Press Room

News Reports

Check out the latest news reports about Goodwill of Orange County from print and online journalists. You’ll find coverage from issues related to shopping, donations, awards and program updates. For press releases issued by Goodwill, click here.

'Everyone's a winner’ at the Faley Special Games

May 6, 2016

There was no rain delay, no rain out. Instead, Friday’s Goodwill of Orange County Faley Special Games rolled right through its first rainstorm. Beneath steady showers, athletes with developmental disabilities or other special needs and thousands of volunteers from local elementary, junior high and high schools took part in the annual event, now in its 31st year.

We Care Wednesday Clothing Drive

July 30, 2014

Gayle Anderson was live in Costa Mesa for the WE CARE WEDNESDAY CLOTHING DRIVE at the Orange County Fair. The 2014 Orange County Fair is now open through Sunday, August 10th. This year’s fair, with the theme, “Summer Starts Here,” consists of 23 days of food, exhibits, rides, animals and shopping. With all of the discounts, promotions and deals offered by the OC Fair, all of this fun can be enjoyed without breaking your bank.

Fairgoers can save on admission and give back to the community by participating in the “We Care Wednesday” weekly donation drives, which offer FREE admission and one FREE carnival ride per person with the proper donation. Donation requirements change weekly. Click HERE for this year’s schedule and guidelines.

Today’s “We Care Wednesday” donation drive is a clothing drive benefiting Goodwill of Orange County. Donate 5 new or gently used clothing items and receive free admission plus one FREE carnival ride per person from Noon to 3 PM TODAY.

Since 1924, Goodwill of Orange County has helped people with disabilities find employment, become independent and support themselves and their families. With more than 900 employees and an annual budget of more than $78 million, Goodwill of Orange County serves more than 1,000 children and adults with disabilities and other barriers to independence each day by providing education, training and employment services to assist individuals overcome barriers to employment and to succeed at home, at work, or at school. As a nonprofit agency, Goodwill of Orange County spends 91 cents of every dollar towards its services. Your donation today helps the local community and is environmentally responsible.

Please note: Promotions are honored only during their specified time frame. Please prepare to arrive early. Don’t let traffic or lines keep you from enjoying these popular discounts and deals. “We Care Wednesday” donations will NOT be accepted at Gate 5 off of Arlington Drive. Visit the Blue, Green and Yellow Gates to make donations.

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If you have any questions, please feel free to call Gayle Anderson at 323-460-5732 or email Gayle at

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Goodwill of O.C. starts veterans job program

November 16, 2013

NEWPORT BEACH – Patriotism and morality aside, it’s a smart business decision to hire veterans. That’s the message of Goodwill of Orange County’s new program, Enduring Independence.

Local business and community leaders made up most of the 230 audience members at a Newport Beach event Thursday focused on the program, which begins in January. They were encouraged by Goodwill of Orange County to hire veterans, not because they feel obligated to but because veterans make good employees.

Frank Talarico Jr., president and CEO of Goodwill of Orange County, said Enduring Independence is not like other veteran job programs because it focuses on employers, not veterans.

“We do two things very, very differently. The first one is that we look at the veteran as an advantage,” Talarico, Jr. said. “The other thing that we do is we focus on business…It’s about growing business. When you grow business in any county, particularly this county, you grow the economy.”

According to the U.S. Census, there are more than 140,000 veterans in Orange County. That number is expected to increase as more servicemen and women return from overseas and end active duty.

Enduring Independence emphasizes rebranding veterans by highlighting their advantages, Talarico Jr. said.

Some of the advantages, Goodwill of Orange County said, are proven leadership, experience in teamwork, structure and discipline and a commitment to completing tasks.

Noel Massie, central California district president of delivery giant UPS, spoke about his company’s commitment to hiring veterans.

“At UPS we have a long history of supporting veterans…We have nearly 24,000 veterans and reserves,’’ Massie said.

Thomas Tierney, Air Force veteran and CEO of Vitatech Nutritional Sciences Inc., a manufacturer of food and nutritional supplements, said veterans shouldn’t be thought of as liabilities if they have post-traumatic stress. They are still accountable and task-oriented, he said. More importantly, veterans are loyal to their leaders, he said.

“They ride for the brand,” Tierney said.

Goodwill of Orange County, a nonprofit organization started in 1924, was founded with the goal of helping people with disabilities find employment and become financially independent. As an organization, it is an employer and also serves as a community resource to other local employers. With experience serving as a liaison between employers and job seekers, Goodwill of Orange County hopes to match veterans with companies that have made a commitment to hire them.

Dontavious Reeves, a 24-year-old Army veteran, was in the audience and said he returned from Afghanistan in September of 2012 after he was injured by an explosive. He was initially mistaken for dead and stored in a body bag. When he recovered from his brain injuries, he was awarded a Purple Heart.

He agreed with what speakers said about the advantages of hiring veterans, but was skeptical that companies would hire many of them.

“Honestly, it sounds good but a lot of my buddies are unemployed and I’m unemployed,” he said.

Reeves said he is studying to work in information technology, but he said he’s already been considered a liability because of his post-traumatic stress and his traumatic brain injuries.

He said he was fired from a warehouse job stocking merchandise about a year ago. He liked what he heard at the reception, but Reeves said he’s heard it before.

“I think actions speak louder than words,” Reeves said.

Contact the writer:
Link to the article on the OC Register website.

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A hand up for local veterans

November 8, 2013

Veterans Day presents the perfect opportunity to reflect on the challenges facing those who have served our country— particularly those returning to Orange County from service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Topping the list is their transition to civilian life, and finding gainful employment to provide a stable life for themselves and their families.

One promising new approach is the Enduring Independence Veterans Initiative recently launched by Goodwill of Orange County ( to support veterans working to establish their lives outside ... (Read the full article on

Goodwill of Orange County opens its Fitness Center to veterans

October 2013

Goodwill has announced that its fitness and rehabilitation center is open to veterans for free for the entire duration of the government shutdown. To learn more about the fitness center and Goodwill’s Enduring Independence Veterans program, please contact the Goodwill Fitness Center at 888-623-4823 or visit us at 1601 E. St. Andrew Place in Santa Ana.

Goodwill Fitness Center:
Goodwill’s Enduring Independence Veterans program:
Read OC Register article for more details:

Women advise how to survive tough times

October 7, 2011

Orange County has been slogging through tough times since the slowdown in home sales started in late 2005. Even two years after the recession officially ended, businesses, organizations and individuals have needed flexibility and creativity to survive and grow.

What better resource for creative ideas than the 18 women honored in the 16th Annual Remarkable Women Awards dinner this week by the National Association of Women Business Owners-Orange County? These women work at businesses and nonprofits that certainly have not escaped the financial difficulties yet are still here to guide their groups to growth as the economy slowly recovers.

I asked them how their entities handled tough times and what they advise for others.

NAWBO's Remarkable Women Lifetime Achievement honoree, Victoria Betancourte, said her staffing company, Coneybeare in Santa Ana, lost 10 years' of retained earnings in the recession. Her most valuable lesson: "Don't run out of cash."

Mari Kurtz, NAWBO's Outstanding Innovator, said she moved her company, O.C. Metals Inc./Cal Pac Sheet Metal Inc. into commercial contracting when she saw the slowdown in 2007. She invested in new machinery and hardware so her companies could start making metal parts for the solar industry.

And Michelle Macis, NAWBO's Entrepreneur to Watch, survived a double hit, the recession and a burglary at her shop, Java Jean Bar in Anaheim Hills. She reinvented the business model, trying different chefs and foods to go with the fashion.

"In tough economic times, you have to reinvent yourself," Macis advised.

"We definitely had our ups and downs," said Brateil Aghasi, who was honored by Women Helping Women and Men2Work. "Three years ago we found ourselves in a position where we had less staff to do more work. The communities' need for more employment services put a strain on our infrastructure at the same time when I had to cut staff hours."

One change Aghasi made was to replace one-on-one appointments with workshops. The organization created WOW – Workshop on Wheels – that takes the workshops to agencies and job seekers around the county at hours convenient for them.

"So in two hours when we would have service five clients, we can now serve 30, all receiving WHW's signature high-quality service," she said.

Para Anderson, president of Mindoro Corp., which helps U.S. and Filipino companies that want to export, said she and her husband-partner had to make adjustments in their business model. They sold a flooring shop because they don't think the real estate market will rebound soon. They also moved Mindoro to a home office to reduce expenses.

She is also exploring other business opportunities in the Philippines, where the economy is growing.

"The theme I coined for my upcoming term as president of the Filipino-American Chamber is 'Think OC, Act Globally.' That's the advice I would give (other women business owners)," she said. "We live in a global economy and we have to start developing business relationships with people in areas with more robust economies."

NAWBO's member of the year, Christina Becker, a financial adviser at Merrill Lynch in Newport Beach, said she has increased her marketing efforts, focusing on methods that "give me the most bang for my buck. I stopped doing as many lunch meetings and opted for coffee meetings instead," she said. "It sounds trivial, but it really helped me to make my marketing dollars go further."

Several honorees work with nonprofits, whose donations have suffered in the poor economy.

"We have had to cut staff and utilize volunteers," said honoree Pearl Jemison-Smith, a founding board member of the AIDS Service Foundation. "Private sector fundraising has become more important than ever because of cuts in federal and state funds."

Goodwill of Orange County has also been hit with cutbacks, said honoree Joan Dornbach, vice president at the nonprofit. "First we developed a three-year business recovery plan with a primary objective to increase sustainable revenue and decrease expenses...We also began developing a new five-year strategic plan."

Among Goodwill's action items were to open five new stores and 11 new donation centers by 2012, temporarily cut salaries 10 percent for most employees and gradually restore the wages, temporarily discontinue employer contributions to retirement plans (reinstated in 2011) and suspend management incentive plan.

"Ensuring that the entire organization had an understanding of the steps necessary to weather the storm has made all the difference," Dornbach said.

But nonprofits weren't the only ones making cuts. Honoree Adriana Estrada said her employer, Volt Workforce Solutions, had a major consolidation and closed offices and downsized sales force and recruitment staff in 2009.

"I would advise women to stay active and get involved in the community, keeping professional skills up to date and current," she said.

Honoree Pamela Milliken, a self-employed event consultant, agreed that community involvement is a good way to promote an individual and her business. "It is so important to get your name out there whether you are self-employed or working for someone else," she advised.

Unisys eliminated management layers in response to the poor economy, said account executive Connie Vaughan, honored by the Executive Women's Golf Association. "From our CEO to our Help Desk, we are all focused on delivering information technology solutions that meet our clients' business needs and reduce their costs."

Her advice: take a long-term view, expand your network and learn new skills. As the economy recovers, you'll be viewed as an asset, "a doer not a complainer."

WISEPlace honored Kayleen Huffman, chief financial officer at Bassett Home Furnishing. "We partners of the company were the first to take salary cuts," Huffman said. "We have consolidated our warehouse and delivery logistics from five locations to two...There were minimal layoffs...We offer our customers value...We will not lose this focus as we move onward through the economic conditions we fact."

Honoree Lynn D. Salo said her employer, Allergan Inc., has always tried to avoid unnecessary spending. "We award employees who find ways to save on expenses with a 'Think Outside the Bucks' award," she said. "The best way to combat a lagging economy is to have diversity in your customer base...(and) continuing to deliver results."

Honoree Doris Farinacci, a CPA with Lesley, Thomas, Schwarz and Postma Inc., has worked with clients facing financial difficulties. Among her advice: "Make a realistic, detailed budget by month...Consider asking your landlord for concessions. Renegotiate your lease. Comparison shop for services...Do not live beyond your means. Small-business owners with excessive lifestyles end up draining their businesses of resources to finance their lifestyles and eventually lose on both ends."

2011 Remarkable Women honorees:

Here are the honorees, their company or agency, their professional organization:

  • Victoria Betancourte, president Coneybeare, Santa Ana, Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Mari Kurtz, president OC Metals Inc./ Cal Pac Sheet Metal Inc., Santa Ana, Outstanding Innovator Award
  • Michelle Macis, founder Java Jean Bar, Anaheim Hills, Entrepreneur to Watch
  • Brateil Aghasi, associate director Women Helping Women
  • Para Anderson, president Mindoro Corp., Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Orange County
  • Christina Becker, financial advisor Merrill Lynch, NAWBO Orange County
  • Gwendolyn Kuhns Black, Zonta Club of Newport Harbor
  • Joan Dornbach, vice president Goodwill of Orange County
  • Adriana Estrada, regional search manager Volt Workforce Solutions, American Society of Women Accountants-Orange Chapter
  • Doris Farinacci, CPA at Lesley, Thomas, Schwarz and Postma Inc., Girl Scouts of Orange County
  • Kayleen Huffman, CFO Bassett Home Furnishings, WISEPlace
  • Pearl Jemison-Smith, founding board member, AIDS Service Foundation
  • Pamela Milliken, self-employed event consultant, Business Alliance Orange County
  • Teresa Quick, Thomas House Temporary Shelter
  • Lynn D. Salo, vice president Allergan Inc., Girls Incorporated of Orange County
  • Cynthia Teran, Fit 4R Kids
  • Connie Vaughan, account executive Unisys Corp., Executive Women's Golf Assoc. Orange County chapter
  • Rosi Zuloaga, National Assoc. Of Women in Construction

Contact the writer: 714-796-7927 or

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Service Providers Statewide Applaud Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Californians with Developmental Disabilities

September 28, 2011

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Disability Services Association (CDSA) supports The Arc California and United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) San Diego’s lawsuit challenging the State’s funding of programs supporting people with developmental disabilities.

“It is ironic that in the year that disability advocate Ed Roberts will be inducted into California’s Hall Of Fame, suing the state is the only way to bring attention to the fact that California has walked away from its promise to help our citizens with epilepsy, cerebral palsy, autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Christopher Rice, Executive Director of CDSA.

The lawsuit, filed today in federal court in Sacramento, accuses the State of violating federal law, specifically the Home and Community Based Service Providers (HCBS) waiver program, by reducing rates and reimbursements without federal approval, and without considering impacts on federally required health and safety safeguards.

The suit also accuses the State of violating California’s landmark Lanterman Act, first signed into law by Gov. Ronald Reagan in 1969. The groundbreaking Lanterman Act was part of a movement to close large institutions by guaranteeing individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities the right to obtain the support services necessary to live as independently as possible in their own communities. Approximately 1,800 people still live in institutions in California at an annual cost to taxpayers of $570 million---well over $300,000 per person - and nearly three times the cost of community-based support

“In the Lanterman Act, the State made a promise to Californians with disabilities, their families, and the network of provider organizations that support their lives,” continued Rice, “However, the state hasn’t backed that promise with adequate funding. Instead, they have frozen rates and cut payments year after year.”

“Without adequate funding, the health and welfare of the people our organizations have been serving for decades is at risk, and the only alternative is much more expensive care in state-owned institutions or nursing homes. Hopefully, this lawsuit will bring the proper attention to the community-care crisis,” said Ron Killingsworth, President of CDSA and Director of Business Services at Porterville Sheltered Workshop.

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CDSA is a statewide trade association representing 100 community-based organizations that help persons with developmental disabilities throughout California find meaningful employment, live independently, and participate in a broad range of activities. For more information about CDSA and the services our member organizations provide, visit

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Telemundo’s Martin Plascencia visits Goodwill’s newest store in Anaheim.

Please visit this link to view Telemundo's news coverage video clip in Spanish.

Goodwill Takes Home Two Awards for Fitness Center PSA’s

The Association of Marketing & Communication Professionals recently announced that the Goodwill Fitness Center PSAs won two Platinum Award in two categories—one for Television/Public Service Announcement Campaign and One in the Pro Bono category. This is the most prestigious award, recognizing excellence in terms of quality, creativity and resourcefulness. There were over 5,000 entries submitted for the 2010 MarCom Awards, so this is quite an achievement. (Only 15% of the winners are taking home platinum awards.) Winners range in size from individual communicators to media conglomerates and Fortune 500 companies.

Goodwill of Orange County and Akorn Entertainment teamed up in 2010 to create three thirty second videos highlighting three Goodwill Fitness Center members who shared their personal stories and how they “Rise to the Challenge,” thanks to the Goodwill Fitness Center. The Fitness Center is the first of its kind in the region designed especially for people with disabilities and chronic illness. It is a state-of-the-art 12,000 square foot facility located at 1601 E. St. Andrew Place in Santa Ana. Fully outfitted with the finest accessible fitness equipment and staffed by trained fitness professionals, the center is open five days a week. To watch the PSA’s click here. (link to PSA’s) or to learn more about the talented team behind the award winning spots, visit

Charity Navigator Rating - Goodwill of Orange County

Goodwill of Orange County has recently earned its fourth consecutive 4-Star rating based on both organizational efficiency and capacity from Charity Navigator, America's premier independent charity evaluator. With thousands of charitable organizations competing for funding in Orange County, it’s reassuring for individuals and businesses that demand more accountability, transparency and quantifiable results to know that Goodwill is an excellent choice-- whether they donate goods, make a financial gift or support one of Goodwill’s smart business solutions. Visit Goodwill of Orange County on Charity Navigator

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