A community where the talents and value of all people are celebrated.

To support persons with disabilities and other barriers to independence in achieving their fullest potential as workers and as members of the broader community.

Goodwill helps persons with disabilities as well as people who are at an economic disadvantage, or may lack education or work experience.

Kayla - Learning job skills to succeed.

Kayla Success StoryGoodwill’s Summer Work Experience and Assessment Program (SWEAP) has provided many young adults, between the ages of 16 and 21, with their first paycheck. The program, which was conducted in Berks, Dauphin, Cumberland and Lancaster counties placed participants in employment to learn basic job skills while earning a paycheck. 

Participants in SWEAP received paid job training at Goodwill Stores and Donation Centers, GIANT Food Stores, and other businesses. They worked 20 hours a week for seven weeks. Youths were supervised by a Goodwill job coach at all locations.

Over the 2014 summer, Kayla participated in SWEAP and received paid job training at GIANT. Kayla’s group learned a variety of jobs and tasks at GIANT. “My favorite part of the job was helping out in the produce department. I enjoy husking corn,” described Kayla. She also received her first paycheck this summer, “I saved half of my paycheck, but also bought something fun with the other half.”  

“As part of our promise to be a better place to work, we are committed to helping people learn the necessary job skills that will help them to advance and be successful. We are honored to partner with Goodwill and to also employ many associates who started their career path through SWEAP.” - Chris Brand, public and community relations manager for GIANT Food Stores.

Read more ...

Brandon - Goodwill Graduate

Brandon Success Story

Weber Advertising and Marketing in Lancaster is one of the hundreds of companies who have hired a “Goodwill graduate.” 

This ad agency hired Brandon, who utilized Goodwill’s Mission Services, to help with a variety of projects like developing and checking grocery store circulars. Brandon enjoys his job and being part of this creative crew.

Jim Weber, the president of Weber Advertising and Marketing, said, “Because of Goodwill, we were able to get a great employee like Brandon, who brightens up our office and is productive in helping us achieve our goals.”

Read more ...

Matthew's Journey

"Matthew loves having a job. He’s become independent and proactive."

Matthew Success StoryYou may not know him by name, but odds are you’ve already seen his face. Matthew’s smile, charm and positive attitude earned him a spot on many of Goodwill’s billboards around central Pennsylvania. For those who know him, his designation as one of the faces of Goodwill is a position well-deserved.Donate to Goodwill

Matthew was born in Pennsylvania and the youngest of five children. When he was seven years old, he moved with his family to Sarasota, Florida. There, his older sister enrolled him in a children’s program at what is now Community Haven, an educational facility that focuses on teaching life skills to people with disabilities. Matthew thrived in a structured environment that provided him with a stable schedule. He learned to read and write. He also became heavily involved with the Boy Scouts and Special Olympics (something he continues to do to this very day). 

As his parents became older and Matthew was in his 40s, his family moved back to Pennsylvania. Matthew’s sister, Ella, and her husband became his legal guardians and took over his care. Before arriving in Pennsylvania, Ella and her husband did some research to find the best place for Matthew to be happy and productive. They contacted Goodwill and Matthew was quickly accepted into a paid training program. Kathy Erney, his vocational counselor, said, “He has always enjoyed custodial work and is dedicated. He never misses a day unless it’s absolutely necessary and his motivation to succeed has helped him overcome challenging behaviors. He is cooperative with staff and, since he is so detail-oriented, the quality of his work is excellent. He has a positive relationship with his family and feels that earning a paycheck is important to being a contributing member of his household.”

Read more ...

Cheryl - Gaining Confidence and Sense of Self-Worth

Cheryl Success StoryCheryl is one of 1,307 members of The Clubhouse of Lehigh County. Located in Allentown, this Goodwill program offers persons with mental illness a safe and healing environment and a place to explore their personal and career potentials.

Through the Clubhouse, Cheryl was given the opportunity to gain work experience in a supportive environment at the Goodwill Store and Donation Center in Allentown. Store Manager Ryan Huth commented, “We strive to offer a team environment. We want everyone to feel comfortable so if anyone needs anything, they will ask.”

Cheryl has been thriving at this location. She’s become friends with co-workers and some of the regular shoppers. The Director of the Clubhouse Stephanie Visi said, “Cheryl has gained confidence and sense of self-worth from working at the store. It’s a good fit because she loves the retail environment.”

When Cheryl isn’t working, she’s taking art classes at the Baum School of Art. She has an artistic side and buys stencils to makes cards and letterhead. Cheryl, who is young at heart, has a passion for Mustangs, collecting Snoopy items and going to Dorney Park with her son.


Read more ...

Lavena - Taking Charge of Her Life

Lavena Shifflett, shinning example of the Goodwill mission.

Lavena Shifflett is a shining example of the Goodwill mission.

Lavena took charge of her life. She participated in a Goodwill assessment program so she could gain a better understanding of her abilities, goals, and interests.

Lavena noted, "I needed help with direction." At the same time, she completed her GED. She said, "Somebody gave me a chance and I kept going. People at Goodwill gave me guidance."

After her assessment, she began in a Goodwill paid training program. She immediately showed people that she was a hard worker and overall, she wanted to do a good job.

Because of Lavena's accomplishments and work ethic, she graduated from the training program and was hired as a Goodwill employee. She works for a Goodwill Custodial Crew at the PA Veterinary Laboratory Building and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Read more ...

Learn How Goodwill Makes a Difference: