Our History

Goodwill Industries of Kentucky is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, headquartered in Louisville since 1923. We serve 103 Kentucky counties and employ 1,300 people. Our employees have placed thousands in jobs outside of Goodwill by developing relationships with hundreds of employers throughout the Commonwealth.

Our Mission

Goodwill Industries of Kentucky helps people with disabilities or other disadvantages achieve and maintain employment to gain a better quality of life. We give people a hand up — not a handout — so they can experience the dignity and independence that comes with earning a paycheck and achieving self-sufficiency.

Goodwill Kentucky historic storefront image

Our History

Goodwill Industries of Kentucky is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, headquartered in Louisville since 1923. We serve 103 Kentucky counties and employ 1,300 people. Our employees have placed thousands in jobs outside of Goodwill by developing relationships with hundreds of employers throughout the Commonwealth.

Our Mission

Goodwill Industries of Kentucky helps people with disabilities or other disadvantages achieve and maintain employment to gain a better quality of life. We give people a hand up — not a handout — so they can experience the dignity and independence that comes with earning a paycheck and achieving self-sufficiency.

Learn more about our strategic plan that guides the important work we’re doing for Kentuckians!

Goodwill Kentucky historic storefront image

There’s a story behind the stores …

While Goodwill is best known for retail stores, they only scratch the surface of our story. We accept and sell donated items for multiple reasons and with many benefits!

  1. About half of our employees have a disability or other challenge. The jobs created by our stores teach employees how to accept, sort and process donations, operate a cash register, practice time management and goal-setting skills, maintain general cleanliness and even develop management skills in some cases.
  2. Our stores generate revenue that allow Goodwill to offer free employment and career services. Many Kentuckians want to work, but they need help identifying their skills and abilities, finding employment and learning how to succeed long-term. Goodwill provides services to job seekers, those who want to advance in their career (including our own employees) and employers throughout Kentucky who need to fill permanent, full-time positions that offer benefits and a career path.
  3. Thanks to our retail stores, Goodwill diverts about 50 million pounds of items from Kentucky’s landfills every year. Many items that can’t be offered for sale in our stores are sold for recycling, further funding our job preparation and career services.
Annually, Goodwill touches the lives of 20,000+ Kentuckians and assists them to obtain more than 3,000 jobs.

This is Amy. She is our President & CEO.

Our President & CEO is Amy Luttrell. She spent decades working for Goodwill organizations in Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Ohio before moving to Louisville in 2014 to lead Goodwill Industries of Kentucky. The best part? She’s a native of the Commonwealth and so glad to be back home.

Is she making millions of dollars a year? Nope! But Amy is an experienced business leader and is fairly compensated for her role, which requires her to oversee a $60 million annual budget and 1,300 employees. Her compensation, which totals less than 1 percent of the organization’s budget, is determined by our local board of directors, with the assistance of an independent consulting firm to make sure it’s appropriate for the responsibilities she carries.

Amy4 (1)

This is Amy. She is our President & CEO.

Our President & CEO is Amy Luttrell. She spent decades working for Goodwill organizations in Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Ohio before moving to Louisville in 2014 to lead Goodwill Industries of Kentucky. The best part? She’s a native of the Commonwealth and so glad to be back home.

Amy4 (1)

Is she making millions of dollars a year? Nope! But Amy is an experienced business leader and is fairly compensated for her role, which requires her to oversee a $60 million annual budget and 1,300 employees. Her compensation, which totals less than 1 percent of the organization’s budget, is determined by our local board of directors, with the assistance of an independent consulting firm to make sure it’s appropriate for the responsibilities she carries.

All of our employees earn minimum wage or better. (Yep. Every single one.)

In 2019, we paid $10,485,232 in wages to individuals who have disabilities or other barriers, including limited education, background challenges or chronic unemployment. In addition to earning competitive wages, Goodwill employees have access to many other benefits, such as career coaches, on-the-job training, tuition reimbursement and scholarships — just to name a few!

Goodwill is a nonprofit organization with a mission largely funded by our stores.

There’s a common misconception that Goodwill’s purpose is to provide inexpensive items for low-income families. We love offering reasonable prices, but we sell items in our stores to fund job preparation, job placement and career services for Kentuckians who have disabilities or other barriers while entering the workforce. In 2019, we assisted 3,496 job seekers with preparation services and awarded Work Ready Certificates to 3,261 individuals through Goodwill Works. Individuals placed in full-time jobs earned an average of $11.70 per hour. When you shop or donate at Goodwill, you are helping Kentuckians support themselves!

About 85 cents of every dollar generated by our stores support mission-related programming.

The amount of overhead or administration isn’t the only way to judge a responsible nonprofit, but it is important. And so is this: Goodwill Industries of Kentucky earned a Gold Seal on Guide Star, and nationally, Goodwill was ranked as high as 11th the list of the “20 Most Inspiring Companies” by Forbes magazine; in fact, Goodwill was the ONLY nonprofit on the Forbes list from 2011 to 2014.

We may have helped someone you know.

Annually, we touch the lives of 20,000-plus Kentuckians in 103 counties. From our career fairs and resume-writing to interviewing skills and expungement clinics, Goodwill Industries of Kentucky helps your friends and neighbors get back to work.

Nancy, Columbia

Nancy was working with adults who have disabilities for eight years before the organization closed. In need of part-time employment to supplement her babysitting income, Nancy prayed she’d find a meaningful employment opportunity.

She was shopping at the Goodwill store in Columbia when the store manager mentioned a job opening. Nancy applied for the part-time position and joined the team in July 2016. In August 2017, Nancy was promoted to a full-time position, and a few months later, she was promoted to assistant manager! Nancy enjoys interacting with customers and working with her teammates.

“When I applied for the team lead position, I couldn’t believe they entrusted me with such an opportunity,” Nancy said. “I was not feeling positive about myself, but Goodwill gave me encouragement. I didn’t think I could do it, but I surprised myself.”

Regional Manager Joshua Jones added, “Nancy has gained self-confidence that will enhance her quality of life. She has now found a career – not just a job.”

Nancy, Columbia

Nancy was working with adults who have disabilities for eight years before the organization closed. In need of part-time employment to supplement her babysitting income, Nancy prayed she’d find a meaningful employment opportunity.

She was shopping at the Goodwill store in Columbia when the store manager mentioned a job opening. Nancy applied for the part-time position and joined the team in July 2016. In August 2017, Nancy was promoted to a full-time position, and a few months later, she was promoted to assistant manager! Nancy enjoys interacting with customers and working with her teammates.

“When I applied for the team lead position, I couldn’t believe they entrusted me with such an opportunity,” Nancy said. “I was not feeling positive about myself, but Goodwill gave me encouragement. I didn’t think I could do it, but I surprised myself.”

Regional Manager Joshua Jones added, “Nancy has gained self-confidence that will enhance her quality of life. She has now found a career – not just a job.”

Stephanie, Lexington

In 2016, Stephanie left Haiti for the United States. Soon after, she visited Goodwill’s program services office in Lexington for assistance in finding employment. In May 2017, she was hired as a full-time production clerk at the Meadowthorpe Goodwill store in Lexington. Despite having many challenges—such as limited English skills and lack of transportation—Stephanie maintains a positive attitude.

“Stephanie is a shining example of Goodwill’s mission,” said Victoria, her Goodwill career coach. “She faces so many obstacles, but she appreciates the opportunity to work and does her job well.”

Stephanie, Lexington

In 2016, Stephanie left Haiti for the United States. Soon after, she visited Goodwill’s program services office in Lexington for assistance in finding employment. In May 2017, she was hired as a full-time production clerk at the Meadowthorpe Goodwill store in Lexington. Despite having many challenges—such as limited English skills and lack of transportation—Stephanie maintains a positive attitude.

“Stephanie is a shining example of Goodwill’s mission,” said Victoria, her Goodwill career coach. “She faces so many obstacles, but she appreciates the opportunity to work and does her job well.”

Jessica, Middlesboro

When Jessica began working at the Middlesboro Goodwill store 15 years ago as a teenager, she owned only one pair of shoes.

“My family didn’t have a lot, and I had a rough upbringing, but we were happy. I rode my bicycle to Goodwill to apply for a job,” Jessica said. “With my first paycheck, I bought a pair of Saucony tennis shoes. It was the first name brand item I had ever owned.”

Jessica began her Goodwill career as a part-time production clerk and has worked her way up to assistant manager. In addition to holding down a job for nearly half her life, Jessica is the first person in her family to graduate from high school.

“Most of my family members abuse drugs,” Jessica explained. “If it wasn’t for Goodwill, I don’t know where I would be – probably on the streets. Goodwill treats employees like no other company does,” Jessica said. “I love my job, and I love the customers. I am so proud to work here.”

Jessica, Middlesboro

When Jessica began working at the Middlesboro Goodwill store 15 years ago as a teenager, she owned only one pair of shoes.

“My family didn’t have a lot, and I had a rough upbringing, but we were happy. I rode my bicycle to Goodwill to apply for a job,” Jessica said. “With my first paycheck, I bought a pair of Saucony tennis shoes. It was the first name brand item I had ever owned.”

Jessica began her Goodwill career as a part-time production clerk and has worked her way up to assistant manager. In addition to holding down a job for nearly half her life, Jessica is the first person in her family to graduate from high school.

“Most of my family members abuse drugs,” Jessica explained. “If it wasn’t for Goodwill, I don’t know where I would be – probably on the streets. Goodwill treats employees like no other company does,” Jessica said. “I love my job, and I love the customers. I am so proud to work here.”

Henry, Bowling Green

After leaving the military in 1991, Henry obtained a nursing license and worked at Western State Hospital for three years. He left his job to move to Bowling Green to reconcile with his ex-wife and secured a job at the Corvette Assembly Plant. He retired in 2012.

“I felt uncomfortable sitting around the house,” Henry said. “I was lethargic, and it wasn’t healthy, so I began searching for a part-time job.”

In May 2015, Experience Works, a program that places people 55 and older into employment and pays their wages during a training period, referred Henry to work at Goodwill.

“It was an ideal situation because the job keeps me busy and gives me some additional income,” Henry said. My job gives me a chance to meet people and stay physically active. I feel a sense of pride in helping people; it keeps my conversational skills sharp. I feel grateful to work at Goodwill.”

Henry, Bowling Green

After leaving the military in 1991, Henry obtained a nursing license and worked at Western State Hospital for three years. He left his job to move to Bowling Green to reconcile with his ex-wife and secured a job at the Corvette Assembly Plant. He retired in 2012.

“I felt uncomfortable sitting around the house,” Henry said. “I was lethargic, and it wasn’t healthy, so I began searching for a part-time job.”

In May 2015, Experience Works, a program that places people 55 and older into employment and pays their wages during a training period, referred Henry to work at Goodwill.

“It was an ideal situation because the job keeps me busy and gives me some additional income,” Henry said. My job gives me a chance to meet people and stay physically active. I feel a sense of pride in helping people; it keeps my conversational skills sharp. I feel grateful to work at Goodwill.”

Donald

Homeless for five years, Donald’s camp was destroyed. At that moment, he realized he was ready to change his life. Through a social worker, he was referred to Goodwill, and for three months, worked as a temporary employee through Goodwill’s staffing agency. When a full-time position became available at the Mapleleaf store in Lexington, he applied and was hired.
“I was blessed,” Donald said, “They give me goals to set, and I look forward to my daily routines that keep me structured. I love coming in and interacting with coworkers and customers.”
Within a year of beginning his career with Goodwill, Donald obtained independent transportation and an apartment.
“My advice is to apply for a job. Goodwill will help you the best they can,” Donald said. “I have finally become part of the community, and I’m piecing my life back together. My future is looking bright.”
Brian Smith, Store Manager, added, “Donald is a wonderful employee. Goodwill is proud of all he has accomplished, and I am so happy he has a place to lay his head at night.”

Leadership

Amy Luttrell
President & CEO

DeVone Holt
Vice President, External Affairs

Mark P. Hohmann
Chief Financial Officer

Rena Sharpe
Chief Operating Officer

Board of Directors

Officers:
Daniel Hall, Director Emeritus
Retired, University of Louisville

Charles J. Kane, Vice Chair
Retired, 2nd Generation Capital, LLC

Jason C. Groneck, First Vice Chair
GBBN Architects
AIA, LEED, AP Sr. Associate

William D. Stout, Treasurer
University of Louisville College of Business

Douglas Edwards, Secretary
Humana

Members:

Elizabeth Davisson (Beth)
Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

Cherie Flueck
Lexmark International

Greg Gerard
Baptist Health

Ajay Gupta
Everburn Mfg. Inc, Housewarmings Inc.

Connie Harvey
Commercial Healthcare Business
Retired, Xerox

Hugh Haydon
Kentucky Bioprocessing, Inc.

Dwight Johnson
Retired, Scitex/Kodak

Charles F. Lambert III
Clayton & Lambert Manufacturing Co.

Emily Lawrence
The Glenview Trust Company

Jennifer Lindon, Ph.D.
Hazard Community College

Debra M. Murphy
Retired, Trover Solutions

What does Goodwill do with money made at the stores?

Our stores serve a dual purpose:

First, they are employment and training sites for people with disabilities or other challenges. For many of our employees, Goodwill is a stepping stone; it’s a chance for them to get some work experience, build their skills and then move on to an even better opportunity. Some of them stay with us for a long time and that’s great, too! In 2019, Goodwill paid more than $10 million in wages to people with disabilities or other challenges — a feat made possible by your generous donations and patronage.

Second, our stores generate revenue that pays for employment and career-path services for job seekers across Kentucky who face barriers in finding and keeping a job. In 2019, we assisted more than 3,400 individuals with job-readiness training.

Why doesn’t Goodwill give things away?

Goodwill’s founder, Reverend Edgar J. Helms, discovered that giving people a hand up — not a handout — resulted in a person feeling more dignity and self-worth. Goodwill’s purpose is to help individuals with disabilities or other challenges improve their lives by earning a paycheck and finding a path out of poverty. We do this by employing people in our stores and by helping people find career paths with other community employers. Revenue from the sale of donated items supports this mission.

While Goodwill is not a disaster relief agency, we recognize there are occasional instances when we can be helpful to individuals or families in emergency situations. We proudly partner with Community Action Kentucky (CAK), an agency with offices in every Kentucky county. CAK administers our voucher program so we can provide free resources for Kentuckians who need appropriate interview or work attire, or who have experienced some other type of emergency in their lives and have immediate needs. For more information about this program, contact your local Community Action Agency.

Can I schedule a pick-up?

Goodwill does not have a pick-up service, but we offer convenient drive-thru donation centers at 66 locations across Kentucky. Without the significant expense of a pick-up service, Goodwill is able to fund more career-path programming for people with disabilities or other challenges.

In 2019, Goodwill assisted 3,400 Kentuckians with job-preparation services. Most of this was made possible from revenue generated from your donations and our commitment to keeping expenses low. About 85 cents of every dollar we receive is routed into programs or facilities to help people with disabilities or other challenges achieve and maintain employment to gain a better quality of life.

What types of donations does Goodwill accept?

Goodwill accepts new or gently-used clothing, household items, décor, jewelry, accessories, books, movies, music, furniture, dishes, cookware, toys and much more.

How do I value my donations for tax purposes?

You are responsible for determining the fair market value of your donations to report on your taxes. The IRS provides guidelines for estimating your donation’s value.

Goodwill Kentucky historic image of sorting donations

Do your stores have sales or discounts?

Our stores have a Color of the Week sale. Each week, clothing items tagged with the designated color are 50 percent off Monday through Saturday and 99 cents on Sunday. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for weekly updates.

Why are prices different from store to store?

Most items are priced in a standard way. However, items such as décor, furniture and housewares vary so much in type, quality and size that it is difficult to set standard prices. Local store management are permitted to use their discretion in pricing non-standard items. Goodwill is committed to reasonable pricing based on consumer trends.

What is your return policy?

While most of our customers love their Goodwill finds — and some even donate them back to us! — we understand that sometimes things just don’t work out.

Does Goodwill have a volunteer program?

Yes! We greatly appreciate your donation of time! Learn more about our professional volunteer program. If you need to complete mandated community service hours, please contact your local store directly.