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Evergreen Goodwill of Northwest Washington Celebrates 100 Years of Impact with Free Community Events and New Historical Exhibit

POSTED June 12, 2023 IN: Press Releases

Nonprofit marks 100 years of providing free educational programs and job training to communities across Northwest Washington

June 14, 2023, SEATTLE – One of Washington’s historic nonprofits is celebrating 100 years of community impact. Evergreen Goodwill, which provides free job training and education programs to people across Northwest Washington, is marking this milestone with a series of celebrations open to the community. The festivities will kick off with free 100th Birthday Bash celebrations at retail locations across the five counties Evergreen Goodwill serves. The nonprofit has also introduced a traveling exhibit – which features archived visuals and stories to bring the organization’s 100-year-history and mission to life.

“Evergreen Goodwill’s legacy is rooted in the belief that jobs change lives – for 100 years, that unwavering commitment has helped us break down significant barriers to education and employment in Northwest Washington,” said Daryl J. Campbell, President & CEO of Evergreen Goodwill. “In our first centennial chapter, we’ve provided hundreds of thousands of individuals with job training and education and have grown from a single location to a network of 24 stores and job centers in each county we serve. As we reflect on 100 years of impact; and prepare for many more milestones to come, we want to celebrate those who have made our mission possible: our greater networks of employees, supporters, students, customers and corporate and community partners.”

Free 100th Birthday Bash Celebrations

To honor the communities it serves, Evergreen Goodwill will host a series of community celebrations outside five of its locations beginning this month.

Free and open to the public, the events will be an opportunity for people to learn more about Evergreen Goodwill’s impact and celebrate alongside Evergreen Goodwill employees, students and fellow community members. There will be live entertainment, giveaways, food, stories from those in the community whose lives have been changed as a result of Goodwill’s work, and opportunities to learn more about Evergreen Goodwill’s programs and partnerships.

As a long-time partner in Evergreen Goodwill’s digital equity efforts and title sponsor, Comcast is celebrating with a $100,000 donation to Evergreen Goodwill and by participating at the Birthday Bash events where attendees can learn more about Internet Essentials and sign up for discounted internet service through the Federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).

A complete calendar can be found below:

  • June 30 (3 p.m. – 6 p.m.) – Bellingham Goodwill , 1115 E. Sunset Dr. Bellingham, WA 98226
  • July 7 (3 p.m. – 6 p.m.) – Bremerton Goodwill, 4209 Wheaton Way, Bremerton, WA 98310
  • July 14 (3 p.m. – 6 p.m.) – Mt. Vernon Goodwill, 242 E. College Way, Mt. Vernon, WA 98273
  • July 21 (3 p.m. – 6 p.m.) – Seattle Goodwill, 700 Dearborn Place S. Seattle, WA 98144
  • July 28 (3 p.m. – 6 p.m.) – South Everett Goodwill, 210 SW. Everett Mall Way, Everett, WA 98204

Visit https://evergreengoodwill.org/100-yr-birthday-bash to learn more.

Historical Exhibit Brings Evergreen Goodwill’s Community Impact to Life 

Evergreen Goodwill’s history of community impact in Northwest Washington is documented through the preservation of photos and other historical archives – dating back to the first store opening in 1923.

To pay homage to its history and introduce Evergreen Goodwill’s impact to all generations, Evergreen Goodwill developed a new museum-quality, traveling exhibit. The interactive exhibit explores Evergreen Goodwill’s history over the decades through visual storytelling. It features photographs of Goodwill’s first storefront in Seattle and early trucks that collected donations from across the city. It also documents the evolution of Goodwill’s job training programs starting with employees in the 1920s who were trained to repair and resell donated items, to the launch of vocational programs in the 1970s that included training in bank telling, graphic design, GED preparation and English as a Second Language.

  • Pr_exhibit 4_pr Final

Evergreen Goodwill partnered with Seattle-based artist Damon Brown to develop the exhibit, which includes three structures, with a footprint of 12 feet by 24 feet.

“I was honored to be a part of this project and unveil the exhibit at MOHAI, a site that’s renowned for telling the region’s history through art,” said artist Damon Brown aka Creative Lou. “Exploring Evergreen Goodwill’s archives through this exhibit gave me a new perspective on the history of the city I call home and an organization I admire. I found inspiration in Evergreen Goodwill’s unwavering commitment to strengthen our communities over the last century through the power of work and hope it can inspire other across the region to continue to support Evergreen Goodwill’s mission.”

The exhibit was unveiled at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) during Evergreen Goodwill’s Impact for Good event on June 9. Community members are invited to experience the exhibit in-person, as it travels to the 100th Birthday Bash celebrations throughout Northwest Washington this summer.

100 Years of Evergreen Goodwill

Evergreen Goodwill was first introduced to the City of Seattle at the corner of Boren and Virginia in 1923. Inspired by the social work of Goodwill Industries Founder Edgar J. Helms, a group of local businesspeople were driven to fight poverty by providing trade skills and jobs rather than just charity.

Through economic hardships, world wars and waves of immigration, Evergreen Goodwill supported the community with hot meals, shelter and jobs – efforts that were primarily funded through the sale of items generously donated by the community. While Evergreen Goodwill rapidly grew and expanded over the years, the mission remained the same – to provide people with access to free education and training so they could secure jobs. In 1964, the 1400 Lane location in Seattle became the largest Goodwill retail location in the world – and still remains so today.

Evergreen Goodwill was a pioneer in providing vocational training to people facing barriers to education and employment; and evolved with the digital age to modernize its offerings to youth and adults – introducing computer classes in the early 1980s and supporting students to build careers in industries ranging from aerospace to maritime to customer service and more. Evergreen Goodwill received global attention when famed Goodwill shopper Macklemore filmed his viral music video Thrift Shop at the Seattle Goodwill outlet.

A timeline of Evergreen Goodwill’s history can be found here.

Evergreen Goodwill Today

Evergreen Goodwill continually adapts to the changing needs of the community in its efforts to connect people with jobs.

The nonprofit became a leader in digital equity services during the pandemic; and remains committed to carrying these services as our communities rebuild. In 2022, Evergreen Goodwill launched the first Digital Equity Bus, a mobile classroom designed to bring workforce development, workshops, and support services to historically under resourced, rural and tribal communities.

Last year, 368 local employers hired Evergreen Goodwill students. A longstanding leader of sustainable business practices, the nonprofit saved 78 million pounds of materials from landfills in 2022.

“When we look at the path ahead, our vision for the communities we serve is that each person is able to choose rewarding employment, financial security and the experience of educational achievement – we will continue evolving to meet the needs of our community by assisting people in overcoming barriers, gaining stability, and reaching their educational and career goals,” said Campbell. “We hope everyone will join us in paying homage to our past, celebrating today, and creating a viable path for the future of our communities”

Visit https://evergreengoodwill.org/about-us/100-year for more info on Evergreen Goodwill’s history and centennial celebrations.

About Evergreen Goodwill of Northwest Washington

Evergreen Goodwill is a nonprofit organization founded in 1923. The organization currently operates five Job Training Centers, 24 retail stores, and 30 donation sites in King, Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, and Kitsap Counties. It employs over 2,100 people across Northwest Washington. Every day, Evergreen Goodwill does its best to connect people with the jobs, services and skills they need. The organization provides quality, effective employment training and basic education to individuals experiencing significant barriers to economic opportunity. Because Jobs Change Lives. Visit https://evergreengoodwill.org/about-us for more information.

Media Contacts:

Alyssa Grigg
alyssa.grigg@evergreengoodwill.org
858.243.4170

Elsa Remak
eremak@cplusc.com
425.503.3791

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