2022: Looking Back, Marching Ahead
The gears have been turning at Palmetto Goodwill, and we’re excited to be stepping into the New Year with great momentum. Our resolutions are set and much has been planned, yet the strides of this past year call for pause and reflection. Brian Itzkowitz closed out his first full term as President and CEO of Palmetto Goodwill, and if this last year proves anything, it’s that the road ahead will be quite fruitful. Brian and I recap the year together and celebrate the health of the organization as we power into 2023.
Much has left us feeling proud, and one of the achievements that really stands out from last year is the new mission statement, vision statement, and diversity commitment adapted under Brian’s leadership.
Mission: Changing lives by providing equitable access to training, education, and employment.
Vision: Every member of our community has the opportunity to thrive!
Diversity Commitment: We celebrate and support a culture of diversity, inclusivity, and belonging in our workplace. Our values ensure that team members feel respected, accepted, and included. We firmly believe creating a sense of belonging fuels our mission and empowers us to deliver Amazing Customer Experiences to those we serve, our partners, and with one another.
“We have an obligation to do something and make a difference,” Brian says in explaining the need for a closer reflection of Palmetto Goodwill’s true core values. He follows, “Our job is to help remove those barriers and provide equitable opportunities and equitable access.” We keep our devotion to the community close at heart in all we work towards, and the new mission statement, vision statement, and diversity commitment cements that into Palmetto Goodwill’s future.
All thanks to the hard work of team members, Palmetto Goodwill had a significant impact across our 18-county territory. “We have to serve the communities we are in,” Brian details, “and make unique things to give the community what they really need.” Part of what makes Palmetto Goodwill so special are the programs and services provided that cater to individual needs. The Palmetto Excel Center, a year-round school for community members aged 21 and up, aims to bust barriers, close opportunity gaps, and give students another chance at a great education when opening in the fall of 2023.
Vital to the organization’s ability to act as a community resource, donations are what has kept the dream alive year after year. “Goodwill was founded on a hand-up, not a hand-out,” Brian says. Every single donation helps Palmetto Goodwill create an impact in someone’s life. Often overlooked, your gently-used goods bring new life to someone’s home while also supplying new opportunities to a neighbor in need—for these reasons, we are always thankful to see a new face in the donation drive-thru.
The Palmetto Warrior Connection thrived in servicing more veterans of lower South Carolina this year. The Navigator, our mobile Career Opportunity Center (COC), brought career training, resources, and interviews to those farther out of reach while our eight in-house COC’s held down the fort. Renewed contracts for our federal work programs provide stability and reassurance that Palmetto Goodwill is on the right path to further success.
We did manage to still have fun while knocking down our to-do list, like our first annual team appreciation event where all team members came together to celebrate the organization and its mission. Visits from Governor Henry McMaster, Representative Nancy Mace, and Congressman Jim Clyburn were delightful in making connections and sharing the inner workings of our organization. The annual Shining Star Awards, Palmetto Goodwill Open, Hippie Dash 5K, and the Red, White, and Blue Jean Ball all delivered smiles while raising money and awareness for our mission.
“I am thrilled to be a part of an agency that helps change people’s lives, and the fact that we get to be a part of this is an honor,” Brian shared. “If we don’t try stuff and fail, we’re never going to grow.”
It’s our biggest hope and greatest motivation that more good things continue to happen at Palmetto Goodwill in the coming year. We feel fortunate to have had a successful year, yet it all comes back to the donors, volunteers, supporters, and team members who carry our mission in their hearts. Together, we can achieve more in 2023 and give every member of our community the opportunity to thrive.
Cheers and Happy New Year!