May6 – 12 is Goodwill Week.   Goodwill Week is internationally recognized and celebrated at Goodwill’s around the world.

This year we celebrate 60 years of Goodwill Week.  Goodwill Industries Week was first celebrate in May 1951 as a way to encourage local Goodwill agencies to educate their communities about their mission of “helping people with disabilities help themselves.”

A lot has changed in 60 years, including a name change for the not for profit Goodwill Industries of America to Goodwill Industries International, and a diversification of the people served by Goodwill to include those with a variety of workplace disadvantages and barriers to employment.

However, as Goodwill changed with the times, the first week of each May , has continued to mark the annual commemoration, with a variety of outreach activities. In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, popular Hollywood stars and entertainers also endorsed Goodwill Industries Week. Joan Crawford, Sammy Davis Jr., Charlton Heston, Jack Benny and Maureen O’Hara all  radio announcements encourage in the public to donate and shop at  Goodwill. In 1980,  US President Jimmy Carter commended Goodwill for helping people with disabilities “achieve independence and improve the quality of their lives.”

The purpose behind the 61-year old tradition of Goodwill industries Week has remained the same. The celebration is an opportunity to thank Goodwill’s supporters and, most importantly, recognize and celebrate the people Goodwill serves.

Watch over the next week as Goodwill Industries of Alberta celebrates Goodwill Week by honouring our supporters.

When Rev. Dr. Edgar J. Helms founded Goodwill Industries® in 1902, he couldn’t have envisioned our reliance on social media, nor the role it would play in educating the public about our mission. Yet, web sites, blogs, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other new media have helped Goodwill® take its social entrepreneurship role to new heights.

Technology — once thought of as cold and impersonal — can actually make Goodwill’s mission more tangible and meaningful to you: our shoppers and donors, business and government partners.

The most dramatic example to date is the launch of the Donate Movement, around which people united for a common cause — protecting the environment through socially conscious donations. Goodwill’s groundbreaking Donation Impact Calculator demonstrates the value of donations to the planet and to the people Goodwill serves through critical job training and career services.

During the first week of May, which marks the 61nd  Anniversary of Goodwill Industries Week, agencies like Goodwill Industries of Alberta want to thank you again for the part you play in our history and in our future. Your continued support keeps alive a century-old vision that we all have a role to play in protecting the planet and transforming lives through the power of work.

On May 9, 2012 Goodwill honours 13 individuals and organizations in twelve categories for their special achievements and support of Goodwill in 2012.  Also this week, Goodwill celebrates the special stories of individuals who have found purpose and opportunity in their communities as part of Goodwill.