goodwill rhode isalnd

1st Quarter 2016

Need a New Spring Wardrobe? Build a complete wardrobe affordably at Goodwill’s Store!

Shop at Goodwill’s retail store for great bargains on clothing and accessories, household items, music, toys, books, electronics, collectibles, and much more. We offer hundreds of new and used items at unbeatable bargains. Boost your wardrobe and home decor with name brands and designer labels that you can afford.

We offer full lines of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing. And, with constantly changing inventory, you never know what you will find. Remember, when you shop Goodwill, not only are you getting quality, brand-name merchandise at unbelievably low prices, you are also helping your neighbors in need. The dollars you spend support our training programs and job placement for people with disabilities and other barriers.

Round Up your purchase to the nearest dollar to support the Goodwill mission of helping people get back to work and gaining greater independence.

Shop – Retail Store Location
100 Houghton St., Providence, RI 02904
Open Monday – Friday 11:00am to 4:00pm

Find out how to donate or volunteer at

Spotlight on Good Partners in our Community

Throughout the year we call on many small and large businesses across Rhode Island to help us in our mission through donations. It is not surprising how many are more than willing to step up and help. We would like to thank a few who have made a difference in the past year

The 401 Studio... Located on Main Street in Wakefield Rhode Island, they specialize in custom screen printing, embroidery, and vinyl decals. From team uniforms to storefront window signage. The 401 Studio can help you get your logo or message on just about anything. The owners Matt and Elyssa have made it their mission to inspire Rhode Islanders to be proud of their home state, and they are accomplishing this 1 T-shirt at a time. Give them a call today at 401-783-5100 and their friendly staff will be happy to help you get your message displayed in a creative and impactful manner! Stop by our store and you will probably find a great T-shirt for the coming warm weather. The 401 Studio has donated a large quantity of apparel that were samples and overruns, all new and great quality!

Amica Insurance... Designated Goodwill of RI as the recipient of their Holiday Hat, gloves, scarves collection. Plus they hold collection events throughout the year that provide “Work Ready” clothing for our Job Seekers.

Avenue Stores in Warwick ... The great people at Avenue Stores donated complete interview outfits for some of our Job Seekers!

Berk’s Shoes, Thayer St. in Providence... Berk’s regularly contacts us with donations of shoes and apparel.

Brooks Brothers, Providence... An ongoing partnership that provides us with the highest quality donations of men’s clothing.

Dixon & McAllister, Wayland Ave. in Providence... A month long winter coat collection was held at the store, kicked off by a cocktail party for the community. Everyone who donated a gently used coat was given a 20% discount to use towards a purchase. Goodwill received many great warm coats for our clients!

Kids Gear in Johnston... A recent partner, they have made two donations of great children’s clothing.

Joseph A. Bank in Garden City, Cranston... Another new partner, we have been the lucky recipient of an array of men’s clothing.

New Balance Store, Garden City, Cranston... The folks at New Balance generously donated 30 pairs of athletic shoes at the Holidays for our clients.

The Find on 6 in Johnston... The Find has been an ongoing donation site for 18 months.

The Container Store in Garden City, Cranston... Our friends at The Container Store periodically donate all sorts of high quality containers and storage material.

St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Barrington... The good people at St. Martin’s have held several community donation events gathering gently used clothing to support our mission

rWe sincerely hope that if the opportunity presents itself you will shop at the above locations and support their efforts.

Meet our Board of Directors

We will be featuring a member of our Board of Directors in upcoming newsletters so that you can get a sense of the local business people who support our mission.

Patrick Meacham is a Senior Vice President, at Starkweather & Shepley Insurance Brokerage Inc. in Providence and is the current Goodwill of RI Board Chair. Pat’s introduction to Goodwill was through a friend – Tom Carmody “Coach” (former Penn State, Duke and URI basketball coach) – he met at Johnson & Wales University in the 90’s while completing his MBA.

Coach Carmody was an active member on the board of the agency then known as Vocational Resources. The Coach brought Pat as a guest to the Annual meeting and Pat was hooked! “I needed to be part of this organization; their mission inspired me to start giving back to the community as a young professional” stated Pat. At the time Pat didn’t know that he was being groomed as Coach’s replacement and Pat took a place on the Board of Directors in the mid 90’s. In 1998 Pat joined the Preston Agency and began spreading the word about Goodwill Industries. “I was with an organization that encouraged giving back to the Community,” said Pat. Being the small State that we are, that’s where Pat met Goodwill of RI’s current CEO Jeffrey Machado.

In late 2008 The Preston Agency was sold to Starkweather & Shepley which Pat says was perfect for him because Starkweather & Shepley continues to support non-profits and community involvement for all 205 employees. In fact we have a Practice Group that specializes in non-profit organizations insurance programs. “I love my job! I have clients, which most have become close friends all throughout New England that make every day a new adventure. Everyone that I work with at Starkweather is a pleasure to be around, really good people that put others needs first every day.”

Pat not only is the Chair of our Board of Directors, but he is also hands on. You can find Pat and many of his co-workers from Starkweather, here on a regular basis conducting mock interviews with our Job Seekers. This is a process they must complete for graduation from their training program. Pat says, “Meeting Goodwill clients and participating in mock interviews is so inspiring – to see each individual with a single mission: make their own life better by getting into the work force which will, in turn help their family in so many ways. I’m a strong believer in doing what you can with what you have and make it contagious for others to do the same, nothing feels better than helping those in need.”

On a personal note, Pat and his wife Susan have two active sons – Aidan and Griffin. Pat enjoys running to all the kids’ sports. When not following the kids, Pat enjoys golfing, skiing, skateboarding, surfing and running. Pat has completed 38 marathons since his first, Ocean State Marathon in 1998, 10 being Boston Marathons. Ten of those 38 marathons were completed in under 2 hours and 59 minutes.

We count ourselves lucky to have someone like Pat Meacham so committed to the mission of Goodwill Industries of Rhode Island.

Connect with us!

Success Starts Early

Gervin Mujo, Jr. was a student from Central Falls High School class of 2015. Through-out his high school career, he was a talented athlete and the captain of his football, basketball and baseball teams. During the course of his senior year he enrolled in Goodwill’s Tri-Employment program. Tri-Employment is a partnership between Goodwill Industries of RI, the Office of Rehabilitation Services and Central Falls High School. Of eligible students in the Central Falls school system, only 15 are selected to participate in the Tri-Employment program, based on faculty recommendations. In the program students are required to complete 30 hours of work readiness classes within an eight-month span followed by a 10-week internship in their field of interest.

Gervin was the star of his Tri-Employment class, maintaining perfect attendance. Throughout the course Gervin indicated that he would be interested in working in a hospital setting. For health care interests, Goodwill partners with Miriam Hospital and Gervin was able to complete his internship in the valet department at Miriam Hospital. Throughout his internship he again had perfect attendance, was on time and greeted all the patients prior to entering the hospital. Once his 10-week internship was completed Gervin went into the Summer Work program at Goodwill of RI and continued to work at Miriam Hospital for another 7 weeks. During the summer work Gervin’s valet manager was interested in hiring him, however, Gervin needed to learn how to drive a manual car. So Gervin spent his summer practicing driving his dad’s manual car so he could potentially be hired at the hospital. By the end of the summer and after completing 17 weeks of volunteer service at Miriam Hospital, they decided to hire Gervin as a part-time staff member. Six months later, Gervin is still employed by Miriam Hospital, he has been moved to full time status and maxes out with overtime each week. Gervin says he loves every minute of his job.

Goodwill Team Member Spotlight: Ruth Najera-Jennings

Both of Ruth’s parents are Hispanic and met as Seniors at Central High School in Providence. Her mother had recently moved from Puerto Rico with her family, and her father had migrated from Guatemala on his own in hopes to make a life for himself here and help to bring the rest of his family over to the U.S. Ruth’s parents married right after their high school graduation.

Although she was born and raised in Providence Ruth’s primary language at home was Spanish. She did not learn English until enrolled in school and for that reason she participated in ESL (English as a Second Language) programing throughout Elementary School.

Ruth’s father later became a minister to a predominately Hispanic congregation and her mother opened her own jewelry company which indirectly helped to employ many Hispanics in the community and offered opportunities for individuals to work from home. Without being conscious of it, their home became a community resource center. They were raised with strong ideals around work ethic and service to the community. Ruth’s parents wasted no time in employing her and her siblings in the work that was happening around them.

When it came to choosing a career path Ruth gravitated to what came naturally, community service. Being bi-lingual with an understanding of the lives and culture of her community has always been an asset which helped her to obtain work experience in the field.

Like many of our clients, Ruth came to Goodwill during a time of transition in her life. She was looking to evolve personally and professionally and needed to be challenged, but did not know exactly what that would look like. When Ruth first applied to Goodwill she was afraid that she did not have enough prior knowledge of working with the population Goodwill serves, but like Goodwill traditionally does, they evaluated her skills and abilities and saw the potential in Ruth. For this reason, Ruth says, “I cannot speak about my experience at Goodwill through the lens of the work I have done for the agency, but rather the opportunities that working for Goodwill has provided me. “

In October 2010 Ruth started her first position at Goodwill as a Vocational Evaluator and Case Manager. She was trained on all the ins and outs of the vocational evaluation process and how to coordinate employment services for Goodwill clients in collaboration with ORS (The Office of Rehabilitation Services). As a bi-lingual individual she helped to serve the Spanish speaking population. In 2011 Ruth moved on to help coordinate our ESL/ABE Work Intensive Literacy Development (WILD) program in collaboration with DHS (Department of Human Services). While working with this program Ruth was able to engage on a deeper level with her clients and with other aspects of Goodwill’s programing. She began conducting work readiness workshops in Spanish and coordinating community engagement activates along with referrals to employment services within our agency. In 2014 Ruth became the official Coordinator of our WILD program.

It is a known fact that working for a non-profit agency requires you to wear many hats simultaneously and Ruth has not been the exception to this rule. Ruth said, “I think that my upbringing and family dynamics prepared me for the work I am involved in at Goodwill. At the same time Goodwill has granted the opportunities I was looking for when I arrived and in the process of fulfilling the mission of Goodwill, I too have been inspired to make changes and continue in my own pursuit of personal and professional success.”

Everyone at Goodwill of Rhode Island feels lucky to have a dedicated team member able to serve the Spanish speaking people in our community.

Community Donation Events

April 9th: E-waste and Textiles
Southern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce
9:00am – noon
230 Old Tower Hill Rd., Wakefield

April 16th: E-waste and Textiles
North Kingstown High School
9:00am – noon
150 Fairway Dr., North Kingstown

April 30th: Textiles
The Container Store
9:00am – noon
Garden City, Cranston

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