BRADENTON, FL – An effort to encourage students to reduce-reuse-recycle while supporting the programs and services of Goodwill Manasota has paid off for the participating students and Goodwill. Through the BE COOL School Challenge, nearly 3,000 pounds of unwanted goods were donated to Goodwill - these items will be sold in Goodwill's retail stores and the proceeds will support its mission of changing lives through the power of work. Students from Braden River High School, who gathered more than 1,500 pounds during their donation drive, have won a free pizza party and a $1,000 scholarship to enable the school to engage in additional environmentally friendly activities, thanks to corporate sponsor Cool Today.
The effort was created and led by Braden River graduating senior Brianna Moss, who has served as a Goodwill Youth Ambassador for the past few years. She wanted to find a way to educate her peers about the importance of recycling as well as the work that Goodwill does throughout the region. She created support materials and worked to get other schools on board.
The individual donation drives were carried out by the Key and Environmental Clubs at the Braden River, Southeast, and Sarasota high schools. Goodwill provided donation boxes that the students then painted or otherwise decorated any way they wished. Students promoted and held the donation drives, collecting gently used items such as clothing, shoes, and books; the boxes were then picked up by Goodwill, and items processed and prepared for sale.
"Our hope is that this challenge helped students to understand not only how they can reduce their carbon footprint but also that they can be change agents right now, regardless of their age," said Goodwill Manasota vice president Veronica Brandon Miller. "I am so impressed with our Goodwill Youth Ambassadors, like Brianna, who are so generous and concerned about others, as well as the students who helped to organize the effort and all who donated. We would like the participating students to understand that they have helped to make a real difference in the lives of others."
Braden River High students were presented with their prizes on May 9th. All participating students received a coupon for a free pizza from Pizza SRQ.
Jaime DiDomenico, president of Cool Today, was proud to back this effort. “It’s our responsibility as businesses to give back and support nonprofits like Goodwill,” said DiDomenico. “It’s impossible to overstate the value of educating and empowering young people to make a difference in the lives of others. Cool Today is honored to sponsor this effort."
For more information about Goodwill, or to find out how your business or organization can hold a donation drive, go to experiencegoodwill.org or call (941) 355-2721.
PHOTO ID: Braden River Environmental Club officers Courtney Berardi and Gabriela Sullivan, Lisa Pattison of Cool Today, Principal Jennifer Gilray, teacher and Environmental Club advisor Kim DeHetre, Goodwill’s director of donation development Donna Evans, and Assistant Principal Matt Whelden
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 2016, Goodwill Manasota served 28,207 people, placed 755 people in jobs and assisted 240 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $92.1 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted more than 40 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.