WCNC-TV Hosts 2nd Annual “Make a Difference Day” Donation Drive with Goodwill

Larry Sprinkle with Goodwill Mascot
Larry Sprinkle, longtime weather anchor at WCNC-TV, poses with Goodwill mascot Smiling G.

On Saturday, October 24th, WCNC-TV (NBC Charlotte) hosted “Make a Difference Day” benefiting Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont. The nationwide annual initiative by USA TODAY featured a donation drive for Goodwill that at the end of the day collected 3 full tractor trailers with 12,640 pounds of donations!

Goodwill team members and on-air talent from WCNC-TV collected donations on-site from 6 a.m. – 4 p.m., including host Larry Sprinkle, Sonja Gantt, Bill McGinty, Eugene Robinson, Brad Panovich, Fred Shropshire, Beth Troutman and more.

In addition to the donation drive, WCNC-TV surprised Goodwill with a $5,000 financial contribution to support our mission of changing lives through the power of work. Thank you to WCNC-TV and the 373 donors from the community who came out to give a second life to items they no longer need and support Goodwill.

Goodwill Donation Check
Larry Sprinkle presents a check to Michael Elder, President & CEO, Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont.

Leading up to Make a Difference Day, WCNC-TV aired six inspiring success stories of Goodwill clients and team members. Watch each video below to see the hard work and dedication put forth by these individuals on their journeys to family sustaining employment.

  • Shell graduated from the hospitality & tourism occupational skills training course at Goodwill and is a current Board of Directors member who recently launched Elegant Connexions, her own event space business in Concord. “Concord business owner thriving through power of work.”
  • Rahmal came to Goodwill’s youth program and worked with one of our team members who remains a mentor to him today. Rahmal is now employed at Charlotte Metro Credit Union, a partner on the new Goodwill Opportunity Campus. “Young man finds career through Goodwill.”
  • Goodwill and WCNC-TV team
    Goodwill and WCNC-TV team members unload donations.
    Hyrum is the store manager at our Albemarle Road retail store. Hyrum began his career at Goodwill as a donation processor, was promoted to retail lead worker, then again promoted to assistant store manager and is now store manager with hard work and encouragement from his team members and supervisors. “Goodwill store manager worked up from the bottom.”
  • Jason came to Goodwill with a criminal background and enrolled in the Second Chance Workshop, where he learned communication skills and how to navigate the difficult job search. He’s now employed with building and property maintenance company Oneliance and starting his own business as an independent contractor, where he helps other individuals with criminal backgrounds find meaningful job opportunities. “Goodwill continues to change lives one person at a time.”
  • Adeline moved to the United States from West Africa for a better life. She made the difficult decision to send her children back to West Africa to live with her mother while she sought employment and enrolled in Goodwill’s hospitality & tourism occupational skills training course. Through the course, she earned a job as a server at the Renaissance SouthPark Hotel, where she is now the lead trainer in the restaurant. She was able to move her children and her mother back to the United States, and has since bought a house and a car. 
  • Sonja Gantt and Sarah Hagan of WCNC-TV pose with Smiling G.
    Sonja Gantt and Sarah Hagan of WCNC-TV pose with Smiling G.
    George earned his GED and HVAC certification while in prison to turn his life around, and upon release enrolled in Goodwill’s construction skills training program. After graduating from the program, Goodwill helped George find a job at Hope Haven, where he is now employed as an assistant maintenance manager. “Goodwill Industries’ construction program offers second chance.”

Thank you to WCNC-TV, Goodwill team members and community donors for making “Make a Difference Day” a huge success again this year. Purchases of these donations in Goodwill retail stores will help fund job training and employment services for individuals like Shell, Rahmal, Hyrum, Jason, Adeline and George to find jobs and earn a wage to support themselves and their families. Together, we can all make a difference!

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