Chattanooga Goodwill Industries President And CEO Dennis Brice Speaks At Chattanooga Kiwanis Club

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

President and CEO of Chattanooga Goodwill Industries Dennis Brice spoke to the Chattanooga Kiwanis Club Tuesday afternoon, saying Goodwill was founded on the principle "that people with disabilities deserve a chance, not just charity."

He described the history of Goodwill, saying the organization was founded in 1902 in Boston by a young Methodist minister, Edgar Helms. He said Helms started what was at the time a radical social movement by providing paid work for those with disabilities.

 

Today, he said, Goodwill continues with this mission. He said last year in the Chattanooga area alone, "We served over 9,000 people with disabilities and other barriers." The Chattanooga Goodwill was also the first in the state, as well as the 25th in the world.

He said, "We have a plethora of services we provide people." These services include everything from providing medical equipment to low-income patients, to mentoring at-risk youth, to helping people find jobs through testing to find their strengths. 

For homeless people in the area who have been able to make the transition to a living arrangement, Goodwill works to provide furniture.

Another program Goodwill provides is the Goodwill Assistance Dog Academy. Assistance dogs are trained to help people with disabilities do things such as opening doors and pulling wheelchairs. Goodwill is able to provide these dogs as well as their other services for free because of the money they make from selling donated items in their retail stores. 

He also said Goodwill works with many other nonprofits. He said, "Not one nonprofit can do it all. But as we spread our net, hopefully together we can keep a lot of people from falling through."

He said, along with the other nonprofits, "We serve a population that no one else even recognizes as being there." 

Mr. Brice closed his presentation with an old proverb, saying, "If you want to feed a man for a day, give him a fish. But if you want to feed a man for a lifetime, teach him to fish."


Mainstreet Cleveland Announces Bobby Taylor Award Recipient

Main Street Cleveland held its annual Christmas party on Wednesday evening. A new award that acknowledges an individual’s long-term commitment to downtown Cleveland was presented to Allan Jones in memory of George R. "Bobby" Taylor.   Mr. Taylor was founder and CEO of bank of Cleveland and instrumental in founding the Mainstreet Cleveland organization. He was a strong supporter ... (click for more)

Weekly Road Construction Report

Here is the weekly road construction report for Hamilton County:   U.S. 27 (I-124) widening from I-24/U.S. 27 interchange to north of the Olgiati Bridge over the Tennessee River, including widening the Olgiati Bridge:  Work on this project continues.  The speed limit on U.S. 27 in the construction zone has been lowered to 45 MPH.  The contractor may have ... (click for more)

County Schools Prepare To Set Priorities For Next Round Of School Building Funding

County school board members are gearing up to set priorities for the next round of new school construction in Hamilton County. Lee McDade, assistant superintendent, said officials may know by the spring how much money will be available to build new schools or add on to existing ones - or do a combination of both. Board member Rhonda Thurman said a proposal to build a new Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Walker County Will No Longer Have Full-Time County Attorney Under Whitfield Tenure; Will Add Full-Time Communications Director

Incoming Walker County Sole Commissioner Shannon Whitfield said under his administration there will no longer be a full-time county attorney. "We will outsource this service on a fee basis," he said. Mr. Whitfield said he has begun interviewing attorneys who might be able to help out the county from time to time. Don Oliver has long been the county attorney for Walker County ... (click for more)

Vehicle Emissions Testing Causes More Pollution Than It Prevents - And Response

While a noble cause to make sure vehicles are operating efficiently with the minimum amount of pollutants, a simple analysis makes it somewhat evident the VET program in Chattanooga causes more pollution that it prevents.  Though I don't know how many vehicles are tested on an annual basis, if you assume an average round trip of 10 miles to the nearest testing station (five ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Senseless Divide

If I could change one thing about the schools in Chattanooga, my wish would be that everybody could become good friends. I’m talking about the private schools versus the public schools. The rancor is so bad we hardly ever play in sports anymore and what the loathsome TSSAA has done in recent years to the out-numbered private schools is sinful. My dream would be that there would ... (click for more)