As we see daily, highly disturbing images of suffering and strife as it strikes the citizens in war-torn Ukraine, we often find ourselves asking, “What can I do?” Florida Goodwill has the answer, and–right here in Hernando County–you can partner with Goodwill to spread some much-needed sunshine amongst those who need it the most.
The United States has pledged to welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees– a good number of which are likely to land on Florida shores. With this in mind, Goodwill is hosting a nationwide effort to provide needed aid to Ukrainian refugees.
Locally, the Goodwill Spring Hill Superstore is located at 4750 Commercial Way, Spring Hill. The store, managed by Barbara Devito, is open 10 am – 6 pm, 7 days a week.
“Goodwill wanted to do something to assist people from the Ukraine coming to the US,” said Chris Ward, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Goodwill Industries-Suncoast, Inc.
Goodwill Industries-Suncoast, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to transform lives through lifelong learning and the power of work. The organization’s donated goods retail operation helps support its human services in 10 counties in West Central Florida including employment services, training, and job placement for people with disabilities and other challenges, a children’s literacy program, affordable apartments for seniors and people with disabilities, and community re-entry programs for offenders. For more information, visit www.goodwill-suncoast.org.
Each month, in fact, Goodwill pledges to support charitable endeavors through its RoundUp Program.
“Shoppers at our stores can round up their purchase bills to the next dollar at Goodwill, usually to support our job assistance program,” Ward said. “But during April, they can ’round up’ to donate to the International Red Cross to assist Ukrainians who have fled their country.”
Florida Goodwills also will collect monetary donations for Ukrainian relief efforts.
“Shoppers can ring up their Red Cross donations with cashiers, and receive a receipt,” said Ward.
Beyond monetary support, Goodwill stores have pledged to provide needed items to those Ukrainian refugees who have fled to our state. Indeed, refugees and the families that host them are invited to visit a Goodwill store, where a manager will give them a certificate they can use to purchase needed clothing and household goods.
“We can help people preserve their dignity, by allowing them to choose the items they need,” said Ward.
Goodwill Job Connection centers also will play a vital role to help those fleeing the Ukraine, by referring them to resources for job leads, housing, food assistance, and other services.
“We have jobs available in so many areas,” said Ward. “We want to help these people reach their full potential.”
And through its Ukrainian assistance program, Goodwill also succeeds in helping people help others.
“For those who need an answer to the question, ‘What can I do to help?'” said Ward. “This is an answer.”
Send your own good news stories to Hernando Sun community reporter Megan Hussey at [email protected].