Donate-a-thon ends year with a bang

By R.F. Hosseini

Sometimes the best parties are the ones that say thank you.

SF Goodwill rang in the New Year right with an all-day, open-air bash dedicated to its generous donors.

Gratitude flowed like bubbly champagne during the Dec. 31, 2012 “Donate-a-thon” celebration, which drew more than 700 jubilant donors to its downtown San Francisco headquarters alone.

Visitors to the 1500 Mission Street site walked into a senses-thrilling bazaar of live music, donor tributes, delectable snacks and holiday treats for the kids. SF Goodwill employees like Michael Ham and Cayden Berkmoyer buzzed about in bellhop uniforms to assist donors and show off the 96-year-old nonprofit’s overhauled brand design.

More than a dozen news media outlets were on hand to cover the party-like atmosphere. (Check out the links below!) And local radio stations KOIT-FM and KFOX-FM joined in on the fun by helping SF Goodwill pass out free San Francisco Zoo or Century Theater tickets to the first 400 people who showed up when the doors opened at 7 a.m.

While that may have been too early to celebrate the New Year, it was perfect timing to thank all the thousands of people who make our work possible by donating material goods and money.

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SF Goodwill receives more than 19 million pounds of material donations at its 30-odd donation sites across the Bay Area each year. Coupled with generous monetary donations, the forward-thinking social enterprise has become one of the most effective welfare-to-work programs in the state. Since the start of the current recession, SF Goodwill has helped more than 2,000 folks get jobs and provided job training to thousands of others. Just last year, SF Goodwill helped nearly 600 people transition from public assistance to paychecks, contributing $17 million to the local economy.

That kind of success wouldn’t be possible without all those who contribute to the Goodwill mission by donating their gently used clothing, books, toys, computers and other items.

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Last month’s event provided SF Goodwill the opportunity to personally thank its wonderful donors for their generosity and commitment to providing needed employment opportunities in the Bay Area.

It also provided a great excuse to throw a fun party one we can all be proud of.