Sarasota Military Academy makes donation to Goodwill's Veterans Services Program

SMA sophomore Drew Taylor spearheads charitable effort during school's Spirit Week

Published Thursday, April 7, 2016

Sarasota Military AcademySARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – Goodwill Manasota was one of eight nonprofit organizations benefiting from recent charitable activities at Sarasota Military Academy. Thanks to the efforts of a sophomore, Cadet Timothy “Drew” Taylor, Goodwill was the recipient of a donation to benefit its Veterans Services Program.

Taylor is the son of Goodwill Manasota employee Bryant Taylor, who encouraged his son in his efforts and helped him come up with the idea for the fundraiser. With guidance from staff members from Goodwill’s Veterans Services Program, Cadet Taylor coordinated a paid “dress down day,” during which students who donated to his cause were released from having to wear their normal uniform on that day. Sophomores and seniors were eligible to participate in Taylor’s fundraising project.

“At our school, they teach us to become better citizens and to help out our community,” said Taylor. “It’s our responsibility to give back to veterans to honor them for what they’ve done for us. My father has told me what Goodwill does for veterans – I am happy that I have been able to help support Goodwill’s efforts.”

Taylor, who hopes to be accepted into the Air Force Academy after high school, has many relatives who have served or do serve in the Armed Forces and he would like to continue that tradition. He participates in SMA’s drill team and is an active community volunteer. He has volunteered for events such as last year’s Stand Down for Veterans program, which assists veterans who are homeless or otherwise in need, and the Pearl Harbor Memorial Dinner, a partnership of Goodwill Manasota and The Law Place. He has also volunteered for Wreaths Across America, a nationwide effort to places wreaths on the graves of fallen soldiers around the holidays.

“As an organization committed to helping veterans each and every day, we at Goodwill are thankful for those in the community who are invested in improving the lives and futures of veterans,” said Goodwill Manasota vice president Veronica Brandon Miller. “On behalf of those we serve, I congratulate and thank Taylor for his efforts; the donation from SMA will be put to good use to help the veterans in our community.”

About Goodwill Manasota

Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2015, Goodwill Manasota served 22,739 people, placed 961 people in jobs and assisted 358 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $81.3 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted 41 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota in essence belongs to this community, and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org.