Press Room

GOODWILL OF ORANGE COUNTY RECEIVES $1 MILLION DONATION TO SUPPORT FITNESS CENTER AND ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY FOR ADULTS AND CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES
Anonymous donor matches the organization’s largest donation in history

SANTA ANA, Calif. – January 21, 2016 – Goodwill of Orange County will announce today a $1 million gift from an anonymous business owner, matching the largest donation in the organization’s 91-year history. The donation will support two of Goodwill’s key programs for children and adults with developmental and physical disabilities, the one-of-a-kind Goodwill Fitness Center and Goodwill’s assistive technology services. 

The announcement will be made during the renaming ceremony for the Goodwill Fitness Center, now named the Rogers A. Severson Fitness & Technology Center. 

Goodwill’s state-of-the-art Rogers A. Severson Fitness & Technology Center is Orange County’s sole fitness center designed specifically for people living with physical disability or chronic illness. The donation will allow the center to purchase new equipment, offer more individualized physical therapy sessions and better serve its members and new clients.

Goodwill’s assistive technology services help children and adults living with disabilities reach maximum potential via specialized services and equipment. In 2014, Goodwill provided assistive technology programming and services to 400 children; with this gift, Goodwill will be able to serve more than 1,500 children in need of assistive technology and communication equipment from the local school districts alone.

“This generous donation gives us a tremendous opportunity to serve more people with disabilities through two of our keystone Goodwill programs,” said Frank Talarico, Jr., President and CEO, Goodwill of Orange County. “Both our assistive technology and Fitness Center provide life-changing services for individuals on the road to independence; our team helps them find a voice, a way to communicate, or a way to move that makes a lasting impact on their quality of life and level of independence.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Estimate, there are nearly 250,000 people, both adults and children, in Orange County with disabilities. This $1 million gift allows Goodwill to reach and serve more of this population than ever.

This gift comes a year after the largest single donation from local philanthropists Thomas T. and Elizabeth C. Tierney to support Goodwill’s services and programs for the more than 130,000 local O.C. veterans at the newly renamed Tierney Center for Veteran Services.

One local resident, Alec “Bunk” Wurth, gives us insight into the power of the life-changing fitness and technology services provided by Goodwill of Orange County. Bunk overcame tremendous odds after being paralyzed from the neck down in a rugby accident to continue his educational pursuits and passion for painting. To view a video Bunk’s journey, click here.

About Goodwill of Orange County Since 1924, Goodwill of Orange County has been in the business of helping people who are facing barriers to entering the workforce in a meaningful, fulfilling manner. Founded on the belief that every person should have the opportunity to achieve the independence that work provides, Goodwill is most recognized for being the conduit where donated goods are sold in America’s favorite thrift stores to generate the revenue that provides the services to those who face employment challenges. Celebrating its 90th year in 2014, Goodwill of Orange County has supported hundreds of thousands of Orange County residents since its inception by creating and providing quality training and employment services to empower its program participants to be productive and independent. The nonprofit organization has dozens of programs that support this effort, including the Goodwill Fitness Center, Orange County’s only facility specially designed for people suffering from chronic illnesses and physical disabilities; its global approach to serving veterans and their families, Goodwill Veteran Services, which helps former service members and their families find resources and services to meet and serve their unique needs, including housing, job placement, education, and wellness; and Goodwill Assistive Technology, which provides access to more than 1,000 state-of-the-art assistive technology devices and communication equipment for children and adults with disabilities. To learn more about Goodwill of Orange County, visit ocgoodwill.org.

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Media contact: Nicole Morrison, nmorrison@cornerstonecomms.com or (949) 200-6110