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Goodwill and other nonprofits pivot in a pandemic

Posted on Jul 29, 2021 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main

Sign saying "First Lady's Corner" with Dawn Amano IgeLike so many businesses and non-profits, Goodwill Hawai‘i had to pivot for the first time in its history to online shopping when its stores closed during the pandemic. “We were amazed at the response,” said CEO Katy Chen of the site. “We’re on track to break $1 million in sales — our first full year of doing e-commerce. We’ve been offering vintage goods, local designer brands and even ‘ukuleles.” The ease of that new method was on full display July 20 during “Goodwill Goes Glam,” the popular annual event that showcases local designers and runway-worthy Goodwill fashions. Goodwill’s simple yet powerful message, “Donate stuff. Create local jobs,” became even more relevant this past year. “They’re a full-circle program that’s really valuable to our community,” said First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige. “Besides education and job skills, they’re also promoting sustainability, recycling and reusing.”

Goodwill Hawai‘i CEO Katy Chen and Mrs. Ige; McKenna Maduli (far right) hosts “Goodwill Goes Glam.”

Goodwill Hawai‘i CEO Katy Chen and Mrs. Ige; McKenna Maduli (far right) hosts “Goodwill Goes Glam.”

For the past seven years, Mrs. Ige has served as honorary chair of  “Glam,” but as a former teacher, her interest goes much deeper. “Goodwill has so many outstanding programs,” she said. “They just opened their new Beretania flagship store on O‘ahu with its Honolulu Career and Learning Center. Also, this year one of their success stories involves a young Hilo woman who worked with a Goodwill counselor to find a job through the state’s new Remote Ready Hawai‘i (see related article). It’s exciting to see how Goodwill and the state can partner to connect a young person to meaningful work.”


Read more in the August Capitol Connection newsletter.

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