Serve up a helping of gratitude this Thanksgiving while giving others a helping hand


Back in 1902, a 39-year-old minister assigned to the Morgan Mission in Boston’s South End was appalled at the conditions faced by some of the immigrants in his parish.

 These immigrants found themselves in a new country without jobs and sometimes desperate for food, clothing, and shelter.

 That young minister was to become Dr. Edgar J. Helms, the founder of Goodwill Industries International. He initially went door to door in the wealthiest neighborhoods collecting unused and unwanted goods. When he distributed them he quickly found that what the new arrivals wanted above all else were jobs with decent wages.

Helms created the model Goodwill still uses today, collecting donated clothing and household items, then reselling them to raise money for job training.

What this also created was a circle of community gratitude, a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. It helped transform the neighborhood into a thriving community built on goodwill and thanksgiving.

For most of us, Thanksgiving represents the most important of holidays because it’s a time when families reunite, express gratitude for what we have, and feel closer and better connected to one another.

The day is centered around family, food, and reflection (and maybe some football). Built into the emotion of gratitude is always a sense of reaching out to others less fortunate. That’s why Thanksgiving is the perfect time to raid closets, wardrobes, and dusty attics for things you no longer want or need.

Donating these items to Goodwill Central Coast strengthens our community by empowering people to work. It also preserves the Central Coast landscape by diverting millions of pounds from landfills. Make all these good feelings swell within you and your family this holiday season.

And don’t just drop off items. While you’re at it, step inside one of our 14 stores to support our mission — leaving with some treasures that are certain to brighten your Thanksgiving.

This holiday Thursday, Nov. 24, give thanks for the following:

Employment: Sometimes jobs can feel like more of a chore than anything else. But without work, many of us would struggle to feed ourselves, afford a home and even support our families. Many unemployed people long for a job and an honest wage, so if you find yourself employed this Thanksgiving, take a moment to feel grateful.

A place to call home: If you have a roof over your head and a place to call home, that is a huge reason to feel thankful. People throughout our country do not have a permanent place or home, so let the feeling of gratitude seep into your heart. Better yet, see who you can invite into your home to celebrate Thanksgiving with this year.

As we go about our lives, we often get caught up in the things we want and forget about all of the little things we already have. Thanksgiving is a remarkable time to sit down and think through everything we have in life that requires proper gratitude.

  At Goodwill Central Coast, we hold gratitude for our employees, donors, shoppers, and local communities that pull together. We are grateful for every single donation that comes through the door, and for every neighbor, we can greet with a smile and a thank-you.

It turns out that, in being grateful, you not only will have a great Thanksgiving because of it, but you’ll end up feeling happier for weeks to come!

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