Ashtabula Harbor Store

621 Goodwill Drive, Ashtabula, OH 44004 Ph:(440)964-3565

Andover Store

74 Public Square, Andover, OH 44003 Ph:(440)293-5792

West Erie Store

2601 W 26th St., Erie PA, 16506 Ph:(814)833-4501

Donate To Win

440-964-3565

Madison Store

6644 North Ridge Rd., Madison, OH 44057 Ph:(440)417-0101

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

'A Night With Ol' Blue Eyes' - the stylings of Frank Sinatra

Goodwill Industries of Ashtabula, Inc. presents, “A Night With Ol’ Blue Eyes" - the stylings of Frank Sinatra. For the first time ever we will be presenting a spring concert fundraiser starring Michael Sonata - one of the most sought after tribute artists in the country. Sonata will sing a collection of jazz standards in a way that will make you believe that you are listening to Old Blue Eyes himself. The event will be held at Lakeside High School Auditorium April 14, 2012.

General admission tickets are $10.00 and the show begins at 9:00 p.m. There are also patron tickets available which will include preferred seating, a Frank Sinatra inspired dinner before the show and silent auction for $75.00 per person or $125.00 per couple. The dinner will begin at 7:00 p.m. and will feature prime rib, stuffed chicken, pasta, mozzarella salad, black-tie cake and new york style cheesecake.

There are only 1000 tickets and they will go fast so remember to purchase yours today by calling us at (440) 964-3565. We hope that you will consider joining us for a night of food, fun and great music.

In the past 77 years Goodwill has helped thousands of people with disabilities or special needs through education, job training and the power of work. This fundraiser will help us continue to fulfill our mission.

Please contact me with any questions and thank you for your time and consideration,

Alexandra VanAllen
Marketing and Development Manager
Goodwill Industries of Ashtabula
alexandra.vanallen@suite224.net
(440) 964-3565 Ext 224

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ashtabula County Medical Center Drive

HAVE A HEART - DONATE to the ACMC Donation Drive this Valentines Day!

The Ashtabula County Medical Center will be hosting their own Goodwill Donation drive this Valentine's Day.

One lucky donator will win a large gift basket with chocolate, heart-healthy treats and a six-month gym membership donated by ACMC's Premiere Fitness.

Just bring in a bag of donations (bags can be any size) to the Goodwill truck parked outside of ACMC on February 14th between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. for a chance to win. For every bag brought in, the donor will be awarded one raffle ticket to win the gift basket. So, bring in 5 bags, recieve five tickets.

Ashtabula Elementary Donation Drive

Congratulations to Ashtabula Elementary. During their donation drive last week Huron, Ontario and Michigan Primary Schools collected over 14 large boxes full of donations bringing in over 1000 small grocery sized bags.

We are thrilled with the results of the drive and could not be more grateful to Ashtabula Elementary.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

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Friday, February 03, 2012

Conneaut Middle School Drive a Hit!

Conneaut Middle School's donation drive was a great success thanks to the generous staff and students. Altogether Conneaut brought in over 800 small, grocery-sized bags full of donations filling all six of their large donation boxes.

Way to go Conneaut!

Ashtabula Elementary Donation Drive Next Week

Huron, Ontario and Michigan Primary Schools are hosting a Goodwill Donation Drive February 6 - 10.

Emilio Cruz - Time is All We Have

Emilio Cruz is a 37 year old Puerto Rican male who works at Goodwill Industries of Ashtabula, Inc. through the Pride program. He is a convicted felon who has served more than 11 years in prison for several different crimes/occurrences.

“I lived in Puerto Rico until I was about 11 years old… but then my mother decided to move to the U.S.” Cruz said, “I don’t know why she decided to leave but I’ve always guessed that she was looking for a better opportunity for her kids.”

Cruz is the 3rd youngest of a large family of 13. He has lived in and out of Ashtabula County since 1985 where most of his family resides. Shortly after settling into Ashtabula Cruz’s father was incarcerated for a double murder in 1987.

“Everybody used to say they arrested him because he was Hispanic.” Cruz said. “So honestly I grew up thinking that he didn’t do it. I know now that regardless of what people said, he did it and there is no excuse – but at that time people around me confused me.”

After his father was sent to prison things started to become difficult for Cruz.

“I got into drugs at age 15, smoking weed and drinking. By the time I was 18 I used heavier substances. I was on a bad road and had no idea how to turn myself around.”

Close to his 22nd birthday he was incarcerated for drug trafficking and felonious assault. He served eight years in prison and was finally released in 2003.

“After I first got out of prison I was thrilled. I got my driver’s license within two weeks, got a job three months after that. Honestly, I was doing everything right working a regular job with regular hours.” Cruz said.

He was trying to adjust back to civilian life but started experiencing bouts of major depression. He tried to talk to his parole officer and she looked into finding Cruz a counselor but there was no available funding at the time.

“So I reverted back to drinking and smoking. I realized I was hooked on drugs again and tried to get off… but I couldn’t do it by myself.” Cruz said. “And everywhere I went there was no funding. Hospitals couldn’t keep me any longer than two weeks and I was constantly pushed back out on the streets.”

In 2005, during the peak of Cruz’s breakdown, his wife left him and took his children leaving him completely alone.

“She did the right thing.” Cruz said. “I couldn’t take care of her or the kids and she did right by them. I will always be grateful to her for that.”

Cruz hit rock bottom. He did not want to be on the street anymore. He was tired of the hospitals, tired of digging himself out of a hole that seemed to grow deeper and deeper. So he walked into a local convenience store, reached over the counter and took all the money in the register. Several hours later he turned himself in to the police.

“I didn’t hurt anyone; I just wanted to get off the streets so I did what I had to do to get into prison.” Cruz said. “I felt horribly guilty. The people I stole from are wonderful people, they always helped the community and were kind to me. I’ll never forgive myself for that.”

This time prison was different. He had lost everything he cared about.

“That last three years in prison I woke up.” Cruz said. “I realized I just wanted to live life and take care of my family. I realized that all I really wanted to do was to live a normal life. I missed my wife and kids more than anything in the world.”

Cruz was released from prison after serving three years in 2008. He was welcomed home by his wife and children where he lives now. Finding a job has been quite a struggle but he looks at life with a new optimism that he never had before.

“I feel so blessed and lucky to have what I have.” Cruz said. “Life has opened up for me in a whole new way and I want to make the most of it. I lost time but I have a new appreciation and understanding for life that I never had before.”

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