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, GOODWILL HELPS OVER TENNESSEANS FIND WORK IN 2014, AND COUNTING Goodwill Impact Luncheons Award High Achievers U.S. Sen. Bob Corker Tours Goodwill’s Nashville Headquarters Goodwill Sweaters Warm Woman’s Heart & Hobby

Ambassador WINTER 2014

President and CEO

Matthew S. Bourlakas


Karl Houston

contents 2 3

Senior Director of Marketing & Community Relations


Editor and Writer


PR & Communications Manager


Art Director


Chris Fletcher

EJ Kerr

Manager of Creative Services Ambassador is a quarterly magazine published by Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc., 1015 Herman Street, Nashville, TN 37208. For the nearest retail store, donation center, or Career Solutions center, please call 800.545.9231 or visit www.giveit2goodwill.org. Ambassador provides readers with stories of the events, activities and people who support the mission of Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee. We are pleased to provide you this information and hope you will share our publication with others. Please note that the opinions expressed in Ambassador do not necessarily reflect the opinions or official position of management or employees of Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.

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I Got it at Goodwill Goodwill Success Stories Goodwill Surpasses 2014 Goals First Career Solutions center in Lebanon Clarksville Police Honor Career Solutions Goodwill’s 2014 Impact Luncheon - Middle TN Goodwill’s 2014 Impact Luncheon - West TN Employee Receives Wheels-To-Work Lower Your Taxes, Help Goodwill Create Jobs Give A Kid A Book, Change The World U.S. Sen. Corker Tours Goodwill Headquarters Kristian Bush: Give It Away to Goodwill Goodwill Sweaters Warm Woman’s Heart & Hobby I Change Lives - Sandy Hickey

Board of Directors OFFICERS

Chairperson: Donna B. Yurdin

Legal Counsel: Christopher S. Dunn & Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP

Vice Chairman: Fred McLaughlin

Goodwill President and CEO: Matthew S. Bourlakas

Secretary: Julie F. Wilson

Goodwill VP and Chief People Officer: Betty J. Johnson

Treasurer: Dave M. Fentress


James B. Foley

Todd A. Spaanstra

Kathryn S. Gibson

John W. Stone, III*

J. B. Baker

Chad M. Grout

Kathryn I. Thompson

Philip G. Hull

John C. Tishler*

Decosta E. Jenkins

John Van Mol

Robert B. Kennedy

Jeff Young

R. Craig Laine

*Ex Officio

Ryan R. Loyd


Woodretta Allen

The Goodwill Mission We sell donated goods to

provide employment and training opportunities for people who have disabilities and others who have trouble finding and keeping jobs.

Bryan L. Bean Steele Clayton David L. Condra Gary W. Cordell Andrew Davidson Chris Dunn Robert W. Duthie Dave M. Fentress


Ambassador Winter 2014

Robert McNeilly Ty H. Osman Christine E. Skold

Fred T. McLaughlin Robert B. Kennedy Robert W. Duthie Our business is changing lives.



got it at


GREAT FINDS AND DEALS FROM GOODWILL SHOPPERS Do you have some fabulous finds in your home or closet that you purchased at Goodwill? Share them with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, and we might feature them in our next edition!

Jane Wrote: New pillows from the Goodwill $1.99 each. They go perfect with my blue $10.00 couch my Mom got me for my craft room.

Tracey wrote: Bought this beautiful piece at Goodwill in Union City, TN. I love it.

Post your great finds:


BougieThrifter wrote: I scored some shoes of course but some really great ones: #NineWest #RalphLauren #ChelseaCrew

Ben wrote: This is the pea coat I’ve always wanted,” he said. “I’ve had others, but none like this. You can’t find a pea coat like that in a standard retail store. It was a great deal.”

Ambassador Winter 2014





give determination

“I spent four months in a hospital bed,” she said. “My foot was shattered, but I was determined to prove my doctors wrong, and I did.”

­­­­– Marvelous


After a car accident left

her with serious injuries

to her back, knee, ankle

and foot, doctors told Marvelous she would never walk

again. “I spent four months in a hospital bed,” she said. “My foot was shattered, but I was determined to prove my doctors wrong, and I did.”

Marvelous would continue to push herself. A year after

the accident, she accepted a position as a dietary cook at a nursing home, but after 13 years, she had to leave

the job she loved. “I could no longer do the heavy lifting the job required because I was in so much pain,” she said. “Arthritis had set in.”

give courage

Marvelous had a hard time finding another job

“I can get up every morning with a smile on my face because I have a

that would meet her needs. After six months of

unemployment, she moved from Indiana to Tennessee to live with her daughter and granddaughter. “I went

through struggles, but my daughter was there to help me.”

job that I love.”

­­­­– Linda

When Marvelous stopped by the Goodwill Career

Solutions center in Clarksville, she had been out of

work for three years. “I never gave up. I was determined to find a job.”

Her determination paid off. Goodwill offered Marvelous

give peace

a job as a clothing processor at the Clarksville store on

“I told my career counselor I was tired of running the streets, and I

“I didn’t think I would make it through one day.”

Now, seven years later, Marvelous is still going strong. grateful for that,” she said. “I love my job, and I love my

­­­­– Floyd Ambassador Winter 2014

offer, but concerned she wouldn’t be able to do the job.

“Goodwill gave me a chance to work again, and I am

really needed a job.”


Ft. Campbell Boulevard. She was excited to get a job

Goodwill family.”

Our business is changing lives.


The company Linda had

previously worked for went under in 2008. Despite 23 years in

customer service, she couldn’t find another job. “It

wasn’t a good time to be looking for work,” she said. “No one was hiring.”

When Linda visited the Goodwill Career Solutions center in Rivergate, she had been out of work for

three years. “At that time, we were about two months

from losing our home,” she said. “I told them I needed a job and I was willing to do anything.”

Three weeks later, Linda got a job tagging clothes in one of Goodwill’s downtown Nashville warehouses.

After seven months, she was promoted to assistant supervisor in the warehouse. “I love helping people

and encouraging people, and this job allowed me to do just that.”

Linda’s second promotion and current position

allows her to help even more people. As a Goodwill job coach, she travels to different locations and

works one-on-one with Goodwill clients who have a

disability. “It is such a rewarding job,” she said with a smile. “When they master a task, I get excited, too.”

Linda said working for Goodwill has changed her life. “It has restored my faith and given me courage,” she said. “I can get up every morning with a smile on my face because I have a job that I love.”


Floyd had been living the street

life for more than 10 years. “I had a drug and alcohol problem, and

I kept going to jail,” he said.

In 2008, Floyd reached an all-time low and decided

it was time to turn his life around. At the time, he had been unemployed for two years. “It got real tough,

and I made up my mind that I didn’t want to live like this anymore.”

So, he left Jackson, Tennessee, and headed to Music City for a fresh start. Floyd had been on the job hunt

in Nashville for three months when someone told him about Goodwill. The very next day he stopped by the Career Solutions center on 8th Avenue. “I told my

career counselor I was tired of running the streets, and I really needed a job.”

One week later, Goodwill offered Floyd a job as a

dock associate. After six months unloading trucks in one of Goodwill’s downtown Nashville warehouses,

Floyd’s supervisor promoted him to a lead position. Then in 2012, he joined Goodwill’s community

relations department as a truck helper. Floyd now

spends his days picking up donations for Goodwill

and interacting with our donors, which he thoroughly

enjoys. “I like meeting people, and I really like my job.” This month, Floyd celebrates his fifth anniversary with Goodwill, and he’s pretty happy with the way things

have turned out. “Working for Goodwill makes me feel good inside,” he said. “I’m at peace now.”

Ambassador Winter 2014






oodwill has an enviable problem: trying to set

lofty-but-achievable annual

goals when the nonprofit’s success at fulfilling its mission continues to zoom past expectations.

Take 2014, for instance. Based on the prior year’s performance, Goodwill’s

leaders set goals of assisting 20,000 people with disabilities or other

barriers to employment with free job training and placement services.

From those, the hope was to place 6,000 people in jobs.

Those milestones were passed in

September. By Nov. 30, the goals –

which had seemed ambitious when they were set – appeared naively

conservative. With a month left to

go, nearly 26,700 people had been

served at Goodwill Career Solutions Centers and more than 8,600 had

senior director of Goodwill Career Solutions.

Gloster said the reasons for 2014’s success included the hard work of career counselors to deepen and

I don’t know how I would manage the day-to-day operations of hiring the

proper candidate.” The impact on the region’s workforce and economy is also being recognized.

expand connections with employers

“Goodwill serves a hard-to-serve

processes to track clients. Increases

of assistance and training, and they

and the refinement of administrative

in the number of job fairs held at the Goodwill Career Solutions Centers centers and the number of people attending those events propelled

exponential statistical gains. The 29 centers now collectively host about 100 jobs fairs per month.

The job placement numbers show

the effort is paying off for Goodwill

clients. And employers who partner with Goodwill are also realizing increased benefits.

population that is in desperate need do it at a scale that nobody else

in Middle Tennessee does,” said

Paul Haynes, executive director of the Middle Tennessee Workforce Investment Board.

The effect of three new Goodwill

Career Solutions centers in thriving markets will start to be felt in 2015, further adding to the momentum,

Gloster said. And making it all that much more difficult to decide on goals for the coming year. n

“Goodwill is my cornerstone,” said

found jobs.

Debby Bynum, manager of HG

“It was a remarkable

for Jostens Inc. in that city. “Without

accomplishment,” said Matt Gloster,


Staffing in Shelbyville which hires

them to assist me in my hiring needs,


26,600 and 8,600 PEOPLE ASSISTED




Ambassador Winter 2014

Our business is changing lives.



oodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee celebrated the grand opening of its first Career Solutions center in Lebanon on November 12, with a ribbon-cutting, open house and multi-employer job fair.

Dignitaries in attendance at the 1031 W. Main St. site, adjacent to the Goodwill store, included State Rep. Mark Prody and Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead. Goodwill President and CEO Matthew Bourlakas and Vice President/Chief People Officer Betty Johnson gave brief opening remarks.

Eleven employers hoping to fill more than 500

positions in Wilson, Davidson and Rutherford

counties participated in the job fair. During the

three-hour event, they met with 65 job-seekers. Courtney Bush said he attended the fair because

he had recently moved to Lebanon from Memphis and had been out of work for a month.

“This has been very helpful,” he said. “It gives me guidance as far as where to go.”

Jason Wilkerson, who represented employer

Staffmark, said he was pleased with the turnout. “I got 11 good candidates today, and I’m thinking we can get them placed,” he said. “There were

good folks coming in who brought their resumes and were well-prepared.”

The center’s new career counselor, Glenn Brown, and administrative assistant Catherine Clark, are

longtime employees who have served Goodwill’s mission in several capacities. n



oodwill was honored by the

Police Chief Al Ansley presented a certificate of

Oct. 15 for its role in a project

Chief People Officer Betty Johnson, Career

Clarksville Police Department on

designed to improve life for residents in the city’s New Providence area.

Solutions Centers Manager George Carlson and Career Solutions District Manager Lisa Baggett.

As a partner in Operation Defiance over

The Clarksville/New Providence Career Solutions

assisted more than 5,500 people with job

Policing Center, 640 Providence Blvd. Neighbors

three years, Goodwill Career Solutions

training and employment services, placing 455 people in jobs.

Ambassador Winter 2014

appreciation to Goodwill’s Vice President and

is located in the New Providence Community may visit the center to receive help with

education and GED, employment, computer training and family support. n

Our business is changing lives.



GOODWILL HONORS HIGH ACHIEVERS IN MIDDLE TENNESSEE Outstanding Clients, Employees, Employers & Community Partners Recognized

Goodwill honored 11 employees and Career Solutions

clients, three employer partners and a community partner at its annual Impact Luncheon on Nov. 21 in Nashville. News Channel 5 anchor Rhori Johnston (Pictured

Left) emceed the event, and motivational speakers H.K. Derryberry and Jim Bradford shared Derryberry’s

inspiring story. Derryberry, who is blind and has cerebral palsy, has ridden a horse, driven a boat and even flown Pictured L to R: Channel 5 anchor Rhori Johnston, Goodwill Industries CEO Matthew Bourlakas, Keynote speakers H.K. Derryberry and Jim Bradford.


a plane with the help of his mentor Bradford. Derryberry

praised Goodwill for helping many people with disabilities.

This award is named in honor of two women who were loyal supporters of

Goodwill, Madaleine LaVoi and Elsine Katz. The award is given to a Career

Solutions client who has made outstanding progress in their program at Goodwill.

Joey loves his job at the Dollar Tree store in Shelbyville. He enjoys stocking the shelves and greeting customers. When Joey, who has a learning disability, came to Career Solutions in

July of 2013, he had never been employed before. He got job readiness training and practical experience through Goodwill’s Transitional Employment Services Program. He encouraged others in the program.

As he did, Joey went from being very shy to very confident. After nearly a year of hard

work, Joey landed a position at Dollar Tree. Joey’s example shows what hard work and


determination can do.


This award is given to a Career Solutions client who has succeeded beyond all expectations in their new job.

Callers to Goodwill’s Nashville headquarters would be interested to learn that the

professional, friendly voice who answers belongs to someone who has only been on

the job for five months. But they would be surprised, indeed, to learn that Call Center employee Terrell is blind.

Terrell uses special software to scroll through over 900 pages of information that are read aloud to him through his headset. It took six weeks of intense training, but Terrell’s hard

work has paid off for him and paved the way for others. He credits Goodwill for answering

Terrell 7

Ambassador Winter 2014

his call for help.

Our business is changing lives.


The recipients of this award have achieved great

success since enrolling in Goodwill Career Solutions.





lost everything in the 2010

feared her age would prevent

had been unemployed for

had hopes for a military career

at Goodwill, he founded the

stay-at-home mom joined

training at Goodwill and was

Nashville floods. After training Edgehill Bike Club, which

mentors to children and has

given away over 400 bicycles.

employment. But the former Goodwill’s Beyond Jobs

program and is now a retail

assistant at our Antioch store.

three years. She completed

hired at a Murfreesboro store. After two promotions, she is assistant manager.

but they were cut short by

injury, and he struggled to find a civilian job. After a Goodwill job fair, he landed a spot with Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.






was a skilled handyman with a

moved to the U.S. from

brought his family to the U.S.

a registered nurse who had

Solutions and its job fairs led

she struggled with language

brought him to Goodwill. He

20 years, refreshed her skills

troubled past. Goodwill Career him to a position he enjoys

with HotelPro as an exterior cleaner.

Thailand. Despite a degree, barriers. She trained with

Goodwill in Shelbyville and is now a office administrator.

from Egypt. Cultural barriers

obtained a maintenance job at

the Saint Cecilia Motherhouse.

been a stay-at-home mom for with Goodwill. She is now

an RN case manager for St. Clair’s Senior Center.





The Shalom Zone

Businesses Honored

participated in Goodwill’s

which works to promote peace

Several businesses were recognized at the luncheon for

led to a job with Crossroads

Clearview Community, was

Lowe’s and Waffle House, were honored for contributing to

with Goodwill to further the

practices and hiring of numerous clients.

Youth-Building Program, which Campus, a non-profit

connecting people with pets.

Ambassador Winter 2014

and improve life in Gallatin’s

honored for a decade of work missions of both organizations.

their enthusiastic support of Goodwill’s mission. Speedway,

the success of Career Solutions through their employment




GOODWILL HONORS HIGH ACHIEVERS IN WEST TENNESSEE Outstanding Clients, Employees, Employers & Community Partners Recognized

Goodwill honored five Career Solutions clients, three employers, two community partners and one regional partner at its Impact Luncheon

awards ceremony in Jackson on Nov. 7. WBBJ-TV morning anchor Bart Barker emceed the event.

Pictured above: WBBJ-TV Morning anchor Bart Barker (Center) with Impact Luncheon awardees pictured Left to right: Tiffany, Jeffrey, Tonia and Lisa.


This award is given to a Career Solutions client who has succeeded beyond all expectations in their new job.

When Tiffany first enrolled in Goodwill’s transitional employment training program to be a housekeeper in October of 2012, she was terribly shy and withdrawn. As her training continued and she was hired as a housekeeper at the North Jackson Career Solutions Center, Tiffany began to blossom. She helped out at job fairs, strengthening her communication and customer service skills. Tiffany completed several Goodwill computer classes and is now enrolled in the West Tennessee Business College Medical Billing Specialist program.


REGIONAL PARTNER, COMMUNITY AND EMPLOYER PARTNER AWARDS Several organizations were recognized for their support of Goodwill’s mission. The Tennessee

College of Applied Technology was recognized as

Regional Partner of the Year, while Bethel University

and the Obion County Joint Economic Development

Council were named Community Partners of the Year. Advantage Staffing, Cox Oil and Max Trans, were

honored for their employment practices and hiring of

Organizations Honored 9

Ambassador Winter 2014

Goodwill Career Solutions clients.

Our business is changing lives.


The recipients of this award have achieved great

success since enrolling in Goodwill Career Solutions.






first came to Goodwill in April

was laid off from her job in

was left with few resources

moved from St. Louis to

worked in human resources

had a chemistry degree, but

worked for several months

after the company where she relocated, leaving her

unemployed. Job readiness training at Goodwill helped the single mom find a new job as human resources

manager for Jones Plastic

and Engineering. She now has a new home, and her company hires directly

May 2013. The single mom her resume and computer

skills needed refreshing. She

got help at the South Jackson Goodwill Career Solutions Center. She now teaches

math to eleventh- and twelfthgraders at Jackson CentralMerry High School.

through Goodwill.

after her divorce. She had not and needed a place to live. At the South Jackson Goodwill

Career Solutions center, she completed digital literacy

and Microsoft Office training. She received multiple job

offers and took a position as an administrative assistant

with Hamilton-Ryker staffing company.

Jackson to live with his son after his work hours were

slashed, but he had no luck finding employment. In

October of 2013, he came to Goodwill for job readiness

training. Two months later, he

was hired part-time by Krystal Restaurant. He recently got

a second job and moved into his own apartment.



ife’s bumpy road will be a little

Bourlakas presented Raymond with the

Goodwill donations attendant

Accord — during a ceremony Nov. 7 at

smoother for a West Tennessee

now that he is riding in a reliable car he received for free.

keys to his “new” car — a 1999 Honda

the Goodwill Career Solutions Center on West University Parkway in Jackson.

Raymond, who works at Donation

Raymond said the car is a huge step

and Jackson, is the beneficiary of

He fought a losing war to keep the old

Express Centers in both Lexington Goodwill’s Wheels-to-Work Program,

which was established to help Goodwill employees and clients who need

reliable transportation to get to work.

Goodwill President and CEO Matthew

Ambassador Winter 2014

up from his 1992 Chevrolet Lumina.

car on the road, being forced to make expensive repairs, such as replacing

the water pump, head gaskets and the engine. “Now I can get to work and

and having to call somebody to pick me up,” he said. “It’s a big deal to me.”

Raymond moved to Tennessee in 2009 to look for work after losing his job

in Wisconsin. He visited a Goodwill Career Solutions office for help and was hired as a donation attendant.

Raymond’s supervisor says he is an excellent and reliable team member. n

church without needing to get towed







hey are six days that make a difference in thousands of lives. Each year from Dec. 26-31, the number of donations at Goodwill Donation Express Centers

skyrockets. In 2013, donations of clothing and household

goods during that period rose by 80 percent compared to other days of the year.

Donations fund Goodwill’s mission of providing employment and training opportunities for people with disabilities and

hen a class of Martin Methodist College students in Pulaski, Tenn. envisioned creating a library for the

local Boys & Girls Club, they set a goal of collecting

500 books. Then they reached out to Goodwill for help.

Professor Kerbe Lee said he only hoped a Goodwill store

would give his students a good deal on books for the club’s at-risk children, many of whom lack books at home.

others who have trouble finding and keeping jobs. The end-

But when Mike Eisenbraun, Goodwill’s senior director of

out their closets, attics and garages to make room for holiday

employees to work on the class project. They sorted through

of-year donation rush is prompted in part by people cleaning

production, heard about the request, he put a team of

gifts. But donors also are seeking last-minute tax deductions.

unsold books to find ones appropriate for the club, and then

Here are a few things to keep in mind when donating: •

Donors wishing to claim a tax deduction should request a receipt from the attendant when dropping off their donations. The IRS allows a deduction for each item, but it is up to the donor to estimate each item’s value.

Prepare an inventory of your items before donating.

Please remove hangers from clothing.

If you have a single donation worth more than $500, you will need to complete IRS Form 8283. You will also need a qualified written appraisal.


arranged to transport three huge boxes they had filled to the Pulaski Boys & Girls Club.

During an Oct. 21 ceremony, the college students unveiled the new library to the club. Inside were 19 bookcases filled with more than 5,200 books. Lee said the results exceeded his students’ highest hopes.

“It’s just amazing what Goodwill was able to do to help us.” n

Find a Donation Express Center near you, visit:


Ambassador Winter 2014

Our business is changing lives.

U.S. SEN. CORKER TOURS GOODWILL’S DOWNTOWN NASHVILLE HEADQUARTERS U.S. Sen. Bob Corker toured Goodwill’s downtown Nashville facility on Nov. 6 and saw for himself

how donors’ gently used clothing and household items are turned into employment and training opportunities for thousands of Tennesseans each year.

Corker met with Goodwill Industries of Middle

Tennessee employees including President and

CEO Matthew Bourlakas, Board Chairman Donna Yurdin and Vice Chairman Fred McLaughlin for

a video and discussion of Goodwill’s operations

and mission before touring the facility. Bourlakas

explained how money raised in Goodwill’s stores through the sale of donated items is used to

provide numerous types of employment training,

certifications and job placement services at Goodwill’s 29 Career Solutions Centers. As of Oct. 31 those centers had served nearly 25,000 people and placed more than 7,700 in jobs.

The senator’s tour followed the path taken by donated clothing as it moves through the plant, from the dock, down an array of conveyors and past row upon row of employees who sort, tag and package the textiles for allocation to 34 Goodwill stores.

About 450 people work at the plant, while total employment for Goodwill of Middle Tennessee tops 2,200.

One of those workers, Grace, had been out of work for three

years before being hired as a production associate at Goodwill.

Corker concluded his tour by shaking hands and posing for

photos with a group of plant workers who have disabilities. They presented him with an autographed picture of themselves.

“I am proud of the inspiring work Goodwill Industries of Middle

Tennessee is doing to impact the lives of so many Tennesseans, and I enjoyed touring their facility in Nashville,” Corker said. “When most people think about Goodwill, they think about

donating clothes, and while that’s certainly important, the work Goodwill is doing for local communities goes so much further.

“I was particularly touched by their work to provide opportunities for the disabled and individuals in need to find and maintain jobs,” he added. n

“I didn’t have a job when I came to Goodwill,” she told the

senator. “They gave me a chance to take my life back, and I love them for that.”

KRISTIAN BUSH TO FANS: ‘GIVE IT AWAY FOR GOODWILL’ Kristian Bush has hitched his country music star

Bush’s Top-35-and-climbing hit, “Trailer Hitch,”

through the power of work.

but I don’t mind spreading it around.’

power to Goodwill’s mission of transforming lives The Knoxville-born musician, half of the platinum-

At his concerts, in interviews and through social

partnership with Goodwill Industries International.

Goodwill to fund its mission. n

selling duo Sugarland, recently announced a

Their “Give it Away” campaign was inspired by Ambassador Winter 2014

which includes the lyrics, ‘I may not have that much,

media, Bush is encouraging fans to donate to






or Laurie Gagliano, Goodwill’s stock of gently used sweaters is a godsend. Or part of a

godsend, anyway.

After years as a schoolteacher, the pastor’s wife and mother of seven

found herself in a new role: as stayat-home day care provider to her grandchildren.

“I really prayed and asked God if he

would give me something while I was at home, because I didn’t

want to go out of my gourd while just watching kids,” she recalls. One day she found the answer to her prayer lying on the ironing board in her sister’s home -- a beautiful pair of handmade

mittens. She grilled her sister about how the mittens were made and learned that the exterior parts were cut from wool sweaters and then stitched together on a sewing machine. A fleece lining prepared in the same fashion made them toasty warm.

“I fell in love with the mittens and the wool sweaters immediately, and the love is still there,” Gagliano says.

Finding the materials for her new passion proved easier and

cheaper than she could have hoped. A veteran bargain-shopper, Gagliano was familiar with the Goodwill store near her home in Springfield, Tenn. When she learned that a large selection of

sweaters was among the inventory Goodwill marks down to 99

cents on Wednesdays and Sundays, her new routine was born. “The minute the door opened I would be there, trying to snatch up all the wool sweaters I could find,” she explains.


Ambassador Winter 2014

“I really prayed and asked God if he would give me something while I was at home, because I didn’t want to go out of my gourd while just watching kids.” Gagliano’s hobby snowballed from there. She can now produce a pair of adult women’s mittens in 20 minutes. Ornate children’s mittens, in animal shapes like owls and foxes, take an hour. In total, she makes about 450 pairs per year.

She sells her mittens in several resale stores. The proceeds

allow her family to enjoy some extras, such as holding a large Christmas party for widows who attend her church. She also recently donated about 40 pairs of her mittens, and 15 hats

she bought at Goodwill, for missionaries to distribute to needy villagers in a remote part of Alaska.

The mittens have also brought Gagliano a bit of notoriety. In May, she was chosen for a “Cheapest of the Cheap” award by Mary

Hance, better known as Ms. Cheap, a columnist who writes about saving money for The Tennessean in Nashville.

Three years after Gagliano began making them, her mitten mania shows no signs of subsiding.

“The sweaters inspire me,” she says. “I find a sweater I love, and I can’t wait to turn it into a mitten.” n

Our business is changing lives.



Sandy Hickey

Career Solutions District Manager

Sandy Hickey is a district manager for Goodwill Career Solutions, overseeing the job training and employment services provided at centers in Jackson and Union City. She ensures that policies and procedures are followed and assists staff members with any issues they may encounter.

Helping people has been Sandy Hickey’s lifelong passion. After studying accounting at Illinois’ Lake Land College, Hickey moved to Tennessee and spent 17 years in the health

What brought you to Goodwill? The opportunity to serve others and advance

What has surprised you most in your time at Goodwill?

and was ready for a positive change. This

grown. At the Union City Career Solutions

my career. I was in health care a long time

It just astonishes me how much we’ve

was a brand new field for me, but the basics

Center, we went from 100 clients placed in

are the same. You take care of clients and

care industry. She became a

serve others.

certified nursing assistant and

What are the duties of your new position?

eventually an executive director. Two years ago, Sandy’s life was at a crossroads. That is when she applied for an administrative assistant position with Goodwill’s Career Solutions Center in Union City. She was hired, and after eight months in that job, she was promoted to career counselor. A year and a half later, Sandy was promoted again -- this time to district manager over West Tennessee’s three busy Career Solutions centers. She’s served in that role for about two months.

Ambassador Winter 2014

jobs at this point last year to 515 this year.

Those aren’t just numbers, they are people who got paychecks, fed their families and paid their bills.

Guiding other career counselors and

maximizing their potential to serve their

What do you enjoy most about your job?

community and the surrounding areas.

Also, I love talking with our business and

I enjoy meeting all the new people, hearing

community partners about Goodwill’s

their stories and finding them jobs. Our

clients call all the time to say, “Hey, I got a

mission and how we accomplish it.

What are some of the challenges you face? Getting the word out about what Goodwill

job!” It never gets old. Many of these are

people who had nowhere else to turn, and we offer them life-changing opportunities.

How do you change lives?

does. There are so many areas -- not just

Simply doing my job and following

that have a need for our services. We want

I make sure that everyone I contact is my

well with job fairs, training and employment

what their job skills are and help give them

cities -- where high unemployment persists

Goodwill’s mission helps me to change lives.

to reach out to the outlying communities as

priority. I take the time to talk to them, to see


hope. Every day, if I treat people with respect and dignity, it makes a difference.



Our business is changing lives.




Profile for Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee

Ambassador Winter 2014  

Ambassador Winter 2014