SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL - For years, it has been the policy of Goodwill Manasota to provide emergency assistance to community residents who are in need by providing clothing and essential household items through its Referral-to-Voucher Program. Whether it is a family that has survived a fire, a child coming from a low-income home or entering the foster care system who has insufficient clothing, a social service client entering transitional housing, a victim of domestic abuse who was forced to flee without any possessions, or a job-seeker without attire suitable for an impending job interview, Goodwill is there with the resources to help them get back on their feet and on the path to better days.
Additionally, during the winter months – in instances where temperatures are predicted to drop below freezing – authorized Goodwill representatives may provide blankets and/or outerwear at no charge to persons who are homeless.
Approved agencies must make the referral for community members to benefit from the voucher program. Some of the area agencies on Goodwill's list include the American Red Cross, CareerSource, Children First, First Step of Sarasota, JFCS of the Suncoast, the Sarasota County and Manatee County Sheriff's Office, Safe Children Coalition, SPARCC, and Women's Resource Center. New on Goodwill's approved agency list is the All Star Children's Foundation, a local organization dedicated to healing the effects of trauma suffered by children who have been abused. Children who are coming into care will have access to clothing, with house parents in charge of the shopping.
“All Star is thrilled to collaborate with Goodwill to help provide for the children and families we serve,” said Stephen Fancher, chief development officer for All Star Children’s Foundation. “Community partnerships are a pillar of All Star’s programs and we are very happy to partner with Goodwill to provide much-needed clothes and other essential items for the children moving onto our Campus of Hope & Healing.”
Those who benefit from voucher assistance are offered the opportunity to take a budgeting class – either from the referring agency, if available, or Goodwill – in order to help them establish greater financial stability in the future. Additionally, Goodwill encourages voucher beneficiaries who are looking to elevate their career prospects to seek assistance through its Job Connection career services program, which is free.
"At Goodwill, our goal is not just to address urgent needs but also to help community members achieve long-term stability and reach life goals," said Goodwill Manasota Vice President Margie Genter. "Even needs that arise due to crisis can result in the creation of connections to resources that end up improving lives once the immediate crisis has been resolved. We are grateful to our agency partners for their work and trusted referrals of community members in need."
In addition to referrals made by partner agencies, eligible Goodwill Manasota team members can receive work clothing and emergency assistance, in accordance with voucher program policy. For more about Goodwill, go to experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.