Saturday, September 28, 2013

Florida Teen Arrested For Helping Needy Goodwill Shoppers

There are some charities that actually do help people, others not so much. The CEO's get hefty salaries and in some cases only a  few pennies of every donated dollar actually gets to the intended recipients.  Then there's companies like Goodwill. That thrift store chain that gets donated items and sells them for inflated prices, while paying some of its disabled workers (who they are supposed to be helping) a measly .22 cents per hour.  And guess how much Goodwill International CEO Jim Gibbons makes per annum: a whopping $729,000. And get this, Goodwill is a national franchise operation, so there are other CEO's, some of whom are taking home equally fat paychecks. Add all their salaries together and they earn $30 million or so every year. Apparently, not all of the franchisees pay their disabled employees such a paltry sum, but it's not much more than that. They can do this legally by exploiting some labor law loophole, and feel they are doing these people a favor.  What they're doing is making a profit off of donated items and cheap labor.  Goodwill is actually a multi-billion dollar enterprise.

So the story of a young man who worked at a Naples, Florida Goodwill is outrageous.

Andrew Anderson, 19, was heartbroken by some of the people who came in to the store "wearing all of the clothes they had," so he would give the neediest shoppers discounts of up to 50 percent on the necessities they bought. But when store officials learned what Anderson was doing, their small hearts didn't exactly grow three sizes: They fired him and reported him to sheriff's deputies, who arrested him for grand theft.
"What I did was with all good intentions," Anderson told WBBH News. "The intent I had was to help people." Anderson said he never pocketed a dollar and has offered to pay Goodwill for the difference between the actual prices and what he charged, but the company is intent on pressing charges. "Our stores are not around to give a handout — they're around to give people a hand up by providing funding," local spokeswoman Kirsten O'Donnell said. "In incidents like this, we always prosecute." 

Andrew had no idea what he was doing was illegal:

“I wasn’t actually stealing. Goodwill is a giving and helping company, so I took it upon to myself to be giving and helping because I feel people deserve it.”

The store did eventually decide to drop charges- after public outcry, I'm sure-  because it was "not for personal gain," and had this to say about the $4,000 worth of discounts the kid gave to those needy people.

“The thousands of dollars given away could have been used to fund our programs, including our school dedicated solely for youth with intellectual disabilities."

Oh, really?  Thousands of dollars of profit on goods Goodwill received for free??  How about taking some of  the money from those CEO salaries and using it to fund those programs?

What a joke.  The kid didn't steal, he didn't give the items away for free, he simply gave those needy customers a discount.

Goodwill has been scratched off my donation list.

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