By SF Goodwill
Dear Valued Supporters,
The COVID-19 crisis is a sobering reminder of the vulnerability that we all share as human beings. Our thoughts are with those who have been personally impacted by the virus, especially those who have fallen ill. At SF Goodwill, we take the safety of our employees, shoppers, donors, and community very seriously. In adherence with the Bay Area “shelter-in-place” ordinance, all Goodwill retail stores, warehouses and donation centers in San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties will be closed through May 31, 2020 (and potentially longer).
The sudden and rapid spread of the virus and sudden closure of our social enterprise is leaving our team members—many of whom have found a new home with SF Goodwill after incarceration, military service, homelessness, immigration, or addiction—with precariously few resources to weather this storm. These team members have worked incredibly hard to overcome personal and professional barriers to employment. Most have few or no resources beyond the employment-safety-net we provide. These same men and women have expressed deep concern about how they will support themselves and their families during this shutdown. Some have also expressed deep distress about falling into homelessness because of a loss in income. I am personally proud of each and every one of our team and, as CEO, I am committed to doing everything I can to assist them.
The closure of our social enterprise businesses will cause debilitating hardship to most in Goodwill’s workforce. We have had to furlough the majority of our employees. At the same time we made the financially challenging decision to continue providing health benefits. We believe it is unconscionable to deprive these employees of benefits during a public health crisis. It is absolutely the right thing to do.
We are unlike most nonprofits. As a “social-enterprise,” we earn 75% of our operating costs. We employ those we serve by providing income, benefits and 21st century employment skills to help them move out of poverty to sustained employment. For the next three weeks, all of our stores and online businesses that would otherwise cover the wages of those in need of a second chance have been shut down. Our primary funding source is gone.
Goodwill’s mission is to “create second chances through training and the dignity of work.” We remain steadfast to that mission. Your support of our work, especially at this moment, provides life-sustaining support to people who are rising from difficult circumstances and are committed to developing job skills to support themselves and their families. Our work helps people not slip back into extreme hardships. If you’d like to make a philanthropic or charitable contribution to SF Goodwill to support those who are working to improve their lives, please visit https://sfgoodwill.org/donate. 90% of every dollar raised goes directly to programs.
We look forward to continuing to serve our local community as we follow guidelines from the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and our local government officials. As we collectively focus on the health of our teams and families, personally and professionally, we ask that you please care for yourself, your loved ones, and those you come in contact with. We are in this together and we will get through this together.
Thank you for making our mission, your mission.
President & CEO, Goodwill of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin
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