Suite for Aging Initiative Dedicated

By and

When he was about 13 years old, Wilford Goodwill worked in a grocery store for which he delivered groceries to the elderly.

Seeing the “meager source of income and loneliness” was enough motivation for Goodwill to do what he could to help improve the health, safety and quality of life for the elderly.

That “motivation” resulted in the original Goodwill project, which began in 1995, and has enabled more than 100 seniors to receive newly painted homes, lawn and garden cleanups, as well as the installation of a new furnace, air conditioner or new lights.

Goodwill, a real estate developer for the Goodwill Investment Company, and his wife, Dorothy, were honored on Wednesday for their donations to the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Utah.

Since 1991, the Goodwill Family Foundation has donated more than $1 million to the school.

Along with Bernie Machen, president of the U, and Jannah Mather, dean of the Graduate School of Social Work, the school dedicated the Wilford W. and Dorothy P. Goodwill Suite for Social Work Initiatives on Aging?a suite of refurbished offices and public spaces that will provide a home for the project.

“The Graduate School of Social Work has been honored to be the host of these initiatives on aging,” Mather said.

Goodwill said, the project is a “hands-on program,” which assists seniors in accessing the resources needed to live comfortably as they age.

“The project assess what the seniors need,” said Gregory Kemp, communication and development officer at the school. It provides those resources and services free of charge.

The project, “Neighbors Helping Neighbors,” initially started in a Salt Lake City neighborhood and utilized volunteers both from the senior population and the graduate students enrolled in social work to provide assistance.

The neighborhood project’s main purpose is ensuring a “better quality of life for the aging,” Goodwill said. “We want to be the eyes and ears for the neighborhoods.”

While some staff members work on the project, the “main heart of the project” is volunteerism, Kemp said.

Students of the school are able to put in part or all of their 1,000 required volunteer hours for a master’s degree, said Carol Fetcher, an administrative assistant. The school of social work provides about 35 volunteers.

In addition, “There are corporations around Salt Lake which help in with the volunteering,” Kemp said.

About 10 corporations have supported the project by initiating volunteer opportunities for its employees to participate. For example, Salt Lake City Fire Department provides free home safety inspections, Kemp said.

In 2001, more than 1,200 total volunteer hours have been counted.

The corporations, which have worked closely with the project, received recognition and awards.

Goodwill commended the students of the Graduate School of Social Work for their “selfless sacrifice,” and dedicated the project’s success “to all of the volunteers.”

Near the end of the event, program director William Farley presented the Goodwill family with a biography he had been working on titled, “A Will To Do Good.”

[email protected]