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Frequently Asked Questions
We provide training, employment and job placement for people with disabilities and other barriers to work — helping individuals increase productivity and achieve greater independence.
Yes, we are a private non-profit agency, not a government agency. A volunteer Board of Directors made up of local citizens provides oversight to Goodwill Industries and ensures that it meets the needs of the citizens of our community.
No. All Goodwill’s are operated autonomously and independently. We all have very similar missions, but how we accomplish that mission varies from Goodwill to Goodwill. This Goodwill is unique and diversified.
Goodwill runs several entrepreneurial businesses whose only purpose is to further Goodwill Industries’ mission.
Our businesses provide an opportunity and special work environments where people with disabilities can learn skills, acquire work experience, gain confidence, and build their self-esteem until they are ready for competitive employment in the community. In addition, the revenues from the businesses also help support the mission so we can help even more people.
We operate 34 retail stores to sell merchandise donated by the public at 53 collection locations throughout Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. This is the business activity by which most people recognize us and have supported Goodwill for many years. But, there are other entrepreneurial businesses that we operate of which most people aren’t aware. We manufacture military clothing for the United States Government. We make the most important flag of the United States of America - the interment flag. We are a janitorial company that daily cleans 147 buildings with six million square feet of space and we operate a Medical laundering facility that cleans over 40 million pounds of linens and uniforms for our local hospital partners, and is custom designed to serve the booming healthcare and hospitality industry in South Florida.
We like clothing, household items, shoes, housewares (such as flatware, dinnerware, pots and pans, kitchen utensils) small appliances (such as toasters, blenders, mixers, counter top grills, juicers, waffle makers, etc,), toys, bicycles, books, fishing equipment, tools, collectables, decorations and many other small items. Currently we are not receiving furniture, mattresses, large appliances (such as ovens, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, or other large equipment) and items which are not in good saleable condition. For more information about donations, please visit donations do’s and don’ts.
Unfortunately, the cost of making home pickups is prohibitive. We appreciate when our donors are able to take their retail donations to Goodwill’s nearest Donation Center or to one of our stores. We have 553 Donation Centers and 34 stores throughout Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. Check our donation centers and store locations.
Retail donations are partially processed at the Donation Centers, and the items are separated into saleable and non-saleable items. Then they are classified into major categories. Final processing is completed in individual store stock rooms before they are moved to the sales floor. After four weeks, any merchandise that has not sold is sent to the Goodwill plant to be sold as salvage. Clothing is then packed in 1,000 lb. bales to be sold abroad. Goodwill recycles millions of pounds of clothing that would otherwise end up in landfills. Thus, we are helping to keep the environment clean.
Yes, you can make a cash donation. When you make a cash donation to Goodwill, 96% of your donation will help to support the programs and services that we provide to help people with disabilities and disadvantages to receive training that will lead them to employment. Since its inception one-hundred years ago, Goodwill’s philosophy is based on teaching people to support themselves; not giving charity but a chance. If you would like to make a cash donation to Goodwill of South Florida, you may do so by mailing your check to:
Goodwill South Florida, Development Department, 2121 N.W. 21st Street, Miami, FL 33142 or you can make a cash donation online now or by calling us at (305) 326.4182.
Choosing which charity to invest in, whether it is a cash donation or a donation of goods, is a personal decision. However, Goodwill Industries of South Florida is proud to say that its percentages of resources directed to helping people, rather than administration and fundraising/administrative expenses of less than 10% as a 10. Charity Watch rates that an organization that expends 75% of its resources on program and up to 25% on administration/fundraising is highly efficient. In 2018, Goodwill of South Florida put 96% of all the money we made, back into our training and rehabilitation programs. You can comfortable know that your donation to Goodwill of South Florida is helping people to receive the services that they need to move towards independence.
Goodwill Stores’ cost of doing business is complex and involves staffing of fifty-four donation centers for ten hours per day, seven days per week. It also involves a fleet of trucks to move materials, and personnel at our stores to process, price and sell the merchandise. Pricing of merchandise in Goodwill Stores is competitive (based upon surveying the market) and it is our goal to make sure that we are selling excellent quality merchandise for a price lower than new low-quality merchandise.
We use the revenue from retail/donated goods, and all of our entrepreneurial activities to help support our mission of training and employing people with disabilities and other barriers to work. All of our rehabilitation services such as evaluation, training and job placement are free to our program participants.
Training & Programs
Our service territory includes Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties. Rehabilitative services are provided at our main facility located at 2121 N.W. 21 Street in Miami and 2104 W. Commercial Blvd. in Broward.
We have vocational training in the following areas: Office Careers, Cashiering, Industrial Sewing, and Janitorial Services. We also have a variety of employment and supportive services that assist individuals enrolled in vocational training.
Participants must have authorization for employment and a social security card.
Goodwill is subject to the federal labor law called the Fair Labor Standards Act which requires people be paid no less than the minimum wage. There are individuals with severe disabilities, who have productivity that is very low and would not be employable.
In order to facilitate their training and employment, the U.S. Department of Labor issues a special certificate to allow these individuals to be paid at a piece rate so long as it is based on a wage rate similar to what a non-disabled individual would earn doing similar work. This enables us to help these individuals increase their productivity gradually until they reach the competitive level.
Participants will get paid if they are in training and perform productive work. However, they are not paid when involved in classroom training where there is no productive work.
Some participants can be helped to produce at a competitive level rapidly, and others take a longer period of time. How quickly participants can become competitive depends on the complexity of the individual’s needs and issues. Goodwill’s goal is not to offer long-term employment to participants, but rather to help them move as quickly as possible into competitive employment in order to make room to serve others in need of our services.
The State of Florida, Department of Children & Families and the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation refers participants to our program. Many are also referred by the county school systems, United Way Agencies, Jackson Memorial Hospital and other similar organizations. A large number of individuals are self-referred, or they are referred by their own families.
Our participants pay nothing. Goodwill services are free to those who need them.
Some participants are enrolled in programs that are partially funded by the State of Florida, Department of Children & Families, the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, or the county school systems. Goodwill is also supported by the United Way, as well as by corporate, foundation, and individual donors. Our retail donors also play a large part in helping us to cover the cost of our services by donating clothing, shoes, housewares and other goods to our Goodwill Donation Centers. Here is where our business activities come into play; 96% of our revenues from our business services/entrepreneurial activities help fund the services that we provide.
Participants must be 18 years old.
- Participants must be able to use public transportation or have own transportation.
- Participants must be able to provide self-care. (Eating, restroom, etc.)
- Participants cannot have aggressive behavior and be dangerous to themselves or others.
The majority of those we serve have physical, intellectual or emotional disabilities. We also serve people with special needs, who do not have a disability. These are people who face major barriers to employment due to a combination of factors such as poverty, stressful living conditions, lack of education and training, chronic unemployment and other similar factors.
Our organization’s strength lies in helping people who face major barriers to independent living such as people with disabilities and special needs. There are few organizations that can do what we do. There is a large population of people with disabilities and special needs in our community; therefore, we like to devote our capabilities to those who need us the most.
If the person is not aware, we will arrange a professional to make this determination. In fact, the first step for individuals to enter a Goodwill program is through our Evaluation Program. Potential participants receive numerous tests to determine their aptitude and interest, and to establish a plan to help them on the basis of their needs and interests.
Some participants can make the transition to employment and the competitive world in just a few weeks. For others it could take many years. It depends on the complexity, an individual’s needs and issues. Goodwill’s goal is to help people make the transition as soon as possible.
If you are interested in making a meaningful contribution to the community then you have found the right place. Join us in making a rewarding difference in the lives of others while you volunteer at Goodwill South Florida.
GOODWILL SOUTH FLORIDA HEADQUARTERS
Goodwill Industries of South Florida
2121 N.W. 21 St.
Miami, FL 33142
Goodwill Industries of South Florida
2104 Commercial Blvd.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309
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