Behind-the-scenes at Goodwill
On March 1, Southern Oregon University (SOU) students who are in the Green House program took a behind-the-scenes tour to learn how Southern Oregon Goodwill (Medford, OR) turns donations into jobs by recovering the most value from every donation.
The Green House is a freshman seminar<https://sou.edu/academics/undergraduate-studies/seminar/house-seminar-experience/> that helps students study and solve real-world problems by meeting with businesses and organizations outside of SOU. Students learn about the impacts of environmental change and how to develop a plan that prioritizes sustainability.
During the tour, the students learned how a pair of donated jeans is processed and turned into support for the broader community. Students saw one of our donation yards and adjacent warehouse where items are bailed and shipped. They also toured our nearby “As-Is” store and had an opportunity to shop some good deals.
Students left with an impactful message, “The power of work changes peoples’ lives, and the power of your donations makes this possible.”
The partnership with Southern Oregon University and Southern Oregon Goodwill began in 2012 with the first Campus Move Out collection after Sustainability & Recycling Coordinator, Roxane Beigel-Coryell, and Marketing and Community Relations Director, Julie Fletcher, met at an Earth Day event.
In 2015, Beigel-Coryell gave a recommendation to Professor Vince Smith, who was leading the Green House program, to have the freshmen students take a behind-the-scenes tour of Goodwill.
The campus move out program collects an average of 8,000 pounds per year over the seven-year tenure and the tours are an annual occurrence.
The article was featured in Goodwill Industries International’s weekly digest for April 1-5.