Tri-Village News

Goodwill Columbus' 75th anniversary

Celebration starts with reorganization at HQ

Local center lauds milestone throughout 2014


Goodwill Columbus is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, and while the agency will organize several events to mark the occasion, the first special project will involve organizing of a different sort.

Members of the Ohio chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers will donate 75 hours of service Jan. 27 and 28 to make sure the maintenance room at Goodwill's local headquarters is organized for maximum efficiency and production.

The project comes during the NAPO's Get Organized Month. Throughout the month, professional organizers conduct special projects and initiatives to encourage members of the public to organize their homes and workplaces in the new year.

"We're really so grateful that the NAPO is willing to step forward and provide us with this service," said Margie Pizzuti, president and CEO of Goodwill Columbus. "It's a great way to kick off our anniversary year."

The maintenance room is used by Goodwill Columbus' custodial and maintenance staff as a storage area, said Erica Charles, Goodwill's media and media communications manager.

"Our custodial staff works so hard to maintain everything in our headquarters," she said. "The NAPO is going to be able to come in and help us do things with more efficiency and less waste. The items we don't need, they will help us to responsibly recycle. We've been recycling for many, many years, well before it became cool to be green."

In addition to the reorganizing, the maintenance room will receive new shelving donated by the Container Store, Pizzuti said.

Goodwill Columbus moved to its Edgehill Road location in 1954.

For its first 15 years, Goodwill Columbus operated out of a church, Pizzuti said.

The local agency was started by a Methodist minister, and its first program offered opportunities for individuals with physical or developmental disabilities to earn a living by restoring and reselling household goods and clothing, she said.

"Goodwill's mission has always been to build independence and quality of life of individuals with disabilities and other barriers," Pizzuti said. "Over the years, as needs and issues have changed, the services we provide have changed as well to meet those needs."

One of the goals for the anniversary year is to engage and educate the public about Goodwill's multitude of programs, she said.

"It happens all the time -- when someone tours our facilities, they can't believe all the activities and services we have going on here," Pizzuti said.

Goodwill also plans to use the anniversary year to thank the stakeholders, community leaders and volunteers who offer support and to begin the planning for the next 75 years, she said.

Throughout the year "we will be leveraging existing activities and events to mark our anniversary," Pizzuti said.

The keynote event will be held in November near the actual date of Goodwill Columbus' articles of incorporation in 1939, she said. The anniversary celebration also will be a key component of the annual Extraordinary People luncheon held in the fall.