Social Justice: A Very Good Reason to Celebrate

Goodwill: “Not a charity, but a choice”

It’s a good day here in Boston.  The sun is out, the hometown Bruins are playing for the Stanley Cup, and we here at Morrissey & Company are gearing up to attend Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries’ (aka Goodwill Boston in this piece) annual event tonight, at its headquarters in Roxbury – aptly named The Good Party.

It’s interesting. When most people think of Goodwill, they automatically think of the clothes. And for good reason – I could spend hours digging through their racks.  Yet Goodwill Boston’s main mission is to support job training and other career services to “help individuals with disabilities and other barriers to self-sufficiency to achieve independence and dignity through work.”  Present in Massachusetts communities for over 100 years, Goodwill Boston has remained true to its roots.  Founder Reverend Edger Helms referred to Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries creation as work: “The way out of poverty is productive work. People deserve to be able to work. People need a chance, not charity.”

It’s a strong concept.  Especially in the nonprofit sector, the idea of “handouts” can make some people hesitate when supporting a charitable organization.  But the proof of Goodwill’s actions is in the proverbial pudding: Goodwill Boston annually serves over 7,000 unemployed/underemployed adults – as well as over 1,000 youth with programs like its Fresh Air Summer Camps and school-to-work initiatives.

So it’s appropriate that tonight’s theme is “Celebrating Everyday Independence.”

Peter Morrissey (far left) at Goodwill Boston's annual Thanks-for-Giving Dinner

Here at the agency, Goodwill Boston is near and dear to our hearts.  Many of us have volunteered with Goodwill’s programs in the past as an agency, some of us have attended past Good Parties, and we all have donated to Goodwill’s stores.  In the interest of full disclosure, our CEO Peter Morrissey is a long-term member on Goodwill Boston’s and is co-chairing the Good Party.  Goodwill’s reputation and “name” quite literally aligns with what we advocate here: creating and strengthening a “reservoir of goodwill” through your actions and deeds to pull you through tough times.

Under the tent, during Goodwill’s 2009 Good Party

So, a few weeks before our nation’s Independence Day, it will be nice to celebrate Goodwill’s social justice mission, and enjoy an evening amongst colleagues and friends.  In addition to excellent food, drink and entertainment (Rafanelli knows how to put on a good party, as evidenced in past years), there will be members of Boston government and local communities present, with special guest, Victoria Kennedy, who will receive the first ever Goodwill Independence Award on behalf of her late husband.

Don’t feel bad for us attendees about missing Game 7 either. Goodwill has that covered too, with viewing for all Good Party guests under the tent.   Good time, guaranteed.

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