Goodwill HELPs Founders Honored with International Award

Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Left to right are HELPs co-founder Susie Thompson, Chattanooga Goodwill Industries President and CEO Dennis Brice, HELPs co-founder Gigi Logan, and HELPs manager Kimberly Myers. Click to enlarge.
Left to right are HELPs co-founder Susie Thompson, Chattanooga Goodwill Industries President and CEO Dennis Brice, HELPs co-founder Gigi Logan, and HELPs manager Kimberly Myers. Click to enlarge.

When physical therapists Gigi Logan and Susie Thompson approached Chattanooga Goodwill Industries about a community medical equipment program six years ago, they said they never dreamed they would one day win an international award for their efforts.

Mrs. Thompson and Mrs. Logan were recently selected to receive the 2006 Robert E. and Charlotte Watkins Award for Mission Advancement from Goodwill Industries International for Goodwill HELPs, the program that the two women instituted at Chattanooga Goodwill Industries in May 2000 and that they have continued to serve as volunteers ever since.

The award was presented to them last week at the 2006 Goodwill Delegate Assembly in St. Louis, Mo., along with a $1,000 check.

Dennis Brice, President and CEO of Chattanooga Goodwill Industries, received the good news in a letter from George Kessinger, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries International.

“The judging panel felt confident that Gigi Logan and Susie Thompson were exemplary winners,” wrote Mr. Kessinger. “Their example further enriches (the Goodwill) movement and their community.”

Under the management of Kimberly Myers, Director of Community Services, Goodwill HELPs (Health Equipment Link Program) provides free durable medical equipment to people in 23 counties throughout Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia who can’t afford to buy it for themselves.

“Health equipment can be an expensive or impossible purchase for a growing number of people,” said Mrs. Thompson. “Goodwill HELPs goes a long way toward improving the quality of life for people in our community every day.”

Kenneth Lee, a HELPs client who received a free wheelchair from Goodwill last year, agrees. “If I didn’t have the wheelchair from Goodwill, I’d just be stuck in the bed all day, depending on other folks, and that’s not me,” he said. “I want to work and support myself, and this chair is a big help. I thank God that Goodwill was there for me. Otherwise, there’s no telling what I would’ve been doing.”

The majority of equipment supplied by Goodwill is donated to HELPs by individuals who no longer need it. Goodwill employees and clients clean and repair the equipment before passing it along to people in need. Other equipment and supplies are donated directly to Goodwill by manufacturing companies, medical equipment suppliers and healthcare providers.

While some items, like motorized wheelchairs, are in such high demand that waiting lists are several years long, many items such as crutches and walkers are kept in stock so that requests can be fulfilled in a matter of days.

Since the program’s inception, more than 5,000 people have received free equipment from Chattanooga Goodwill Industries.
“Our goal is to grow the program to 10,000 clients served each year by 2010,” said Bruce Carscaddon, Vice President of Mission Services. “With the community’s continued support, I know we can do that.”

For more information about Goodwill HELPs, to donate equipment to the program or to request free equipment for yourself or a family member, visit goodwillchatt.org or call (423)629-2501, ext. 314.

Goodwill Industries International is a network of 207 community-based organizations that serves people with workplace disadvantages and disabilities by providing job training and employment services, as well as job placement opportunities and post-employment support.

To fund the mission, Goodwill collects donated clothing and household goods to sell in its retail stores and on shopgoodwill.com and provides contract labor services to business and government.

Chattanooga Goodwill Industries serves clients in 23 counties in Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia.


Grand Opening Celebration Scheduled For New Chattanooga Farm Credit Office

Farm Credit Mid-America, a financial services cooperative that has served the credit needs of farmers and rural residents across Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee for nearly a century has constructed a new and expanded Chattanooga office . The Chattanooga office serves Hamilton, Marion, Rhea and Sequatchie counties. The new office offers over 5,000 square feet of space, ... (click for more)

Waterhouse Public Relations Expands Brand Development And Media Team

Waterhouse Public Relations has expanded its team with the addition of Sheri Young as vice president of Brand Strategy and Callie Smith as Media Services coordinator. As vice president of Brand Strategy, Young will drive the development of business and consumer brand campaigns, capitalizing on her 20+ years of working with national and global brands out of Nashville and Atlanta ... (click for more)

City Receives $400,000 Federal Grant To Study Passenger Train Service

The United States Department of Transportation has announced Chattanooga has received a $400,000 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to study the potential use of existing railways for a passenger rail system in Chattanooga. There were 72 awards announced in 46 states and Washington, D.C. Out of numerous grant applications across Tennessee, ... (click for more)

Former Assistant Police Chief Eidson Not Charged In Shooting Of Stepson On Englewood Avenue

Former Chattanooga Police Department Assistant Chief Kirk Eidson was not charged in the shooting of stepson Robert Ingle, 18, on Sunday morning in North Chattanooga. However, Ingle was charged with domestic assault and vandalism. In the incident shortly after 9 a.m. at 1049 Englewood Ave., Mr. Eidson said Ingle came to the house asking him to take him to their other house ... (click for more)

Dirt Decision At Camp Jordan May Come Back To Haunt East Ridge Councilmen

Wow. I thought the arrival of Bass Pro Shop would help bring East Ridge back to a position of prominence in the Chattanooga area, but the Council proved otherwise last night.  To the council - There is a reason that the developers want that dirt: It's valuable . You currently own it and the developer wants it. Bass Pro has already agreed to set up shop. They were going ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Goodbye To My Scooter

The month of August turned out to be unkind, with my dog, my favorite aunt and my magnificent mother all dying within three weeks’ time. As I finally begin to push out the three newest dents in my soul, my habit has been to write something akin to a goodbye note to those I have loved. I’m not ready for Aunt Martha and Mother yet – not by a stretch -- but I remembered Scooter with ... (click for more)