Savannah Goodwill Awarded For Services To Veterans

(SAVANNAH, GA) On May 17, Goodwill of the Coastal Empire was recognized by Goodwill Industries International at its Spring Conference for their commitment to serving veterans. Only two member agencies were awarded as Vested in Veterans Center of Excellence. Goodwill of the Coastal Empire will serve as a role model to other Goodwill’s designing programs to serve veterans. Theresa Gerton, deputy secretary for policy at the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Services (VETS) program, served as the keynote speaker at the lunch. She encouraged Goodwills to continue their great work connecting veterans and their families to much needed employment and support services, emphasizing the growing need for credential building in this population.

Goodwill of the Coastal Empire began its dedicated veteran services program in 2010 with Operation Open Doors, serving homeless veterans in Savannah and the surrounding areas. The agency quickly realized other veterans within the community could benefit from their services

Today, the Savannah Goodwill operates ten job connection centers with professionals who assist veterans with an array of services and supports. All veterans are assigned a peer counselor who serves as a navigator supporting the efforts of the veterans to address immediate needs such as housing, benefits verifications and medical concerns.

“We owe it to every one of our veterans and their families to provide them with the tools they need to advance beyond their military careers and connect them with employers who understand the value of their military experience, so they can succeed at work and at home,” said Brenda Pollen, vice president of mission services. “Through Vested in Veterans, we will enable veterans and military family members to focus on their careers and financial goals, and create a road map for successful civilian careers.”

These efforts are bolstered by the agency’s many community partnerships, including the Veterans Administration, Savannah-Chatham County Homeless Authority, Step-Up-Savannah Workforce Action Team’s Apprenticeship Program, and local colleges and universities.

Goodwill of the Coastal Empire, Inc. is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization with over 850 employees. In 2013, Goodwill provided services to 19,518 people and placed 1,672 into employment. Goodwill serves 33 counties in Georgia and South Carolina, operating 19 retail locations, and ten Job Connection Centers. Goodwill accepts tax deductible donations of clothing, household items, computers, and car donations, as well as operates an online store at For more information on Goodwill of the Coastal Empire, please visit Find on Facebook: Savannah Goodwill, or follow on Twitter: @SavGoodwill.

In 2013, Bank of America and Goodwill Industries International launched the Vested in Veterans initiative with Goodwills in Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles and San Antonio. “Bank of America’s investment in Goodwill is just one of the ways we are helping individuals, including returning military, to access the education and training they need to access jobs and build better financial futures,” said Kerry Sullivan, president, Bank of America Charitable Foundation. “We’re honored to recognize the sacrifice and leadership of our military members, veterans and their families through longstanding support and pleased to partner with Goodwill as part of our ongoing commitment to improve local economies.”

Bank of America’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a strategic part of doing business globally. The bank’s CSR efforts guide how it operates in a socially, economically, financially and environmentally responsible way around the world on behalf of shareholders, customers, clients and employees. Bank of America’s goal is to help create economically vibrant regions and communities through lending, investing and giving. By partnering with stakeholders, the bank creates value that empowers individuals and communities to thrive and contributes to the long-term success of our business. Bank of America has several core areas of focus for CSR, including responsible business practices; environmental sustainability; strengthening local communities with a focus on housing, hunger and jobs; investing in global leadership development; and engaging through arts and culture. As part of these efforts, employee volunteers across the company contribute their time, passion and expertise to address issues in communities where they live and work. Learn more at and follow on Twitter at @BofA_Community.

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