Goodwill of Central Arizona: Celebrating Good Works with a Good Time

by RaeAnne Marsh

Goodwill of Central Arizona’s Denim & Diamonds affair is more about the denim than the diamonds since it dropped the formal flair it once had for a casual boots-and-jeans evening with an emphasis on fun that last year drew a sell-out crowd of 600. “People have a really good time,” says Jim Teter, president and CEO. Sustaining the event’s thoroughly Western theme — taking place in the beautiful outdoor setting on the backside of Mummy Mountain at the Camelback Inn — are rodeo-themed games and some line dancing (instruction included) and, of course, a barbecue dinner.

The higher purpose of The Evening of Goodwill is the presentation of this year’s awards for youth, adult business partners and clients as the organization highlights its impact on the community. “Goodwill is all about putting people with barriers to employment to work,” Teter says. Goodwill’s successful skills training program, helping people get employment, has an economic impact to Arizona of $380 million — achieved through its own business operations that generate about 90 percent of its budget.


  • EVENT: Evening of Goodwill, Denim & Diamonds will be held Oct. 13 at JW Marriott Camelback Inn Scottsdale Resort & Spa.
  • Goodwill of Central Arizona expects to serve more than 40,000 people this year in its skills training.
  • Approximately 14,000 of the people it trains will find employment in the community, plus Goodwill of Arizona employs approximately 2,000 in its own operations.
  • Goodwill of Arizona operates 51 stores and 14 career centers in the Greater Phoenix area plus a few locations in surrounding areas.
  • Stores are run like a full-line retailer. Well merchandised, each store puts out 5,000-7,000 new items each day. “Resellers use us as their inventory,” Teter observes.
  • As a recipient of donated items, Goodwill of Arizona keeps approximately 100 million pounds of discarded items out of landfills.
  • Of its $100 million in annual revenue, approximately 5 percent comes from a few federally funded programs, 2 percent from traditional philanthropy, and the remainder from its business operations.
  • Goodwill was started in Boston in 1902; Goodwill of Central Arizona was founded in 1947.

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