Story Ideas

Looking for a Good News Story or a way for your audience to get involved in the community? Some happenings at Goodwill® that might interest you:

For more information on any of the stories listed below please contact:
Kelly Coleman, Vice President of Marketing
Office: (540) 581.0620 ext. 107
Cell Phone: (540) 525.5728

Elizabeth Milne, Marketing and Community Development Manager
Office: (540) 581.0620 ext. 174
Cell Phone: (540) 613.2481

Sign up to receive Goodwill’s monthly Story Ideas via E-mail. 


Your Gift to Goodwill is Worth Twice as Much

Delegate Sam Rasoul has made a gift of $500 to Goodwill’s Project SEARCH program for your with disabilities and will match your gift dollar for dollar. Project SEARCH is a one year program that provides education and on-site training to prepare youth with disabilities to be work ready upon graduation from high school. The program, which serves as a workforce alternative for students in their last year of high school, is located at a community health-care facility.

Brian Barnett, a participant in Goodwill’s Project SEARCH states, “Goodwill helped me find a job and now I feel like a grown up in the real world.” To hear Brian’s story or for more information on making a donation, click here.

For information on Project SEARCH, click here.


End of Year Donations

As we near the end of 2014 and you begin to make room for the new, consider donating your gently used toys, clothes, household items, books, furniture, electronics, vehicles and monetary donations to Goodwill. When you donate to Goodwill by December 31st, you will not only receive a donation receipt that you may use when you file your 2014 tax return, but you will also help fund job training and employment programs right here in our communities in Virginia. These programs help youth, adults, and seniors with disabilities or disadvantages, and those who have lost their job due to company clothing or layoff.

For more information visit:
(consult your tax advisor for more information on deductions)


GoodGuides is Rolling Out the Red Carpet for a Movie Premiere

On January 17th, 2015, GoodGuides Youth Mentoring Program will create a night to remember. “The Heroes Among Us,” a NuFocus Media Production, will be presented at the Dumas Center. The red carpet will be rolled out at 5:30pm. Hors d’oeuvre’s provided by Roanoke City Public School’s Culinary Arts Program will be served in the lobby and guests may make their way upstairs to the silent auction outside the theatre. The movie premiere and special presentations will begin at 6:30pm with John Carlin, Anchor of WSLS10, emceeing the event.

Tickets will go on sale December 17th and will be $15 in advance. Tickets may be purchased:

  • Online click here
  • In person at the Goodwill Melrose Jobs Campus, 2502 Melrose Avenue, NW, Suite C

Tickets the day of the show will be available at the door for $20.

Goodwill’s GoodGuides Youth Mentoring Program is dedicated to helping youth build career plans, skills, and prepare for school completion, post-secondary training, and productive work. The program provides structured and supportive relationships with trusted adult mentors. GoodGuides serves youth ages 12-17 in Roanoke, Salem, Lynchburg, Martinsville, Franklin County, and Roanoke County, who are at risk of delinquency or who have already had contact with the juvenile justice system. For more information on GoodGuides click here.

January is National Mentoring Month and GoodGuides’ mentors are an integral part of their program. “As much as we love serving our GoodGuides youth, without our volunteer mentors we have no program. That’s why we celebrate them whenever we can,” states Nicole Ross, GoodGuides Program Manager. “The mentors who we call heroes typically don’t see themselves as such. They are the ones who give their time, their support, their talents and their love looking for nothing in return. We want to show you through the lives and words of our youth that Mentoring works!,” says Ross.


Holiday Special for Good Choice Companions

Now through December 31st, Good Choice Companions is offering a Holiday Helper Special. Anyone who purchases two hours of companion care service will get one hour free.

Companion services include but are not limited to:

  • Help with Holiday shopping
  • Reminder services (medications, dates, routines, etc.)
  • Preparing meals and feeding
  • Providing companionship and conversation
  • Helping with daily choices (clothing to wear, etc.)
  • Assisting with houseplants, making grocery lists, clipping coupons, etc.)
  • Performing light housekeeping, house plant maintenance
  • Running errands (prescription pick-up, dry cleaning, grocery shopping, etc.)
  • Organizing and reading mail
  • Escorting to appointments (doctor appointments, social engagements, religious services, etc.)
  • Assisting with pet care
  • Entertaining (games, crafts, reading, etc.)
  • Visiting with neighbors or friends

“Good Choice Companions allows us to not only provide jobs and training for individuals who are our companions, but it also piggy-backs on our expertise in case management and helping individuals achieve their highest level of independence,” states Jodi Henrickson, Senior Director, Commercial Services for Goodwill. “Families face difficult times when a loved one’s condition affects their safety and independence. A Good Choice companion can provide the assistance needed at home to maintain a safe and independent lifestyle.” Non-medical companions provide services to seniors and other individuals who need extra assistance; helping them feel comfortable and allowing them to remain independent in their home.

Companion care provides the attention and care an individual needs, while at the same time providing the family with peace of mind in knowing someone is watching over their loved one.
Each companion undergoes interviewing, companion care testing, and screening prior to employment. Once hired they receive training to be CPR certified as well as first-aid, blood-borne pathogen, and soft skills trainings in order to provide clients with the best possible service. Further all companions receive monthly training in job related issues. Clients are then matched with companions that fit the needs and individual circumstances.

Good Choice Companions is a division of Goodwill Industries of the Valleys. The mission of Goodwill is “Helping people and families in our community achieve a better life through work and independence.” Good Choice Companions is another way to continue this mission.

For more information on Good Choice Companions visit


Home Pickups (all areas)

Goodwill Industries of the Valleys is pleased to offer Home Pick Up Service to its’ donors with larger donations.

“The purpose of Goodwill’s Home Pickup Service is to assist our donors that do not have the resources to bring large items to our donor doors,” states Mindy Boyd, Vice President of Donated Goods. “We are now able to better meet the needs of our donors that may be downsizing their home or that of a loved one or remodeling and need to donate a large quantity or several larger pieces.”

Other considerations to remember in regards to Goodwill’s Home Pick Up Service:

  • Goodwill utilizes large box trucks, which are more than 13 feet tall. Your home must allow trucks of this size to come and go without causing damage to your property or the truck.
  • Due to insurance requirements, Goodwill employees are not able to climb or descend multiple steps. Items you wish to donate should be located on the ground floor.

There are a few items that Goodwill is unfortunately not able to accept. These include:

  • televisions
  • Chemicals
  • Oxygen tanks
  • Propane tanks
  • Large appliances
  • Mattresses and box springs
  • Pianos

If you would like to speak to a Donation Specialist regarding Home Pick Up Service please call (855) 338-5925.


Job Seeker Events

Goodwill offers Job Seeker Events, that are free and open to the public, to assist individuals in their job search effort. These events include Job Fairs, Workshops, and Clubs. For the Job Fairs, Goodwill partners with local businesses that are looking to hire and then hosts fairs that are free and open to the public. At the Job Seeker Workshops, Goodwill helps individuals gain the skills necessary to succeed in a highly competitive job market. The workshops are free and open to the public but space is limited, therefore, individuals must register in advance. Job Clubs are free and open to the public and they meet both weekly and monthly. At the meetings individuals are able to share job search tips and results, gain insight as they prepare for their career, and engage with an interactive group. The Clubs help individuals feel recharged and ready to find their new job.

For more information or to see a listing of Job Seeker Events click here or visit our Facebook Page. Sign up to receive monthly Job Seeker Events Emails by clicking here.


Reality Check

Young adults imagine the life they will have. But do they really know what it will take to reach their goals of the “dream life”? Reality Check helps them put it in perspective. Using real life situations and allowing the young adults to make their own decisions they become engaged in the process. Reality Check is fun, real, and an active program that allows youth to get a glimpse at what lies ahead in the “real world”.

Reality Check will be in the following locations in December:
12/18/2014 – Reed Mountain Middle School – Botetourt County

Reality Check will be in the following locations in January:
1/13/2015 – Fathers First – TAP
1/16/2015 – Lucy Addison Middle School – Roanoke City
1/21/2015 – CSWAP – Melrose Jobs Campus

Reality Check will be in the following locations in February:
2/18/2015 – Noel C. Taylor – Roanoke City
2/25/2015 – Hollins University – Roanoke County

Reality Check will be in the following locations in March:
3/12/2015 – Botetourt County High School – Botetourt County

Reality Check will be in the following locations in April:
4/08/2015 – Wilson Middle School – Augusta County
4/15/2015 – Forest Park Academy – Roanoke City
4/22/2015 – Franklin County High School – Franklin County

Reality Check will be in the following locations in May:
5/01/2015 – STEM Program GoodGuides® - Melrose Jobs Campus
5/21/2015 – Beverly Manor – Augusta County

Reality Check will be in the following locations in September:
09/23/2015 – Woodrow Wilson MS – Roanoke City

Reality Check will be in the following locations in October:
10/08/2015 – Sandusky MS – Lynchburg City
10/15/2015 – Dunbar MS – Lynchburg City
10/28/2015 – Breckinridge MS – Roanoke City

Reality Check will be in the following locations in November:
11/02/2015 – Rustburg MS – Campbell County
11/24/2015 – Central Academy – Botetourt County

Reality Check will be in the following locations in December:
12/17/2015 – Reed Mountain MS – Botetourt County

If you are interested in volunteering in one of the Reality Check’s listed above, please email Sarah Stephens at or call (540) 581.0620 ext. 222

For more information on Reality Check, e-mail or call (540) 581.0620 option 6.

General Goodwill Information

Goodwill Industries of the Valleys, a United Way partner organization headquartered in Roanoke, serves 31 counties and 13 cities in the New River, Roanoke, and Shenandoah Valleys. Its mission is to help people and families in our community achieve a better life through work and independence. In 2013 Goodwill assisted 89,759 individuals and in this difficult employment market placed 2,894 people into jobs in our community.