Many years ago, back in the early 1980s, I had the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors of Goodwill Industries of Lower South Carolina and was the Board Chairman for 2 years, 1984-86, I believe. In the late 1970s, Goodwill had one retail store, on upper King Street in Charleston. The organization employed less than 10 handicapped persons.

Goodwill’s main purpose is to help people achieve their full potential through the dignity and power of work. Goodwill trains the less fortunate to find work in the public and private work force and they have been remarkably successful. This mission is supported through the sale of donated clothes and there are now over 30 stores and donation centers in the low country!

Robert Smith, the CEO, who was actually hired by Goodwill as a truck driver while I was on the Board, runs the local Goodwill. Bob’s rise to the top over a 30-year span is truly an inspirational story. Goodwill’s great success is a result of Bob’s hard work and vision.

My wife and I recently attended a Goodwill function and learned about the Goodwill Catering Service. This group had prepared the heavy hors d’oeuvres for the function and the food was delicious!

I would encourage you to donate to Goodwill and to check out their website at www.palmettogoodwill.net. It truly is a wonderful organization with over 1,000 employees.

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