Giving Back, News

Goodwill turns $1 into $25

Seems like a preposterous equation. After all, a dollar is a dollar, right?

Not to Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit. It’s figured out way to turn $1 into $25, fight unemployment and provide scholarships to students … all at the same time through its the Goodwill Pass it Forward “Dollars for Jobs” High School Challenge Dollars for Jobs campaign.

The program is done in collaboration with Huntington National Bank and Emmy award-winning high school sports television program STATE CHAMPS! You can check it out on Facebook and Twitter.

Here’s how it works.

High school student leaders across Southeast Michigan put a dollar bill in provided envelopes and pass them from person to person until the envelop reaches 25 people. Once an envelope contains $25 or more, the student returns it to the office of his or her athletic director or directly to one of 49 participating Huntington branches in Southeast Michigan. Goodwill will use the money donated for employment education and training programs and to support the creation of new job opportunities that help people get jobs in Metro Detroit. The $25 in each envelope represents about what it costs Goodwill to provide one day of job preparedness training and other support to an unemployed Metro Detroit resident.

According to Goodwill, every dollar donated will put $6 into the Metro Detroit economy.

There are a slew of participating schools from across the region. The top three schools will be featured on the award-winning State Champs TV show, which is a great opportunity for publicity for the school and district. Also, top-performing schools will get a dance or other event sponsored by 98.7 AM radio. The student leader who shows the most spirit will win a live one-hour studio sit-in with “Puddin’s Playhouse,” the 98.7 morning show.

The simplicity of the campaign – putting a dollar in a provided envelope – lowers the barrier for entry and also shows the students they can make a difference.

“These are things that can get kids involved and understand the value to the human race,” says Mike Quinn, athletic director for Gibraltar Carlson High School. “These are the types of things that will enhance our community.”

The “Goodwill #For Jobs Student Ambassador” winner will be selected by a committee of Goodwill and Huntington representatives based on community leadership in support of “Dollars for Jobs,” promotional creativity, impact on the campaign and the number of “Likes” the nominee draws to his or her entry submission. There will also be up to $250 donated by Huntington Bank ($1 per tweet) for tweets using the #ForJobs hashtag. Entries are being accepted on this Facebook page of no more than 1000 characters (about 150 words).

“Goodwill’s mission is critical to our entire region’s future,” said Huntington National Bank Michigan President Michael D. Fezzey. “Goodwill is engaging the next generation of community leaders in helping Southeast Michigan residents secure jobs. The Metro Detroit communities where our 49 branches are located have all been touched by the unemployment crisis, so supporting ‘Dollars for Jobs’ is a natural fit for Huntington.”

So look for that envelope at your kid’s school or stop into a Huntington Bank branch. The $5 I dropped in went to work and made $30. Put your dollars – even if it’s just one – to work!

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