Goodwill Celebrates Lives Changed and Community Impact of 2017

May 4, 2018 Savannah, GA- Goodwill Southeast Georgia honored partnerships and program participants on Thursday May 3rd at their annual Community Awards Dinner, presented by USI Insurance.  The award categories included Business Partner of the Year, the Green Award, Community Partnership and Achievers of the year.

All of the awards highlighted different aspects of Goodwill’s mission and recognized the support that makes their services possible. Programs like the Work Readiness Enrichment Program (WREP) were highlighted, which offers crisis intervention, education support, and other services with the goal of decreasing the number of young people becoming incarcerated.  WREP would not be possible without the incredible support of the Chatham County Juvenile Court, especially Judge LeRoy Burke III, Judge Lisa G. Colbert and Judge Thomas L. Cole who accepted with the Community Partnership Award on behalf of the Court.

Guerry Lumber was awarded the Business Partnership Award for the ongoing commitment in assisting individuals become employed. Founded in 1927 by T.H. Guerry Lumber Sr. they are one of Goodwill Staffing’s most desired assignments.  Their vision of being a “place where customers want to do business and people want to work” reflect Goodwill’s own core values.  Goodwill also recognized two individuals for their achievements and celebrated their journey with Goodwill in reaching their personal employment goals.

The Community Awards event also celebrated Goodwill’s mission of using donated items to fund workforce development programs in the community.  This mission was founded by Rev. Edgar Helms’ philosophy of “saving the waste in men and things”.  In honor of this ethos, business leaders donated items that showcased their connection to Goodwill’s mission and their hopes for future impact in the community.  Stuart Clifford, Board Chair for Goodwill Southeast Georgia, donated a Schwinn children’s bike and stated that “When I think of my Schwinn, I think of freedom and my neighborhood.  For me, that is what Goodwill means:  an essential part of our community helping our neighbors in need achieve economic and personal independence.”

As well as funding their mission, donations received by Goodwill are sustainably repurposed or recycled. In 2017 Goodwill Southeast Georgia diverted 16.5 million pounds of items from landfills.  The Junior League of Savannah was recognized as the green partner of the year for their shared commitment to reusing and repurposing products.  Over the past 3 years, the Junior League of Savannah’s annual thrift sale has donated more than 45,000 pounds of gently used household items and clothing to fund job training and services with Goodwill.

“We aim to provide a pathway for individuals to grow and develop.” Stated Michael Winckler, CEO of Goodwill Southeast Georgia.  “We are thrilled that this event enables us to recognize some of the individuals we have helped and the partnerships that make our work possible.  Last year we helped 1141 individuals find work and we look forward to helping many more in the coming years.”

For more information about Goodwill Southeast Georgia visit


Goodwill of the Coastal Empire Inc., DBA Goodwill Southeast Georgia, is a highly diversified 501© (3) social enterprise that funds job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items.  Goodwill Southeast Georgia operates 17 stores and 4 Career Centers in 33 Georgia and South Carolina counties.  Goodwill also builds revenue and creates jobs by contracting with businesses and government to provide a wide range of commercial services including custodial, grounds keeping, staffing services, packaging and assembly and fabrication.  For more information on Goodwill of the Coastal Empire, please visit  Find us on Facebook at Goodwill Southeast Georgia follow us on Twitter at @GoodwillSEGA.