While many might know Goodwill Industries of the Big Bend as a popular thrift store, it is often unrecognized how much good the donations provide to the community.

Of every dollar made from donations, 87 cents goes directly back into the community to fund numerous programs and services such as job training, affordable housing, financial planning, education and career opportunities to those with disabilities and other barriers to employment.

In the Big Bend area alone, the nonprofit currently employs more than 850 individuals, with 26 retail stores, 14 attended donation centers, nine career-training centers and 12 residential communities.

With services like the Career Training Centers, those looking to explore multiple industries through web classes and e-learning courses are able to achieve the necessary skills needed to succeed in those fields.

The organization is proud of their successful partnerships with local Big Bend businesses, allowing them to offer a contract services division with the objective of providing quality and sustainable employment opportunities to individuals with disabilities.

Along with job training and career opportunities, Goodwill works to provide affordable housing to allow persons with a verifiable, developmental, emotional or physical impairment to live independently. Residential Services manages twelve accessible and affordable apartment complexes for people with disabilities or the elderly in north Florida and south Georgia.

In addition, Goodwill provides financial planning with mentors that are available to help manage debt and expenses to better one's financial situation.

For more information about Goodwill Industries of the Big Bend or the different programs offered, please visit www.goodwillbigbend.org.