For the past 35 years, the Women’s Auxiliary to Goodwill Industries in North Louisiana has been a strong influence within the Goodwill Family. The auxiliary is comprised of women from different economic backgrounds, with the youngest volunteer being 70 years old. Their mission is simple: they use their time, talent, and resources to ensure that members of the “Goodwill Family,” (i.e. employees, are touched by simple acts of kindness). They believe that the word “goodwill” should be used as an action verb, where helping the handicapped is not charity, but a chance for a hand up, not a hand out. The Auxiliary exemplifies love in action for all races, and creeds.
The Auxiliary members meet every Tuesday and Wednesday at the Unique Shoppe to create handcrafted items, which are sold at their Shoppe. The proceeds from these sales are used to benefit Goodwill employees. Over the years, they have helped provide plant facilities, supplemented the purchase of tools and equipment, provided an attractive and comfortable break area, provided and served Thanksgiving and Christmas meals to employees, and at the beginning of each month, they give that month’s celebrant a birthday card with $10 cash.
The crafts created by the Women’s Auxiliary provide a wonderful resource to their community. All projects are a labor of creative love. The workmanship utilized by these ladies is becoming a lost art in today’s world. There are two events that receive regular acclaim: the annual Easter basket sale and the Christmas Bazaar. The Auxiliary assumed the Easter basket project when the Association For The Blind ceased to be involved. The Easter baskets require approximately 8 hours of labor and sell for around $25.00. The Christmas Craft Sale provides “one of a kind” items.
The Women’s Auxiliary to Goodwill Industries in North Louisiana, while currently only about 20 strong, gives more than 10,000 volunteer hours annually. Last year, they returned about $10,000 to be used to assist members of the “Goodwill Family.” They prove that age is not a barrier to success while supporting the mission of Goodwill – teaching people to work and helping people get jobs.