SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – The residents of Sun-N-Fun, a premier RV resort located just east of I-75 off Fruitville Road in Sarasota, contributed more than 5,000 pounds of unwanted goods to Goodwill Manasota over the course of the past season. The donated items are now being sold in Goodwill retail stores, with proceeds supporting the organization’s mission of changing lives through the power of work.
The relationship between Sun-N-Fun and Goodwill began earlier this year, in February, when resident Marlene DeKoeyer called Goodwill’s director of donation development, Donna Evans, and asked if Goodwill could pick up the remains of the Sun-N-Fun annual community yard sale. Evans reports that nearly 3,000 pounds of goods were donated. The effort was such a success that DeKoeyer decided to coordinate an end-of-season donation drive for Goodwill, since many Sun-N-Fun seasonal residents have items they don’t wish to bring back home with them.
The End of Season Donation Drop-Off Drive took place in April; Evans reports that residents dropped off 2,487 pounds of goods in just four hours.
DeKoeyer and her husband live in Sarasota part-time and work for Sun-N-Fun during their time here. However, DeKoeyer donated her time to coordinate the donation drive. She was so pleased with the results that she told Evans to expect it to become an annual event.
“Many of our residents, guests and team members volunteer their time to help a wide-ranging number of programs such as Habitat for Humanity, Coastal Clean-up programs, the Boys & Girls Clubs, Southeastern Guide Dogs, veterans programs, Relay for Life, and Big Brothers, Big Sisters, to name just a few,” said Dierdre Deputy, marketing and community relations manager for Sun-N-Fun. “This season we donated over 500 hours of volunteer time within our community.”
“We think it’s wonderful that the seasonal residents of Sun-N-Fun contribute so much to our local community while they’re here. We are proud to partner with numerous companies and organizations – such as Sun-N-Fun – for events and donation drives throughout the year,” said Veronica Brandon Miller, Goodwill Manasota Foundation vice president. “We will be able to turn the thousands of pounds of unwanted goods from Sun-N-Fun into programs and services that help veterans, seniors, individuals with disabilities, or anyone with a barrier to finding employment to enhance their employability skills and achieve self-sufficiency.”
For more information about Goodwill, or to find out how your business or community can participate in a donation drive, call (941) 355-2721.
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2015, Goodwill Manasota served 22,739 people, placed 961 people in jobs and assisted 358 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $81.3 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted 41 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota in essence belongs to this community, and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org.