Harmony Project Director David Brown Delivers Keynote Address at Goodwill Annual Meeting on June 21

‘Commons in Harmony,’ a program of the Harmony Project, performed at the event

COLUMBUS, Ohio – David Brown, founder and director of the world-renowned Harmony Project choir, delivered the keynote address at the Goodwill Columbus 2018 Annual Meeting on June 21. The theme of the event, “Find Your Voice,” drew upon the organizations commitment to helping people from all walks of life celebrate community and inclusion by drawing upon individuals’ unique creativity and goals.

“David Brown is a treasured leader in our community and has changed the lives of a diverse mix of citizens by inviting them to uncover their individual gifts through singing,” said Goodwill President and CEO Margie Pizzuti. “The Harmony Project helps people and the community explore our common connections when we work in harmony. At Goodwill we assist individuals to ‘find their voice’ by providing comprehensive workforce development solutions to people with disabilities and other barriers, so they can discover their own pathway to independence through the power of work.”

“We are privileged to work with the greatest people in our community and witness firsthand that we change trajectories by empowering people,” said Brown. “We are fortunate to observe what moving from the shadows to the spotlights can do for the heart and soul of a person.”

In addition to hearing from Brown, attendees were treated to several songs by ‘Commons in Harmony,’ a program of the Harmony Project. Commons in Harmony raises the voices of community members who are differently abled as well as those who have overcome homelessness.

Pizzuti also delivered a “State of Goodwill” address highlighting successes over the past year. The agency saw many positive developments in 2017:

  • Goodwill helped place 235 people in Central Ohio into competitive employment with 148 employers.
  • Goodwill provided 1.65 million hours of service to nearly 2,000 individuals through day habilitation programs, community-based supported living services, employment training and job placement services.
  • In 2017, 2,000 volunteers from a variety of corporate and civic associations – as well as individual contributors –provided nearly 30,000 hours of service to Goodwill, which made a huge difference to Goodwill participants. Goodwill is one of the top 100 employers in Franklin County, and employs more than 1,200 individuals, including 300 who have a documented disability.  
  • Goodwill provided day programming to more than 600 adults with developmental disabilities in an environment where they can lead happier, healthier lives and live up to their full potential.
  • In 2017, Goodwill donated goods retail operations and aftermarket operations generated $18.1 million in revenue. Proceeds support workforce development programming.
  • Last year, Goodwill provided custodial services and unarmed security to companies and organizations throughout central Ohio, covering 11 million square feet of space.
  • Goodwill Auto Auction sold 878 donated vehicles, generating $780,000 in revenue.
  • At the same time, Goodwill diverted 8.3 million pounds of waste from area landfills.
  • Google.org and Goodwill announced the launch of the Goodwill Digital Career Accelerator(SM). Goodwill Columbus was awarded a portion of the $10 million nationwide grant to help equip people with vital digital skills training over the next three years.
  • Goodwill was voted the top thrift store by readers of The Columbus Dispatch in the newspapers “Best Of” 2017 poll.

Goodwill Columbus also thanked their many generous donors and shoppers, and the following community organizations:

  • The Columbus Urban League
  • Alvis
  • Jewish Family Services
  • The City and County
  • The Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities and ARC Industries
  • The Community Shelter Board
  • The Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio
  • Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services
  • Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
  • Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities
  • Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities
  • The Human Service Chamber of Franklin County…and
  • United Way of Central Ohio

To learn more about the people and programs of goodwill, please visit: GoodwillColumbus.org