3/13/13 — 2013 Goodwill Honorees
On March 13, Goodwill celebrated the accomplishments of program participants and honored volunteers, partners and community leaders for their dedication and support during the annual “In Unity with Community” luncheon in Traverse City.
Bryan Crough acted as Master of Ceremonies. Tim Pulliam and Steve Morse, co-founders of Keen Technical Solutions shared the honors of delivering an inspiring key note message. Keen, a Michigan-based company with a focus on energy conservation strategies, opened its doors in 2008 and last year was highlighted in INC 500 magazine as being the #60th fastest growing company in the United States and ranked #1 for the State of Michigan. Tim and Steve shared their story of entrepreneurship, environmental stewardship and giving back as much as possible to their local community. Tim and Steve challenged the community to follow Goodwill’s lead, and take steps toward energy conservation and sustainability.
Achiever of the Year – Necole Flanigan
Necole Flanigan gave up all her worldly possessions when entered the monastery to become a nun. Three years later she found herself homeless and at the Goodwill Inn after realizing she was not ready to take her vows.
“I needed a new start and I needed to gain my independence. Having to go to a homeless shelter was like the end of the
world to me, but I knew it was the best place for me to start over,” explained Necole.
Necole found not only a place to live; she found friends, a support system and the resources to housing, employment, a wonderful case manager and much more.
“Staying at the Inn made me understand that my stigmas about the homeless were totally incorrect. It opened my eyes more than I can say. I learned so much about people that I would not have known had I not been there.” said Necole
Reflecting over the past year, Necole said, “A year ago I was literally at ground zero. It is hard to comprehend everything that has happened. I never thought I would have; two jobs that I am good at, a car, a beautiful apartment, and be on the Dean’s List a Northwestern Michigan College in my Social Work Studies. Beth Van Dalson, my case manager really helped me put my goals and priorities in order, and supported my decisions. She was a driving force in helping me get to a place that a year ago I thought was impossible.”
Beyond work and her studies, Necole has embraced the community and gives back as a board member for the Foundation for Mental Health, volunteers at Safe Harbor and recently returned from an international mission trip.
With the Goodwill Inn’s help Necole is now embracing opportunities and appreciating every single moment of her success. She is very excited about her future and thanks God for the many graces that she has.
“My future is bright!, explained a beaming Necole. This is only the beginning for me. I will always remember where I started. I dream of someday being a missionary, social workers or working with hospice. Those are future goals, I never even dreamed of a year ago.”
Elizabeth Post, Goodwill Inn Program Director, said “When Necole came to the Inn she was looking for not only housing and employment, but she also needed a support system. She impressed us so much, because she really hit the ground running. She worked on getting a job and housing and really connected with the community in record time. We congratulate Necole, as our Achiever of the Year, award winner.”
Necole added, “Receiving this award is very humbling. It means a lot to be acknowledged for my achievement. Words fail to express what the Goodwill Inn has meant to me.”
Click here to view Necole’s Achiever of the Year Award acceptance.
Goodwill Partner Honorees
These honorees were recognized for their partnership with Goodwill, exceptional leadership and commitment to changing lives.
Bill Marsh Automotive Group
For over ten years, Bill Marsh Automotive Group has been an amazing friend and donor to Goodwill. They have assisted Street Outreach in finding the perfect vehicle to meet the program’s needs, supported Workers on Wheels in many capacities, generously sponsored the Reinvention Convention and played a critical role in making the Goodwill Inn a reality. They have shown not only their support to Goodwill, but a strong commitment to our community.
Bill Marsh Automotive Group’s partnership and support has enabled Goodwill programs to more effectively and efficiently provide services and strengthen the impact we have on the people we serve throughout our programs.
Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy
The Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy has been a strong partner of Goodwill’s Employment and Support Services, Greenscaping program. Greenscaping Crew members are made up of Goodwill Inn, Housing Support Services and Street Outreach program participants who are working on building their resumes, while actively pursuing and getting full-time competitive employment in the community.
The GTRLC partnership allowed participants to learn and develop useful skills in construction, ecology, earth science, and land management. In return crew members have played a vital role in the developing hiking/biking trails, removing invasive species, and collecting native plants/seeds throughout Northern Michigan, while learning new skills and earning a paycheck.
Aleda E. Lutz Medical Center
The Aleda E. Lutz Medical Center provides a unique partnership with Patriot Place, transitional housing for homeless male veterans. Through the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center, Patriot Place has an onsite clinical liaison that immediately assesses participant needs upon entry and identifies how both the VA and Goodwill program can best assist veterans in moving them to independent living.
Having a VA clinical liaison onsite is crucial to the success of the program. It allows Patriot Place to have a direct line of communication with the VA to get documentation, assist in medical transportation and facilitate mental health and substance abuse programming. This unique program and partnership significantly helps the veterans we serve to strive to excel.
Mary Stanton Award Winners – Homer Nye and Becky Mang
The Mary Stanton Award recognizes a special individual who personifies the spirit of Goodwill and Goodwill’s mission to help people overcome barriers to independence. This award is indicative of a person who is a Goodwill ambassador to the community at large, is dedicated to serving those in need and who understands that it is better to give than to receive.
When Homer Nye and his wife Becky Mang co-founded Food Rescue of Northwest Michigan, they did so to fill a clear gap in the food system. Food was being thrown away, while their neighbors were hungry. They took action. In the beginning, Food Rescue picked up and delivered an average of 605 pounds per week. Today the program picks up and distributes over 19,000 pounds weekly, all of which is used to feed our community’s hungry. This would not be possible without the selfless leadership of Homer and Becky.
This past year, Homer volunteered hundreds of hours to represent Food Rescue in SwingShift and the Stars. Because of his efforts, Food Rescue raised more than any other charity, as well as a lot of awareness for the program.
Homer and Becky continue to be leaders not only with Food Rescue, but with many of Goodwill’s other programs as well. They have played a longstanding leadership role in our community’s Safe Harbor Program, as well as in the Poverty Reduction Initiative. They are true community champions, who are motivated to take action and create lasting and meaningful change.
We are pleased to honor Homer and Becky as our Mary Stanton Award winner.
Volunteers of the Year – Food Rescue Riders
It’s 6:30am, cold, rainy, maybe even a sideways blowing blizzard but there they are—all set to go! These are the hardiest of the hardy—dedicated volunteers willing to roll out of a warm, toasty bed to help a cause. They’re the same team that demonstrates the same commitment when on a hot, humid July day.
The 2012 Volunteer of the Year award goes not to one individual but to a team—our Food Rescue Riders. Robert Shepherd, Craig Silliven, David Mahaffy, Jacob Newell, Gavin Meyer, Eugene Coffey, and Josh Hollister have been integral to the success of Goodwill’s Food Rescue program. Without them, it would not have been possible to achieve the rescue of over 2.5 MILLION pounds of nutritious, soon-to-be-dated food for distribution to our region’s food pantries in less than 4 years. It is Goodwill’s privilege to honor the Food Rescue Rider team for their exceptional contribution to alleviate hunger in our region!