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At Goodwill, Service Starts at Home

What does it mean to be part of – and give back to – our communities? As we embark on a new year, it’s a time not only to celebrate the skills and experiences that make each of us unique — but also to examine how we can use our gifts to elevate and empower those around us.

I’ve often thought about the importance of service, not only in my current role at Goodwill Industries of Central Florida, but all the way back through my childhood. In the early ‘90s, my family moved from the Virgin Islands to Long Beach, California – an area that was, at the time, rife with gang violence and racial conflict.

The only place I felt at home was on the football field. In sports, it didn’t matter where you came from or what you looked like; you belonged. Even when the city was boiling over with tension and riots, our coaches were the ones who huddled us up – Black kids and brown kids alike – and told us: “You’re all brothers on this team. That’s what comes first, no matter what’s happening out there.”

When I set aside sports in college and pursued a career in the Air Force, I encountered that sense of camaraderie once again. No matter what branch we served in or where we came from, we were all brothers and sisters in arms. Each of us had something to contribute, and we were all working toward the same goals – and looking out for each other in the process.

Although I retired from the military in 2016, I still found myself searching for ways to make a difference in my community at home. Eventually, that goal led me to Goodwill Industries of Central Florida, which has become for me another place to belong. Everyone who works at Goodwill is working together to further our nonprofit mission – and, just as important, we’re helping our fellow team members thrive along the way.

Goodwill’s nonprofit model is unique. As a “social enterprise,” we transform donated clothing and household goods into funding for our mission of Building Lives That Work. Every discussion begins from the same place: “How can we better care for our community?” Through new initiatives like one-on-one Prosperity Planning and the Goodwill Scholars prepaid tuition program, our organization is investing in our team members – the people who make the mission possible – helping them to achieve their goals.

For one person, that goal might be financial stability or a path to home ownership. For another, it could be earning a new certification at work or going back to school to earn a degree in a field they’re passionate about. Whatever their ideal future looks like, Goodwill is here to offer the support and open the door to resources they need to achieve it.

From veterans building new careers back home … to single parents, first-generation college students, and hardworking families saving up for a better tomorrow, we believe everyone deserves the chance to make the most of their potential. And that’s something we can only do thanks to the donors and shoppers whose everyday support of Goodwill adds up to a life-changing impact.

Moe Greenidge is the Board Relations liaison at Goodwill Industries of Central Florida.

Visit to learn more about Goodwill and career opportunities within the organization.

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