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How a Donation Can Change A Life

Posted by Mike Matus on December 3, 2014

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As you drive through Southeastern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois, I hope you have seen our billboards advocating our mission:

You DonaYou Donate. We Train. People Work.te. We Train. People Work.

Its meaning was recently reinforced to me through an email received from an acquaintance.

A few months back I did what most Goodwill donators do—I cleaned out my closet. Without any thought, I rounded up a bunch of items that I haven't worn in a while and made a trip to my local donation center here in Chicago. Most of the items were old jeans and casual clothing but I also donated a couple of sport coats and a suit or two. A couple days later I received the forwarded message below through Linkedin.

Hi - I know this is a unusual, but you left a business card in a suit you donated to Goodwill. I made this account expressly to thank you. It was difficult finding a good, quality suit I could afford for job interviews.  Thank you so much.

To say I was blown away wouldn't do it justice—it literally made my year!  Many of us donate our clothing as a way of helping, but never truly understand how it affects people's lives or where it actually goes. The fact that this person took time out of his day to thank me put it all in to perspective for me. I hope you and your team can use this as fuel for continuing your efforts. It certainly made me feel great about the decision to donate to your organization.

Donations from the community are the lifeblood of Goodwill Store & Donation Centers and the sale of those donated items funds our mission of training, employment and supportive services for people with disabilities or disadvantages who seek greater independence. When you donate to Goodwill this holiday season, know that your donations really can change a life.

Written by Mike Matus

Mike Matus joined Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin in January, 2013 as the Vice President of Sales & Strategic Solutions. Mike’s responsibilities include the development of an integrated Employer Outreach / Business Development strategy across the entire organization. In his role, Mike works closely with the Mission Operations staff of Goodwill TalentBridge, Goodwill Laundry, Goodwill Manufacturing, Goodwill DataShield and Mission Services to drive and coordinate business development efforts to expand the Mission of Goodwill. Mike has spent over 20+ years in executive sales management in varied industries including: Packaging, Graphic Arts and Metal fabrication. Most recently, he was the Vice President of Sales & Marketing for J.L. Clark, a Clarcor company, specializing in custom metal and plastic packaging. He has served on several boards and received his Bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University. Mike is currently a member of the MMAC, Executive Agenda, ACG and SAMA organizations.
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Mission Support Center
Tel: (414) 847-4200

James O. Wright Center forWork & Training
Tel: (414) 353-6400

Metropolitan Chicago -
Tel: (312) 994-1440