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Thanksgiving morning is usually a busy time for families as they gather to celebrate the holiday. For many families in the Greater Cincinnati area, running in the annual Thanksgiving Day race is a family tradition. A new part of that tradition over the past six years, has been about bringing something to share as part of the Goodwill Donation Drive. Now, in its 7th year, Ohio Valley Goodwill has been the official Donation partner at the annual Thanksgiving Day Race held in downtown Cincinnati. This year’s Thanksgiving Day Race was especially meaningful as it marked the celebration of Ohio Valley Goodwill’s 100 years of service in the Greater Cincinnati community. Over its 100 year history, the organization has helped thousands of people with disabilities and our nation’s veterans to get jobs and achieve personal success. Last year alone, Goodwill helped more than 3,500 people through its employment programs and services and assisted 919 people to obtain jobs.
“It’s really incredible to think about the number of lives that Goodwill has helped to change over its 100 year history,” said Sharon Hannon, Goodwill Marketing Manager. “The best part is that the Greater Cincinnati community is a big part of those outcomes as a result of the donations given to Goodwill. The annual Thanksgiving Day Race is a wonderful opportunity for families to join together in supporting a great cause…100 years of putting people to work. Now, that’s a good thing!”
Each year, race participants have been cheered on by Goodwill cheerleaders during the race and entertained by musical volunteers, Mark Macomber and Michael Flannery. At this year’s race, Mark Macomber showed off his drumming skills which were appreciated by the thousands of runners jogging past. The fun aspects of Goodwill’s participation have been many but what race participants have become more aware of is the importance of the organization’s mission in the Greater Cincinnati community.
Earning a reputation as the largest coat donation drive in the country; Thanksgiving Day race enthusiasts bring a cold weather clothing items to donate. In many cases, families that have made the annual Thanksgiving Day Race a tradition will all bring and donate items to support the cause. Stationed at both the start of the race at Paul Brown Stadium and Mile 2, Goodwill has been pleased to receive an average of 5,000 pounds of donated coats and other cold weather gear each year that the organization has been involved. The total amount of donations collected over that time is more than 30,000 pounds of items, which are then used to support Goodwill’s mission of providing employment and training services to people with disabilities and our nation’s veterans in the Greater Cincinnati community.
“We could not be more grateful for our partnership with the annual Thanksgiving Day Race and the support and generosity of the Greater Cincinnati community during this important holiday time of the year,” said Sharon Hannon, Goodwill Marketing Manager and event coordinator. “The items collected at the race are then sold in our network of Goodwill stores and help to support our mission of putting people to work,” added Hannon.
Our most sincere thanks to this year’s Thanksgiving Day Race participants and to the Greater Cincinnati community for their on-going support of our century long mission of putting people with disabilities and our nation’s veterans to work in our community. To make a donation to Ohio Valley Goodwill, please visit any one of our 33 Greater Cincinnati locations. For a complete list of Goodwill Donation Centers, visit www.cincinnatigoodwill.org/donate.