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Celebrating 80 Years - Supporting Self-Sufficiency, 1975, Discover Goodwill of Southern and Western Colorado

Tags: #Celebrating80Years


#Celebrating80Years: 2017 marked 80 years of working with Colorado’s nonprofits as they seek to strengthen their communities. Throughout 2018, we will be looking back on this history of the outstanding organizations and the people the Trustees have had the opportunity to support. On the blog you will find a history of the Foundation’s grant making and a representative organization from every year since our founding in 1937.


A grantee of El Pomar since the early 1970s, Discover Goodwill of Southern and Western Colorado strives to maximize personal and financial independence for every individual in the community through a variety of programs. With a job placement success rate that consistently ranks among the top 10 Goodwills in the United States and Canada, Discover Goodwill has positively impacted workforce development in Colorado for more than half a century.


Grantee Spotlight:  Discover Goodwill of Southern and Western Colorado

Possibilities Program Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, 2012

Discover Goodwill was originally established as a branch of Denver Goodwill in 1956 and became a separate nonprofit entity in 1961. Initially named the Goodwill Industries of Colorado Springs, the nonprofit became Discover Goodwill of Southern and Western Colorado in 2012 after growing exceptionally from one retail center to nine and adding 13 donation centers across the state. 

Seeking to “help people reach their highest level of personal and economic independence,” Discover Goodwill funds more than 20 different programs through material donations and retail/online sales, community programs and services, and social enterprises serving businesses and government agencies. The organization’s emphasis on independence, respect and self-worth is evident in the development of their programs. Discover Goodwill’s programs target individuals with developmental and economic challenges, senior citizens, transitioning youth and military veterans via their Career Development Center, facility-based and in-home life-enrichment programs/services, full-service staffing agency, and social enterprises serving businesses, government agencies and military installations.  

In 2017, Discover Goodwill served 84,629 individuals across 42 counties in Colorado. The organization continually ranks in the top 10 of 165 Goodwills in the United States and Canada for its job placement success rate (9,101 people found community jobs in 2017).

In 1975, El Pomar Foundation granted Discover Goodwill $25,000 for a building expansion, and in support of providing all Coloradans the opportunity to reach their highest potential and self-sufficiency, El Pomar has contributed 63 grants since 1973. The largest grants were provided toward construction of a new facility in 1988; the purchase of 12 new vehicles in 1999; the construction of the Powers  Retail Center in 2002; and the purchase of a building that was transferred into the organization’s hands in 2015, which literally opened the doors to Possibilities, Discover Goodwill’s nationally-recognized, first-of-its-kind simulated community teaching individuals with developmental challenges everyday skills in a real-world environment.


El Pomar in 1975:

In 1975, El Pomar granted $2 million to 29 different nonprofit organizations.  Capital grants were particularly common, with major recipients including the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Central City Opera, and Loveland Memorial Hospital.  


Ribbon Cutting Ceremony: (left to right): unknown guest, Daniel’s Fund President & CEO Linda Childears, former El Paso County Commissioner Sallie Clark, former Possibilities Mayor Laura; Discover Goodwill Workforce Development, Community Programs & Contracts VP Denise Krug; Discover Goodwill President & CEO Karla Grazier; former Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach; El Pomar Chairman/CEO Bill Hybl.

Image courtesy of  Discover Goodwill of Southern and Western Colorado.

Spotlight by Kathryn Benson