Participants in Goodwill’s Construction Skills Training program recently partnered with a local middle school student to help children during times of crisis. Using materials provided by Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC), the class constructed a donation box to collect items for the organization N.C. Stuffed Animals For Emergencies (SAFE). The donation box was presented at the Matthews Free Medical Clinic during a special dedication ceremony on June 26. The project was first introduced to the class by Ashton Gerlach, a seventh grade student at Providence Day School. Ashton asked Goodwill to construct a donation box for the N.C. SAFE chapter that she was beginning in Charlotte. N.C. SAFE collects new and gently-used stuffed animals, toys, books and blankets, and redistributes them to emergency organizations that help children undergoing traumatic life events. “This partnership demonstrated how a little good can go a long way,” said Brian Otto, General Manager of Goodwill Construction Services. “The work these students completed not only sharpened their construction skills, but it also helped them find a meaningful way to give back to the community.” Goodwill’s Construction Skills Training program is a seven-week class taught in partnership with CPCC that arms individuals with basic knowledge and skills needed to obtain a position in the construction industry. In addition to receiving training in construction math, blueprint reading, and the use of power and hand tools, students also gain important skills in résumé development, interviewing, work ethics and effective communication methods. Upon completing the program, students receive a 10-hour OSHA safety card and may also be awarded a forklift certification.