October – National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Ann Boyd - Senior Director of Business Operations
at Goodwill Industries of Hawaii

Meet Ann Boyd, she’s the Senior Director of Business Operations with Goodwill Industries of Hawaii and The Goodwill Hunter’s guest blogger.  She is passionate about her work and  has a history of service to our country. Learn more about Ann and National Disability Employment Awarenss Month.  To view her full biography, see the Writer’s Block page.  Here’s her blog contribution:

It makes me smile as I am often asked, “How on earth does a 22 year of military veteran decide to work for Goodwill Industries of Hawaii”.  This question provides for reflection and allows the opportunity to share the fact that “service to fellow man” can come in many forms.   I spent my years of military service protecting the country and citizens that I love, how could a person not understand how Goodwill fits into that.  Easy enough I guess as there was a time that I too thought that Goodwill was simply a retail entity.  I knew they did “something” to help individuals with disabilities but was naive in exactly what that meant.  One of the best ways to sum up the match of Goodwill in my life is to explain the work that Goodwill does in the community.  Goodwill supports the community in helping individuals with barriers to become independent and self-sufficient.

October has been a special month for me to be able to put this all together.  I think that we would all agree that employees should be appreciated all year long but with the daily requirements of work, I think we would also agree that a simple “thank you” is sometimes left for another day or simply forgotten.  I am proud to be a part of Goodwill Industries of Hawaii as they are a nonprofit organization that never forgets their employees or the people they serve.

Goodwill Industries of Hawaii is a nonprofit organization that participates in the The Ability One  Program.  While the Americans with Disabilities act legislation assures basic civil rights to people with disabilities, including the provisions for reasonable accommodations by employers it does not assure job for people with disabilities who want to work.  The Ability One Program was created to help increase employment opportunities for people who have significant disabilities and coordinates contracts between the federal government and nonprofit organizations.  Goodwill Industries of Hawaii has a variety of employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities including positions with federal contracts through the AbilityOne program.   It has been an honor for me to help ensure valued employees are acknowledged the month of October is designated as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Click here to learn more about President Obama’s Proclamation about National Disability Employment Awareness Month .  This is a special designation which provides the opportunity for busy Federal personnel to recognize the AbilityOne Program, employees and nonprofit agency staff for the outstanding work that they do in supporting Federal agencies through the excellent service they provide via contracts.

So for  those of you who wonder how an “old Master Chief” fits into the mission of Goodwill Industries of Hawaii, I tell you with pride – I continue to serve those in need as we provide services and advocacy for those who cannot always represent themselves or simply need a helping hand.

Thank you to each and every one of you who donate or purchase items in our retail stores as your contribution makes a difference in the life of an individual here in the community.