HJF_Los Angeles/Valley

Media Contacts:
Lea Fierro, community relations coordinator for Goodwill Southern California, 323.539.2152 or lfierro@goodwillsocal.org

Goodwill creating Hope, Jobs and Futures
Recognition ceremony honors outstanding Goodwill achievers and valued business partners

Los Angeles, Calif., May 21, 2010 – Goodwill Southern California (GSC) hosted its annual Hope, Jobs, and Futures recognition ceremony on Thursday, May 20 at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena, Calif. The event, considered a “friendraiser,” is an opportunity for GSC to honor outstanding achievers, graduates and valued partners who help “transform lives through the power of work,” and make our planet a healthier and more environmentally friendly place to live.

Goodwill honored Leo Padilla as its “Achiever of the Year.” This award recognizes an outstanding individual with a disability or other disadvantaging condition who has shown great progress and accomplishment in overcoming challenges to employment, while benefiting from the Goodwill work environment. Leo, a high school drop-out struggling to help support his family after his mother’s death, came to Goodwill with a deep desire to make changes in his life. Leo’s experience with GSC’s Work Experience Program led to a job offer with a Goodwill retail store. With guidance and support from Goodwill, he obtained his high school diploma and is working towards attending college and obtaining a degree.

“Before, I couldn’t get a job,” says Leo. “Through the help of Goodwill, I am now employed and able to support my family.”

“Goodwill’s mission is to serve persons with disabilities by providing services that remove barriers to employment,” says GSC President and CEO Douglas Barr. “Hope, Jobs, and Futures event is an opportunity for Goodwill to recognize the achievements of individuals that have relied on Goodwill programs to develop the skills and connections required to make significant changes in their lives.”

Organizations recognized for their partnership and support of Goodwill included: Bank of America, NISH Pacific West Region, Ashley Furniture HomeStore, Copper Eagle Patrol & Security, Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles Federal Credit Union and Microsoft Corporation.

About Goodwill Southern California
Since 1916, Goodwill has been turning donations and retail purchases into good jobs that have led to brighter futures for thousands of people with disabilities and vocational challenges. More than 59,000 people benefited from Goodwill Southern California’s (GSC) education, job training and placement programs last year. GSC operates 63 retail stores, 42 attended donation centers, three campuses and 24 service locations in the counties of Los Angeles (north of Rosecrans Ave.), Riverside and San Bernardino.

For more information about Goodwill and its programs, please call
1 (888) 4-GOODWILL or visit www.goodwillsocal.org.