SOUNDS GOOD: Goodwill and good causes

Published 12:57 am Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Christmas décor will come and go, but that wall of books at the back of the shiny, new Goodwill Industries should remain full.

“They seem to like every single thing we put out,” Gwendolyn Simon, the enthusiastic store manager, said.

Clothes and wares were sorted in colorful ways and employees dashed about, eager to serve, the day I dropped by. I attended the ground breaking as a Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce Ambassador and wanted to stop by to see the completed store, at 4352 FM 365.

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Simon said clothes are popular, and that back wall of books gets lots of attention.

“We have a great selection of books,” she said, and credited CEO Randy Jones for the big display, because of his love of reading.

She also mentioned Jones visits the stores and jumps in to help on the floor.

Then I called up Jones and chatted with him. Sounds like he does love a good book, and helping people in need. Everybody knows Goodwill is all about training and supporting people in our community. You can help by shopping as well as cleaning out your closets and garages to donate what can become someone else’s treasure.

Give a goat, or some nice jewelry

We’re Americans. Of course we like stuff.

World Vision offers 6-year-old Chania of Burundi as a “cover girl” of their catalogue. She helps her family tend the fields and they could use a goat.

You can give that goat, or a well, for the holidays in a loved-one’s name. Or maybe, as Americans, you can browse that World Vision catalogue/website and order up some Vietnamese totes embroidered by disabled women for your bohemian niece and Capiz shell coasters made by Filipino artisans that would be just right for those pool parties your sister hosts.

Items, like the well-made and detailed bracelet I’m wearing as I type this are billed as momentos for gifts made for specific needs. It’s that word “specific” that brings additional joy to donations, because this organization looks to be getting funds to the right places. The product is weighty and classic and durable. Here’s the description:

“Help where it’s needed most — AND receive a gift for yourself or someone you care about! Your gift to help where most needed will address specific, urgent needs that might otherwise go unmet for a child, family, or community. As a memento of this gift, you’ll receive this gorgeous, adjustable silver cuff bracelet with an intricately laced vine pattern, designed by artisans in Old Delhi, India. This stunning piece is the result of once-mistreated jewelry makers banding together to support their families through fair trade practices.”

There’s a range of very tempting goods that will make shoppers – I should say givers – very joyful this holiday season.