Goodwill gives thanks: What we’re grateful for

At last month’s Goodwill Employee Celebration.

By Scott M. Bruner
SF Goodwill

Thanksgiving is a terrific holiday – not only is it a fantastic time to share time with our family and friends (and don’t forget about football), but it’s also a rare opportunity, even in some of the most difficult times, to reflect on the things we do have, and the people we share our lives with.

Certainly, it’s been a trying year. From the earthquake in Japan to our own troubled economy, we find ourselves in challenging times. A time for us to reflect on and celebrate our fellowships and blessings couldn’t come at a more welcome time.

We asked all of our Goodwill employees what they would be saying thanks for this Thursday, and we’d like to share their answers with you.

What are you thankful for? Please share your comment below!


“I’m thankful for having a job in this economy — and health.”
– Hong Hunt, Information Technology Support Specialist

“I am thankful for a loving family and friends, thankful to have a job that challenges and directs the needs of society, and thankful to work with a team that challenges me to grow and develop every day.”
– Rebekah Reali, Manager-Participant Development

“Kindness gives us true value in life. Performing simple acts — a smile, a helping hand, saying thank you — will bring you more wealth than titles or money.”

“I’m thankful to Goodwill in so many ways, but especially that I have been able to grow. I’ve accomplished a lot because of this. From leadership and management skills to communication and empathy, Goodwill is just a great place to work.”
– Loren Schnaidt, Retail Support Specialist

“I’m thankful for my wonderful Digital Literacy students, every single day. Goodwill Industries of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin ranks highly as an effective charity and I’m proud to work for an organization that helps so many people.”
– Kathleen DeLander, IT Instructor

“I am thankful for my amazing staff of Career Advisors who work tirelessly to get our participants to work and build confidence within them throughout the process.”
– Anne Young, Career Advisor Manager


“Along with family, housing, food, and a job, I’m most thankful for the contagious belly laugh of our little boy, which melts away the stress of the day. “
– Tim Murray, Director of Branding and Marketing

“I am grateful for the support of my family & friends. The holidays can be the hardest time of the year for me because of the loss of my mother in 2008. Holidays just aren’t the same without her here in the flesh. I am thankful for the blessing of my son being born 3 months prior to my loss and my 3 brothers; they give me the strength to keep going. I think what I appreciate more than anything is the importance of tradition that the elders in my family worked so hard to instill in us, so we would be able to carry on to the next generation, our children.”
– Jasimine McCowan, Material Donations Associate

“Parenthood. It’s a never-ending journey of joy, discoveries, memories, heartache and love. Bobby (whom I began writing about online even before his birth) is 12 now and enriches our lives every day.”
– JD Lasica, Social Media Coordinator

“I will be eternally thankful for the 30 years I had with my husband, Pete.”
– Linda Oziel, Manager of Staff Development


“I am thankful for my supportive co-workers, the friends I can call family, and for my family that continues to inspire me to be a better person every day.”
– Marie-Claire Balea, Resource Specialist

“I’m thankful that I have my health, a place to lay my head at night, food, clothing and employment, especially during these tough economic situations.”
– David Estrada, Assessment Services Specialist

“I’m grateful for my health as well as the opportunity to live, work, go to school and play in the same city.”
– Patricia Baldueza, Administrative Assistant

“Kindness gives us true value in life. Performing simple acts — a smile, a helping hand, saying thank you — will bring you more wealth than titles or money.”
– Michael Bongiorni, Material Donations Manager

“I am very thankful for my wonderful family at home and my wonderful Goodwill family.”
– Debbie Alvarez-Rodriguez, President & CEO

Finally, we’d also like to wish you and your families a wonderful start to the holiday season (and hope to see you in our stores soon!). Happy Thanksgiving.

About the Author

Scott M. BrunerScott M. Bruner is on the development and communications team of Goodwill Industries of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin Counties. He’s the editor of the Bay Area Impact blog. Contact Scott or leave a comment below.View all posts by Scott M. Bruner