On May 22 and 23, Charles Schwab employees across the United States donated their time to four Goodwill agencies as part of the annual Schwab Volunteer Week, a week-long event during which Schwab employees across the United States perform community service projects benefiting more than 100 nonprofit organizations. GoodwillNyNj was lucky enough to be a host, benefited from the efforts of 25 amazing volunteers this year along with a generous donation of $500 from Schwab.

Our volunteers joined us from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m from all over New York City and New Jersey to volunteer in four GoodwillNyNj areas: the industrial contracts shop, the retail processing center, Ecommerce, and the PROS program.

Our volunteers’ smiles were contagious – our staff and program participants couldn’t help but beam back!

Some volunteers worked alongside participants with disabilities at tables packing and assembling; others helped retail workers  sorting clothing and shoes, hanging and racking clothing; more helped Ecommerce workers with disabilities to scan books and CDs, wrap and load packages, as well as organize computer equipment for Goodwill’s Reconnect program; and still more played board games and participated in art projects with participants in the PROS program, which serves adults with severe and persistent mental illnesses. Everyone had a job to do and everyone made a difference.

The Schwab volunteers tackle Ecommerce, one paperback at a time.

At the end of the day, participants and volunteers painted a mural where everyone left their mark in the new masterpiece creation: “The Things I Love of Spring.”

Sharing moments, time and hope – that’s what volunteering is really about. Thank you, all!

“The Schwab employees had such a rewarding experience and will cherish their volunteering hours at the Goodwill NY-NJ facility forever,” said Joette Faherty, Sr. Manager, Schwab Corporate Security in New York.

Of course, it was sad to say good-bye, but we don’t think we’ll be apart for too long – quite a few volunteers vowed to return to volunteers as individuals in various programs.

“It was a tremendous day of observing, learning and contributing to a truly worthy organization,” said Tom Cantillon, managing director of the Schwab New York Metro Region. “Volunteerism is infectious!

If your company would like to volunteer at Goodwill, please contact Jose Medellin, Goodwill’s Director of Communications, atjmedellin@goodwillnynj.org.

  1. starrleen simmons

    Starrleen Simmons ♦ starrleen1@yahoo.com ♦ (718) 536 – 6376

    I am a 31-year-old African American woman with a disability called Cerebral Palsy. My goal is employment or volunteer work for personal growth and the opportunity to work with and help others.

    I am able to walk and use my hands so I can do many physical tasks. My left leg is turned in so I walk downstairs more slowly than other people. My hands work but when I am learning new movements I sometimes move my hand with a jerk. After I get a feel for the task, I am very good with working with my hands. I am also dyslexic. I am able to read and write, but I do it quite slowly. I have to take my time and break down the words that are long for me to read. My handwriting is slow and a little bit hard to read at times.
    In March of 2012, I started to work at Extreme Kids & Crew. Extreme Kids and Crew is run by Eliza Factor and Kate Milford. The parents and volunteers take care of the place and the children and young adults who go there. The program is in a classroom in a school called The Co-op School located at 40 Brevoort Place in Brooklyn. Extreme Kids is a place where families that are going through some of the hardships of raising a special needs child can have the support of other parents and where they can have fun together with their children. Children can also come with their home health aide or an older sibling 16 to 18 or up.
    My job is to supervise the children playing in the room and to make sure the children are playing safely with whoever they are playing with, whether it’s in the ball pit room, the relaxation light room or the gym room. I also clean and straighten up the rooms. I pick up the balls and put them back into the ball pit and build big piles of beanbag pillows to make a mountain for the kids to climb on and jump off of. Another aspect of my job is to help the children use the equipment, for example by swinging a child in the swing or helping a child in or out of the ball pit. When there is a meeting, I clean the room, help organize the food, and set up seating for the participants. At the meetings I often talk with the parents about my experiences growing up with a disability and they sometimes ask me questions about it. My favorite thing is to clean up the room at the end of the day by putting away whatever the children have taken out to play with. I line up the exercise balls against the wall, put the toys back in their bag, and sometimes I vacuum the mats. I also help to promote the place by handing out fliers and making announcements about it on social media sites.


    1. goodwillnynj

      Hi Starrleen,

      Thank you for sharing your story, reading the blog and supporting Goodwill! Here at Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey, we’re proud to support persons with disabilities and other barriers to employment in their job search. Do you live in our region (NYC, Long Island, Hudson, Capitol, and Northern New Jersey)? If so, let us know if you’d like to submit a resume to one of our programs. GoodTemps, Goodwill’s temporary staffing agency, sends about 900 temps to work each week, many of them person with disabilities. Other programs offer employment support services.

      Again, thank you for your comment. Best of luck to you from all of us here!



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