Email: info@RenewTheGood.ca
Phone: 416-750-9600 ext. 223
Twitter: @RenewTheGood
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Renew The Good to End Operations

TORONTO, March 17, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ – Renew the Good, a volunteer-led group of 15 former Goodwill Toronto employees, has raised and distributed $102,776.54 to 200 of the most-vulnerable former workers of the not-for-profit retailer that shut down its operations on January 15, 2016.

Goodwill is a charitable organization that offers job and skills development opportunities to people in need in various communities; Goodwill Industries of Toronto, Eastern, Central and Northern Ontario employed more than 500 people across 16 stores and 10 drop-off centres.

On March 24, Renew the Good efforts will come to a close, just ahead of Easter weekend. “We’re very appreciative of the financial support people have provided former staff over the past two months,” says Gladys Okine, team member with Renew the Good. “Each time we distribute the funds we see how much it’s helping our former colleagues.”

The funds raised have gone to some of the most-vulnerable former Goodwill employees — to people deemed to have increased needs, such as those with physical and intellectual disabilities, and to people who applied for financial support for food, medicine and housing. Donations have been distributed in the form of prepaid VISA cards and bank drafts.

“We wish our former colleagues the very best as they pursue other avenues in their job search,” says Deborah Hall-Chancey, Renew the Good volunteer. “It’s been a privilege working with all the men and women of Renew the Good and Goodwill, and those who’ve supported the effort including Working Women Community Centre, DUCA Financial Services Credit Union, GoFundMe and CanadaHelps.”

Visit renewthegood.ca for more information about this volunteer effort.

About Renew the Good:
Renew the Good is a volunteer initiative established to provide financial support to the most vulnerable of former Goodwill staff in the wake of the non-profit closure in Toronto. Fifteen former Goodwill employees put their job search on hold to create and maintain the program that has helped 200 people affected by the layoffs in January. Pledges were made by mail and online at GoFundMe.com and CanadaHelps.org, and funds donated have been distributed to former staff who are in most need of financial support. Renew the Good will end its operations March 24, 2016 after two months of providing support.

Personal Belongings at 350 Progress Ave

Pollard & Associates invites all staff seeking to retrieve personal belongings from 350 Progress Ave to visit today at 11 am. Please have photo identification with you. The bankruptcy trustee will be onsite to provide access to staff via the front administration entrance.

Final donation distribution has begun

Team Renew is pleased to announce final donation distribution started Monday Mar 7th and will continue until all 200 staff identified receive their donation. All recipients are being contacted by phone and informed of a date and time for pickup. Many thanks to the volunteers who are assisting with distribution in Orillia, Barrie, Brockville, Mississauga, Brampton and Toronto.

Thanks to the generosity of so many we have been able to provide 200 former employees with at least $300!

Thank you to everyone for all your well wishes, donations and support.

Team Renew

 

Closed today

The Victoria Park Hub is closed today to celebrate International Women’s Day. As a result, Renew the Good volunteers will not be available today – Tuesday Mar, 8th.

Registration Closing

Registration for former employees seeking assistance from Renew the Good will close at 1pm on Thursday February 25th.

If you have not already requested assistance please do by emailing info@renewthegood.ca by the date/time indicated.

 

Wage Earner Protection Program

All employees should be receiving packages from the bankruptcy trustee (if you haven’t already). It is very important that you read through that information carefully and follow the instructions.

Should you have questions regarding your individual circumstance regarding EI or WEPP claims please contact one of the numbers below:

Service Canada EI # 1-800-206-7218

WEPP # 1-866-683-6516

Message from Goodwill Bankruptcy Trustee to Former Employees

To The Former Employees Of Goodwill Industries of Toronto, Eastern, Central, and Northern Ontario,

Packages detailing how to proceed with your Claim under the Wage Earner Protection Program (WEPP) will be mailed to employees the week of Feb. 15th.

Once you receive the package, review the information carefully. You must complete 2 steps:

  1. sign and return the proof of claim; and,
  2. register your Claim by visiting the website provided in the package.

In addition to the WEPP Claim package, 2015 T4s will also be sent out shortly.

For more information please contact the Former Goodwill employee information line at 905-883-8715.

Pollard & Associated Inc.

Donation Update & FAQs

We are EXTREMELY happy to share that donation distribution has begun. We began to distribute funds yesterday afternoon (Feb. 9). To date, we have received $13,050.87 of the $104,575 amount pledged and Renew the Good, together with the Working Women Community Centre, distributed $13,000 of that amount yesterday afternoon to 26 individuals.

As pledged funds are received by Working Women Community Centre, Renew the Good will  distribute 100% of the funds to former Goodwill employees in conjunction with the Working Women Community Centre.

We understand many have urgent needs; however we ask your patience as we await the arrival of the remaining pledged donations.

Our goal remains to distribute all donations received by the end Feb (hopefully much sooner).

Here are a few other frequently asked questions:

1.How will the donated funds be allocated: 40% of funds will be distributed to Supported Employees and 60% to full and part-time staff impacted. This has been updated by the team in response to feedback from former employees and an effort to ensure as many former staff are supported as possible.

2. What criteria is being used to assess requests for support? We have used the following criteria to verify the recipients: confirmation of being a Godowill TECNO employee, unemployed due Jan 16th closure; required medications for physical, developmental disability and/or mental health condition; housing in jeopardy as a result of Jan 16th closure; need for food support; number of dependents under age 18 ; sole support or family support.  We understand some have deemed these questions as “making employees jump through hopes” however it is necessary to ensure funds are distributed exclusively to former Goodwill TECNO employees. Unfortunately we have received requests for support by individuals who were not employed with Goodwill TECNO.
3. Is there a maximum amount of money that will be given to each employee?
No maximum has been set; however the minimum would be $100.
4. Will the full amount pledged be distributed to former employees? Yes all funds received will be distributed to former employees.

5. What can Renew the Good do to correct errors on my Record of Employment? Unfortunately Renew the Good cannot make corrections or revisions to Records of Employment. We have no access or authority to do so. Service Canada has advised us to direct former employees to their local Service Canada office for assistance. In addition, former employees may contact Pollard & Associates who is handling the T4s and employee claims under the Wage Earner Protection Program. For assistance please contact them at 905-883-8715.

6. What are the office hours? Volunteers will be available to take and respond to calls on Tuesdays and Thursdays 10 am to 1 pm until Feb 26.

Team Renew:

Debbie, Deborah, Albano, Remy, Shani, Paul, John, Lucia, Queena, Larena, Lily, Danielle, Tim, Deanna, April, Pam, Helen, Monika, Cathie, Elaine, Cathy, Nancy and Gladys

Media Release: Renew the Good surpasses fundraising goal!!!!

 Renew the Good, a volunteer initiative to support former Goodwill employees, has surpassed its goal of $100,000. As of today $104,575 has been received or pledged.

Fundraising has now closed and distribution of the proceeds will begin during the week of Monday, February 8, 2015. Requests for support have been assessed by the Renew the Good team according to the fund’s criteria. Our goal is to provide the 200 former and most vulnerable Goodwill employees with help towards groceries, prescriptions and housing costs. The fund will prioritize former Goodwill staff living with physical and/or developmental disabilities as well as mental health challenges.

In addition to supporting former staff financially, the Renew the Good website became the sole source of information for many former staff once Goodwill TECNO abruptly ceased operations.

The Trustee and Advisor for Renew the Good is the Working Women Community Centre (WWCC, a United Way funded organization with more than 40 years of experience serving Toronto’s communities). The Trustee ensures accountability for monies raised and fairness in their distribution.

Renew the Good is managed by a team of 15 volunteers. These volunteers are not receiving any pay for their efforts. They were members of the non-unionized workforce at Goodwill. The team acknowledges with appreciation the assistance of WWCC, Duca Financial Services, Royal Bank of Canada (Shops at Don Mills branch), CityNews, Canada Helps, and the generosity of the many individual donors including the contributions of services that helped minimize the overhead costs associated with the initiative.

On completion of the distribution of funds, Renew the Good team members will begin their own searches for new jobs.

Second Career Exploration

As we continue through this journey, many have asked about next steps and exploring new employment and training options. Second Career is worth exploring. We are fortunate enough to have among us one of the most skilled Training Advisors with one of the highest success rates of Second Career applications in the city. She has kindly offered to volunteer her time to explain the program to those interested. In addition, several organizations who specialize in this work have also offered their services to former employees looking to explore the Second Career program. If you are interested in learning more, participating in an info session or speaking with an Advisor please let us know by emailing help@renewthegood.ca and putting “Second Career” in the subject line.

Second Career is a cost-sharing grant provided on the basis of need which provides laid-off workers with:

  • skills training to help them find jobs in high-demand occupations in Ontario
  • financial support up to $28,000 for: tuition, books, other instruction costs such as manuals or workbooks, transportation, a basic living allowance

Additional support may be available to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities, dependent care, costs of living away from home and academic upgrading.

For more information on Second Career please visit: 

http://www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/secondcareer/index.html