Steven Oran Sent to state custody at the age of 12, Steven spiraled downward into a life of substance abuse, homelessness and prison. Referred to Career Solutions after attending a rehabilitation center, Steven was serious about his job search and Goodwill hired him to work in the Gallatin store.

Murfreesboro: Tammy Burgess Tammy has learning disabilities that make filling out applications, interviewing effectively, conducting a successful job search and keeping a job challenging for her. Tammy’s career counselor thought she was a candidate for a Goodwill program to learn customer service and communication. After completing the program, Tammy was hired by Bar-B-Cutie.

Rivergate: Shannon Smith As a newly single parent, Shannon thought Career Solutions would be a good place to start her career journey. Shannon improved her application and worked on interviewing skills. After Goodwill hired her at the Rivergate store, Shannon has been promoted, is paying her rent and bills and putting herself through school.

Shelbyville: Mary Entsminger Mary has never let her disability stand in the way of her work. Mary showed her commitment to doing her best when she came to Goodwill. She completed the job readiness program and participated in an assessment program at the Shelbyville Goodwill store. The store manager hired Mary as part of the processing team.

Spring Hill: Linda Winn


Ambassador | Winter 2008

After returning to the workforce, Linda was laid off twice in two years. Linda, who lives in Columbia, came into Spring Hill’s Career Solutions. At the time, there was only one open position in the Spring Hill store. Linda started a car pool with co-workers who reside in Columbia. She is currently enrolled in GED classes.

trendsetter D

o not feel intimidated or overwhelmed by the volumes of stuff. Have a plan and a “route” for going through the store to be sure you have checked everything out. Be optimistic and open-minded. You are much more likely to find things if you think you will. If you find something and it is not perfect, do not quickly discard it without thought. Some things are worth a little extra effort. With just that slight bit of effort, you can completely transform an article of clothing. Cut the sleeves off a dress or shorten the dress to create a fun shirt. Layering works, too! Find a cool polo? Pair it underneath a graphic tee. Dig deep. The best things are not always the first things you see. The obvious stuff is often purchased quickly, so dig around and spend a little time looking. The hidden treasure is worth the persistence.

Ambassador | Winter 2008

Buy in bulk. With Goodwill’s amazing sales, you can always find a cartload of things for super cheap. Just remember... first Saturday of the month, 50 percent off. Is something you find and love in less than perfect condition? With a little TLC, these discoveries are legitimate, vintage pieces that are pre-loved. Every article of clothing has a story. Embrace it.


the This three part series begins with shopping tips from Kaelah Thomas. Seventeen magazine recently selected Kaelah, a 20-year-old fashion design student at O’More College of Design, as one of the nation’s top dressed teens. For the article, the magazine photographed Kaelah in a dress she bought from Goodwill and altered herself. Kaelah is an avid Goodwill shopper who has the talent to turn something old into something new.

“Every article of clothing has a story. Embrace it.� -Kaelah

Ambassador | Winter 2008


‘Tis The Season for Goodwill Wishes


Departments make a list for Santa’s helpers in middle Tennessee.

eachers ask elementary kids to write a wish list for Santa, at least they do in most small towns. The local paper prints the childrens’ present requests, and everyone gets a good laugh.

This year, Goodwill’s department heads made out their own lists for the holiday season.

Can you or someone you know help fill these requests? It is the season of giving and if you can help Goodwill with these specific needs, we will even give you a receipt for your taxes—and maybe leave some milk and cookies!

• •

SUV, cargo van, or truck for Goodwill’s I.T. department. The department currently has no dedicated vehicle to support Goodwill’s outlying areas. More employers contacting Goodwill’s Career Solutions department with job openings. This would help Goodwill’s career counselors place Goodwill’s clients in jobs.

Ambassador | Winter 2008

PR News Announces Winners

Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc. selected as finalist for employee publication, Living the Mission.


Purchase a Mrs. Goodbee Talking Dollhouse. Learning Curve, the dollhouse’s creators, has partnered with Goodwill to promote sharing and caring. The dollhouse encourages its young owners to donate to Goodwill. A van for Sign Solutions. Goodwill’s newest business offers signs, graphic design, marketing, and public relations. The van would enable the division to deliver signs to customers. Repeat last year’s volume of donations. We served one million donors in 2007 and would appreciate that kind of overwhelming support again—even in our tough economy. Large format printer for Sign Solutions. Increasing the amount of help we provide businesses helps Sign Solutions contribute to funding Goodwill’s mission and the number of employees Goodwill is able to hire.

To play Santa for Goodwill, contact (615) 742-4151.


ur Goodwill’s Living the Mission ranked in the top five employee publications among Fortune 500 companies, including AOL (winner), Toyota, Dominion, and Peabody Energy who were also selected as finalists in the same category. PR News saluted the Platinum PR Awards winners and honorable mentions on October 2, 2008 at the Grand Hyatt in New York City. This sold-out event honored the top PR campaigns

of the year, the smartest communications initiatives, and the people behind them. The Platinum PR Awards had a record number of entries this year; more than 1,000. PR News, the leading trade publication among communicators worldwide, presented the awards. The winners in this year’s awards program included corporations, nonprofits, and PR firms large and small.

Job Relieves Cabin Fever

Spending most of the time in his bedroom, Danny Carter looks forward to hanging out with his Goodwill co-workers.


anny’s cousins have supported him for most of his life in Lawrenceburg, Tenn. As a young boy, he used to fight with them over the extra bacon during breakfast. Now they help him maintain his estate and take care of his medical needs. When he is not working at Goodwill, Danny spends time at his home which he shared with his parents. When they passed away, he inherited the family home. Danny’s cousins now split the responsibility for his care. His cousin Debra manages Danny’s medical and financial needs while another cousin, Connie, and her 22 year-old son live with him.

On Sundays, Terrie and her husband take Danny to church, which he enjoys as much as his job and social life.

Pet Shop Closing Before joining Goodwill, Danny worked in a pet shop for 15 years. But when the owner passed away, the store had to be closed and Danny went without a job for more than a decade. Danny had not gone to high

school and was without a degree, making it difficult for him to find the right job. “I was tired of sitting at home, got bored watching TV,” says Danny. A friend of the family told Danny about Goodwill. Danny has dedicated himself to Goodwill, hanging donated clothes for over six years. But he helps out in other areas including the donation center and pricing books before they hit the sales floor. “Danny knows his job pretty well; he can size items now and catches any donated clothes that may have a rip or tear before we put them on the sales floor,” says Terrie. Pride washes over Danny’s face as Terrie points out his abilities.


Ambassador | Winter 2008

Danny still likes bacon. Now he has also grown to enjoy something even more—wrestling. In the haven of his bedroom, Danny Carter entertains himself with the drama and energy of professional wrestling.

Danny also craves freedom from his home and thrives at his job with Goodwill. He likes the companionship of his co-workers and spends time away from work with them. Terrie Bennett, assistant manager, ranks at the top of the list. Danny’s continuous smile lights a little brighter and his laugh a little harder when Terrie offers a compliment.

Ambassador | Winter 2008

Deck the



Save money and use your creative side to spruce up your table for this season’s company with Goodwill.


ulling out all the family china and holiday ware is like welcoming an old friend into your home again. The annual ritual brings back sentimental memories. “So many of the activities that are special to us are tied to the holiday meals that we share. A lot of my fondest memories from childhood are of those spent as a family around the dining room table or by the grill in the summer,” says Sharon Hacker, Herman Street receptionist. However, using the same dishes every year leaves an important spice out of the holiday feast. Try shopping secondhand to add new style and flair to your holiday decorating.

Goodwill offers holiday decorations from art works to hang and centerpieces, linens and other beautiful pieces to make your table unique. Each Goodwill store has several aisles full of dishes. With so many choices, you will be able to design a theme that will make your trip to Goodwill well worth your time and energy. But, when shopping at Goodwill, keep a keen eye out for good deals. If you keep an open mind about your holiday displays, you will likely find the right pieces to personalize your home. That is one of the beauties of shopping at thrift stores! Let your imagination take control and open your mind to flow with your new finds.

“The table was always the central gathering place at any get together at my house.” -Sharon Hacker

• Use framed mirrors on tables as centerpieces. • Collect unmatched candleholders in one material and group them. For example use all glass, all silver, or all brass candleholders. • Match or contrast decorations to fit the room. Use nontraditional colors and materials. • Fill an inexpensive clear vase with berries for an easy burst of color.


Ambassador | Winter 2008

Tim Holder, sales associate at the Lewisburg store designed this table setting for less than $50. Items in the pictures include $2.99 dinner plates, a $3.99 table runner and $1.99 glasses.

Decor Tips

Sign Up for Good News Goodwill’s e-newsletter saves members money.


ith more Tennesseans searching for bargains on everything from groceries to gas, signing up for Good News, Goodwill’s e-newsletter narrows the hunt for discounts on quality clothes and home goods. The monthly newsletter e-mails members with coupons, tips and news related to shopping, donating and Goodwill in general. “Signing up for Good News keeps our customers informed on ways

to save money at Goodwill,” says Niketa Hailey-Hill, Goodwill’s marketing manager. After Goodwill tried a quarterly e-newsletter, Niketa suggested Goodwill offer a condensed version for shoppers and donors with targeted and beneficial information each month.

downloadable Goodwill sales calendar and a coupon. “So far, we’ve offered $5 off any $25 purchase,” says David Jenkins, Goodwill’s director of retail who determines the coupon’s value each month. In October, Good News featured decorating and dressing up for Halloween on a stiff budget.

The new format displays short stories with a link to the rest of the articles if the reader is interested. It also has a

To sign up for Goodwill’s free membership, visit and click on the newsletter sign-up link. Follow directions from there to start saving at your favorite thrift store—Goodwill.

Ambassador | Winter 2008

Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc. | 1015 Herman St. | Nashville | TN | 37203 Non-profit Org. U.S. Postage


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Holiday Shopping Donation DOs and DON’Ts Goodwill for school uniforms. Dress for less. Shop at 1 Our business is changing lives. Ambassador...