Goodwill Central Texas (GCT) was proud to once again be a part of Goodwill Advocacy Day, held April 12-14 in Washington DC. Two GCT program participants, Charles and Lauren, along with Goodwill staffers, travelled to Capitol Hill. There, they shared their stories, networked with lawmakers and their staffs, and advocated for legislation integral to our community’s success and progress.
On this year’s agenda were a number of items set forth by Goodwill Industries International. These included discussions on charitable giving, funding for workforce development programming, and continuing support for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). It is anticipated that policymakers will address a number of these issues during the second session of the 114th Congress.
Charles and Lauren were very excited to have been chosen to attend through the GII Advocacy Event Scholarship.
Charles was not only awarded the honor of travelling to Washington D.C. to address our governmental bodies, but recently was named Goodwill International Industries Achiever of the Year. This is one of the highest honors bestowed by Goodwill. Charles was chosen from hundreds of entries from across the United States; he won this award because of his dedication to his family and Goodwill. Charles says, “My life is surreal – I am living the dream. I’m blessed that I got a second chance at life – all because of Goodwill.”
Watch the surprise announcement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJcjUg6xXqA
“I think I made a difference in Washington, even if it was just telling my story and how Goodwill helped me get to where I am today,” says Charles. Lauren chimed in, “I am so honored to have been chosen. After this experience, I feel like I can truly influence the world around me!”
Between their classes and meetings, Charles and Lauren did a little sightseeing to some of the famous monuments!
Valerie Swift, Senior Director, Community Engagement at Goodwill Central Texas, says, “Advocacy Day is always a great opportunity for all Goodwill organizations to join together with a united voice. We are working towards empowering Central Texans to transform their lives through work, and national support and participation from our elected officials will get us to our goal more quickly.”