Despite chilly temperatures and cloudy skies, thousands of Greater Cincinnati’s most enthusiastic runners and walkers showed up in good spirits for the 2013 Thanksgiving Day Race in downtown Cincinnati. Ohio Valley Goodwill’s team was there as well- both as race participants and also as Cheer Leaders at the organization’s two Donation Stations located at the start of the race at Paul Brown Stadium and at Mile 2 along the challenging course. This is the fourth year that the organization has sponsored the Donation Stations and more than 20 Goodwill volunteers donned blue hats, noisemakers and held hand-made posters as the excited runners raced past. The theme for this year’s Goodwill Donation Stations was “Donate Stuff. Create Jobs” which is the message of the National Ad Council campaign on behalf of Goodwill Industries which officially launched this year.
The partnership between Goodwill and the annual Thanksgiving Day Race came about as the idea of Race Director, Julie Isphording, who recognized that the Race presented a wonderful opportunity for people to give back during the holiday season. Since its inception four years ago, the Goodwill Donation Drive has developed into one of the largest one-day coat drives in the country. In similar fashion, this year’s race participants honored the new tradition by donating more than 5,000 pounds of coats, jackets, scarves and hats by the time they reached the finish line.
“Ohio Valley Goodwill is so grateful to all of the Thanksgiving Day Race participants for sharing their generous giving spirit during the holiday season,” said Sharon Hannon, Goodwill Marketing Specialist and Volunteer Coordinator. The partnership has become such a positive aspect of Goodwill’s community outreach efforts, that Race Director Julie Isphording graciously agreed to be an “actor” for one of the organization’s recent television commercials. An Olympian and long-time Goodwill donor, Isphording has been inspired by getting to know more about the Goodwill mission over the years.
The annual Thanksgiving Day Race is truly the official start of the holiday season and for Ohio Valley Goodwill, a wonderful opportunity to experience the giving spirit of thousands of Greater Cincinnatians. Our sincere thanks to you Greater Cincinnati for your on-going support of Goodwill’s mission of helping people with disabilities and our nation’s veterans to experience personal success. To find out more about Ohio Valley Goodwill, please visit our website at www.cincinnatigoodwill.org.