Goodwill HELPs Founders Honored with International Award

Wednesday, July 5, 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.


"Will This Float?" Business Pitch Competition Is Thursday

"Will This Float?," The Company Lab’s seventh annual business pitch competition, will take place Thursday from 6-9 p.m. at the Chattanooga Zoo, 301 N. Holtzclaw Ave.  Click here to view the contenders and prizes.    "Will This Float? is one of the most prominent business pitch competition’s in the Chattanooga region. The event showcases up-and-coming entrepreneurs ... (click for more)

First Tennessee Earns National Awards For Small Business Banking

First Tennessee Bank has been recognized by Greenwich Associates in the 2016 Greenwich Best Brand Awards for Small Business Banking. First Tennessee was honored in the “Ease of Doing Business” and “Trust” categories. "First Tennessee’s business bankers took particular pride in the fact that the Ease of Doing Business and Trust awards are based on distinctive customer ratings," ... (click for more)

Valerie Bray Pleads Guilty In Death Of Well-Known Runner Cameron Bean

A long-time Moccasin Bend Hospital employee pleaded guilty on Tuesday morning in connection with the death of well-known runner Cameron Bean. Ms. Bray pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and leaving the scene of an accident with a fatality involved. Defense attorney Bill Speek said she faces one-two years on each charge at a sentencing hearing on Feb. 1 at 1:30 ... (click for more)

Officer Who Was Shot Returned Fire; Is Recovering Well; Shooter Still On Loose

Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher said Monday morning that the officer who was shot three times on Thursday is recovering well.   Chief Fletcher said the officer was wearing a bullet-proof vest and one bullet hit the vest, which protected him during the shooting.  The officer was able to return fire, although Chief Fletcher would not comment on how many bullets ... (click for more)

An Open Letter To Tennessee Electors Of The President - And Response (2)

This an open letter to the following people who are Tennessee's presidential electors this year: Joey Jacobs (Brentwood), Beth Scott Clayton Amos (Nashville), Jason Mumpower (Bristol), Susan Mills (Maryville), Liz Holiway (Harriman), Lynne Davis (Lascassas), Tom Lawless (Nashville), Mike Callahan (Monterey), Pat Allen (Clarksville), Shannon Haynes (Alamo), and Drew Daniel (Memphis).  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Abolish Bail For Poor

Our terribly overcrowded Hamilton County Jail may get some help from an unsuspected corner – the Obama administration is tackling the fact that right now over 450,000 people are in our country’s jails because they are too poor to pay for bail. It is a violation of the Constitution to “punish people for their poverty.” As the Eighth Amendment provides, “… excessive bail ought not ... (click for more)