Leaving a Legacy on Nelson Mandela Day

Mandela Day Logo
Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation

On July 18th every year, Nelson Mandela International Day is celebrated across the world in honor of the legendary late activist’s birthday and legacy. The day was officially declared by the United Nations as a global movement to honor his life’s work and act to change the world for the better. Nelson Mandela devoted 67 years of his life to the struggle for human rights and social justice. As we celebrate our 50th Anniversary this year in the Southern Piedmont region of North and South Carolina, we are reminded of the importance of leaving a lasting legacy through our mission of “Changing lives through the power of work.” In the past 50 years, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont has delivered services to more than 170,000 individuals in our community living in poverty and facing employment barriers such as lack of education or work experience, criminal backgrounds, welfare dependency and more. Since 1965, our organization has provided paid training and employment for thousands of clients and team members totaling payouts of over $385 million in wages and benefits, and Goodwill’s economic impact in the Southern Piedmont region is nearly $4 billion. Upon the completion of the new Goodwill Opportunity Campus next year, we will be able to offer even more assistance with expanded services and the collaboration of many community partners to help those who need our programs the most. In addition to ensuring a lasting legacy in our community, Goodwill Industries International operates 165 agencies in the United States and Canada, and has a presence in 14 additional countries worldwide. Goodwill states, “Through our work with partners and individuals dedicated to addressing poverty and unemployment for people with disabilities and other challenges to finding jobs, we’re committed to advancing our proven model on a global scale.” According to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, “Positive change for the better was the gift left to all of us by Nelson Mandela – it’s a living legacy and now it’s your turn. In the spirit of Madiba and his vision to spread social justice and freedom for all, this is your chance to become a part of a continuous global movement for good. Let us all emulate the servant leader we loved by all becoming servant leaders ourselves.” Join us this Saturday, July 18th to honor Nelson Mandela’s work by committing to community service in our area. Find a mission that inspires you and reach out to help out. Consider serving at Crisis Assistance Ministry, checking in and scheduling patients at Charlotte Community Health Clinic, stocking the store at Classroom Central, or building a home with Habitat for Humanity. By donating goods and recycling electronics you no longer need to Goodwill, or shopping in one of our 22 retail stores, you help keep our planet clean and fund job training and employment services for people right here in our region. Leave your own legacy by directly playing a role in the fight to end poverty amongst our neighbors. To learn more about Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont and our programs and services, visit www.goodwillsp.org. For more information about Nelson Mandela International Day, visit www.mandeladay.com. For a comprehensive list of volunteer opportunities in the region, visit Hands on Charlotte’s Volunteer Opportunity Calendar.

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