In late April, Goodwill Manasota invited a core group of supporters to its corporate campus in Bradenton to learn how they can help the organization achieve its mission of changing lives through the power of work. The attendees – participants of the Goodwill Ambassadors program – were provided with suggestions for concrete actions they could take to support Goodwill as well as engage others with the cause.
Goodwill Ambassadors are community members who have made a commitment to share the mission of Goodwill with the greater community by volunteering at events, speaking on the organization's behalf, creating new fundraisers, and introducing others to Goodwill. The program was created in 2012.
Goodwill Manasota Foundation vice president, Gray Videnka, welcomed and thanked all in attendance, providing a brief overview and update on the organization. President and CEO Bob Rosinsky - who has worked for the Goodwill organization for 47 years, starting in Milwaukee - talked about his passion for Goodwill's mission and emphasized that the organization could not succeed without the work and advocacy of its supporters. Community outreach manager Pavitra Ciavardone then addressed the overhaul of the Ambassadors program, listing the ways in which supporters can bolster operations and impact.
The most crucial step, Ciavardone asserted, is to attend a Lunch & Learn program. "Visitors who attend one of our learning events leave with a deeper understanding of what we do, why we do it, and how we are changing lives through the power of work with our mission-driven donated goods business," she said. "The feedback we receive is always the same: 'I had no idea Goodwill did all of this!'"
Other ways people can help to support Goodwill include: participation in Speakers Bureau and/or tour guide training; organizing a fundraiser or donation drive; providing mock interviewing and resume writing assistance for the Job Connection career services program; serving on event committees; sharing stories through written, video and social media testimonials; bringing a group for a personal shopping experience; inviting a business to do a change round-up; and sponsoring an Ambassador event at a business location or home.
“We are so fortunate to have Ambassadors who truly believe in the organization, and support us in a variety of ways - through donations of time and resources, through a passion for telling our story, and through business partnerships,” said Rosinsky. “We could not succeed in our mission of changing lives through the power of work without their commitment, passion and generosity.”
Ambassador meetings are scheduled for June 27 and September 24, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., at Goodwill's Corporate Campus (2715 51st Ave. W., Bradenton). In the coming year, Goodwill will hold its annual Ambassador of the Year Awards Dinner on October 17, 2019, and celebrate the 15th anniversary of its popular local fundraiser, the Mardi Gras Gala, on February 29, 2020.
For more information about Goodwill's Ambassador program, volunteer opportunities, and special events, contact Pavitra Ciavardone at firstname.lastname@example.org or 941-355-2721 ext. 163.