A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT AND CEO
Dear Friends of Goodwill,
Thank you for your financial support and the gift of your donations! This year has presented us all with unprecedented challenges. Because of you, we have been able to manage through the pandemic and renew our mission focus. We are continuing to do what we do best: changing lives through education, training and employment by operating a tuition-free high school for adults, The Excel Center®, offering training through The Academy at Goodwill and providing job skills training and support to citizens returning from incarceration.
Through the health crisis we grew stronger as a team. We helped
solve problems and lent a helping hand to whomever needed it, like Arkansas’s frontline healthcare workers. Through a partnership with the Arkansas Department of Health, Governor Asa Hutchinson’s office and Battelle, Goodwill’s headquarters was selected as the only site in Arkansas for a Battelle Critical Care Decontamination System™. The system uses hydrogen peroxide vapor to sanitize N95 masks. This allows masks to be safely worn multiple times. The system can process up to 80,000 masks each day.
Our Springdale store was relocated in September 2019, our Siloam Springs store was damaged in an EF2 tornado in October 2019 and the store was closed for two months for repairs. Fortunately, we were able to temporarily reassign employees to other stores and the store reopened in December 2019. We opened a second Conway store in January 2020, and we added a new donation express in Fayetteville in March 2020 providing more opportunities to shop and donate. We relocated our Fort Smith store on Towson Avenue to a better, larger, more convenient location in May 2020.
In early 2020, before the coronavirus erupted, we started a home pickup donation program to handle large donations. The demand for this service has increased during the pandemic.
Goodwill Arkansas scored in the top 3 percent in the world among accredited organizations with our 2020 CARF® survey results. CARF auditors noted that Goodwill has created a supportive environment that encourages growth, maximizes every donation received, and that the staff of Goodwill is its greatest strength.
Since October 2017, Goodwill has operated The Excel Center, which is the only adult high school in the state─and it’s tuition-free! We began an expansion to The Excel Center in January to allow us to accommodate 350 students. The Excel Center has learned to adapt quickly to the pandemic and its effect on education. The Coronavirus forced us to move from a 100% in class curriculum to a remote learning model that has enabled our students to continue their education during these challenging times.
Please take a few minutes and peruse the story of our mission delivery success over the last 12 months. We are proud of what our team has accomplished. Goodwill is sincerely grateful for your support.
Thanks for changing lives!
Brian F. Marsh, President and CEO
Goodwill Industries of Arkansas