Goodwill Creates Program to Encourage Youth to Make a Positive Impact on the Environment

'Sustainability Susanne' encourages young people to 'reduce-reuse-recycle,' and help those in need in our community

Published Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Sustainability SusanneSARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida and Goodwill Manasota are partnering on a creative program to encourage donations to Goodwill while teaching girls how they can be better stewards of the environment and help people in need right here in our community. The Girl Scouts are working with and being inspired by “Sustainability Susanne,” who cares about the planet and all who inhabit it.

“Sustainability Susanne” has a mission: to encourage young people to donate their unwanted items to Goodwill. This gives unwanted items a “second life” as they are offered for sale in Goodwill stores – which supports Goodwill’s mission of changing lives through the power of work – and keeps those items out of area landfills. This program was created by Goodwill Youth Ambassador Amanda Emory, and named after Susanne Fredericks, Sustainability Specialist for Goodwill Industries International.

Goodwill has provided area Girl Scout troops with information to help them organize a donation drive, with the assistance of Sustainability Susanne. There is advice on how to coordinate, market and educate fellow Girl Scouts, classmates and neighbors about the donation drive, with a reminder to thank all who participate, of course. Each participant is encouraged to customize her own Sustainability Susanne (similar to the recent Flat Stanley phenomenon) and bring her along, to “tell” people about her mission of positive environmental impact.

“Through my involvement with Goodwill, I have learned so much about the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and how we can use it in our everyday lives to be more responsible about how we care for the planet,” said program founder Amanda Emory, a 12th grader enrolled in the State College of Florida Collegiate School. “I wanted to find a way to really express my concern for how we treat the Earth and set a great example for my friends to do the same. I’m so excited that the Girl Scouts are using Sustainability Susanne to spread the word!”

“We are so pleased to partner with Goodwill Manasota on this project, as we have on so many others,” said Susan Stewart, CEO of Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida. “Many of the organizational values of the Girl Scouts and Goodwill are nicely aligned: a commitment to community, concern for the environment and a dedication to helping others. This project highlights those values for our participants and encourages them to share those values with others.”

Goodwill recognized the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida with the “Community Outreach Partner of the Year” award at last year’s Goodwill Ambassador Recognition Luncheon; the two organizations have enjoyed numerous programmatic and event partnerships in recent years. The mission of the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida is to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.

“Goodwill Manasota is pleased to work with community organizations such as the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, which is working to teach our future leaders about the importance of environmental responsibility and a concern for others,” said Veronica Brandon Miller, vice president of Goodwill Manasota. “These young ladies exemplify our Goodwill supporters, shoppers and donors: they see the value of giving unwanted items new life, protecting the environment and helping to lift up others, all while building confidence in their own ability to change lives. We are proud to partner with the Girl Scouts to inspire environmental stewardship and encourage philanthropy from a young age.”

Sustainability Susanne is available to all youth programs for their use.  Please contact foundation@gimi.org for more information.

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.