Each year, Southern Oregon Goodwill Industries awards over $60,000 in vouchers to community service agencies in Douglas, Klamath, Jackson, and Josephine counties to help people with need for clothing and home essentials. Goodwill announces it will award $75,000 in 2014 — a record amount for its community voucher program. Dating back to 1998, the program evolved from the magnitude of requests Goodwill received for assistance with clothing and household goods. “Goodwill’s donations are the major source of funding for our Mission but we wanted to address the needs of the communities we serve,” explained Southern Oregon Goodwill President and CEO, Gayle Byrne. “By partnering with other service agencies we could truly reach people with the most need throughout Southern Oregon,” she said, adding, that the program is one more way that Goodwill’s donors are reinvesting locally.
In the first year, Goodwill issued $14,000 in vouchers shared among seven agencies. “Today we’re making an even bigger impact with 52 agencies in four counties,” Byrne said. Partner agencies include Maslow Project, Community Works, Head Start, Living Opportunities, DHS, Hope Center, Vets in Recovery, UCAN, Illinois Valley Safe House, Rogue Retreat, Welcome Home Oregon, and Disability Services.
“We constantly receive positive feedback from community members for the unprecedented collaboration between Goodwill and our agency, and for the wonderful outcomes it has engendered … especially improved services to all of our clients,” said Laura O’Bryon, Executive Director of Community Works, which distributed over 140 vouchers last year averaging $50 each. To be eligible for 2015 voucher funding, Byrne advises agencies to contact Lisa Whiting at 541/772-3300 by September 30, 2014.