Helpful Programs Strengthen a Community

By Tasha Mero

KAPOLEI — Goodwill Industries of Hawai‘i lays the groundwork for a successful next generation.

For most of us the name Goodwill industries of Hawai‘i fosters images of ubiquitous donation boxes and thrift stores full of last decade’s fashions, but what happens to the revenues the stores generate is where the real impact of Goodwill can be seen.

Last year, Goodwill generated $9.6 million from their stores to help finance its job training and educational curriculum for the groups that need it most: at-risk youth, recent immigrants and adults with special needs. According to their annual report, four people are placed into jobs each day by Goodwill here in the islands, and more than 13,000 people are served each year through their varied programs.

The Kapolei location, which first opened in 2009, offers five different programs through the Adult Day Health and Ola I Ka Hana programs.

The Adult Day Health program offers support for individuals with developmental disabilities by assisting them with personal growth, community inclusion and vocational training. They do this by helping participants learn practical skills, work ethic fundamentals and how to volunteer in the community.

“We’re very person-centered here,” says Felicia Panoncialman, director of intellectual disability services. “Everything is chosen by them.”

If individuals are interested in learning job-training skills, the Adult Day Health program provides activities such as social interaction and role-playing with co-workers. They use the facility’s computer lab to complete resumes and learn how to apply for jobs. The program does its best to help participants find the right job for them by taking into consideration how long individuals are able to stand and how much time a participant spends on one task. They reinforce the communal work experience by encouraging individuals to volunteer one day a week within the community.

Read the full story here, in go Kapolei Magazine.

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