Eight thrifty teens visited the Goodwill Headquarters on Tuesday to learn the story behind our retail stores. During their day at Goodwill the students listened to a presentation all about Goodwill, went on a tour of our headquarters and visited the Queens outlet store.

These students from KIPP High School in the Bronx are participating in the “Ethic of Wise Use” summer program, a fashion camp that teaches students the ethics of thrifting and clothing design techniques. Sammy Davis, thrifting enthusiast and fashion blogger who accompanied the students, helped to develop this program in partnership with the Institute of American Values (IAV).

Sammy and the eight fashionistas arrived at our Goodwill Headquarters along with fashion instructor Lesley Ware and IAV scholar Bernadette McHenry to learn about the secondhand fashion and nonprofit industries. Since many of these students came to our headquarters only knowing Goodwill as a thrift shop, we wanted to tell them the story behind each store.


During a presentation from Director of Communications, Jose Medellin, and Goodwill‘s summer intern Alyssa Raiola, students learned about the various programs and services that Goodwill‘s retail store profits help fund. Students were amazed to hear that 92 cents of every dollar earned at our stores supports Goodwill‘s mission, programs and services. 

Goodwill NY-NJ CEO, Bill Forrester, also stopped by to give the students some words of advice and anecdotes about his time working at Goodwill.


Feeling inspired and newly educated, the students and their chaperones headed off for a tour of the Astoria Goodwill headquarters. Goodwill‘s Director of Retail Operations, Vicki Nicki gave the students a tour of the donation and work centers.

The girls stared in awe at the mass of donations in our warehouse and smiled as they waved hello to our clients in the work center. Personalized Recovery Oriented Services (PROS) Director, Celina Cavalluzzi also spoke with students about our mental health recovery program. 

Finally, we took the students up to our Youth Services Department, where some of the girls really enjoyed themselves. After learning all about our summer camp and after-school programs, one student asked for information to become a volunteer for our youth services. Many of the other students expressed similar interest after visiting some of our adorable campers.


Throughout the tour one of the student’s teachers and IAV scholar, Bernadette McHenry reminded the students why Goodwill‘s mission is so connected to what they are learning at the “Ethic of Wise Use” summer program. “Thrift means to thrive,” she kept saying. 

Here at Goodwill, that is exactly what we do. We help our clients overcome challenges and barriers in their everyday lives so they can work and thrive within their communities.

After a day of learning all about the services and mission of our organization, the girls were ready to visit the part of Goodwill that they know best: our retail stores. Armed with Goodwill gift cards thrifting bags, the students hit the Queens outlet store (47-47 Van Dam St., Long Island City, NY, 11101) for an exciting afternoon of thrifting.


At the outlet store, staff members refill the item bins four times per day. The students eagerly rushed around the stores to find the best deals along with the mass of other outlet shoppers.

The girls left our headquarters and outlet store a little more educated and a little trendier: a perfect combination of what we do here at Goodwill!

For more photos from the thrifty-teens tour of Goodwill visit our Facebook page!


Alyssa Raiola is a Journalism student at Northwestern University where she spends her time writing for campus publications, searching for new restaurants, and picking the perfect Instagram filters. Although she loves jogging along Lake Michigan and exploring the Windy City, her heart lies back home in New Jersey where pizza is the right shape and bagels are a delicacy. This summer, she’s back in the Big Apple interning and blogging with Goodwill Industries before she heads off to Seville, Spain to study abroad for the fall semester.


Your purchases support the mission of Goodwill. To get the latest fashion trends and tips and learn about our upcoming promotions, please read our thrift fashion blog A Good Look

Latest post from AGoodLook: Perfect Peek-a-Boo Heels

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