AP NEWS

Goodwill stages annual cookoff fundraiser

October 18, 2018 GMT

HARLINGEN — Several teams will be cooking up a storm this weekend as they prepare an array of pork, tacos, beans, brisket and chicken recipes to win the title of best chef in their category.

This Saturday, Goodwill Industries of South Texas Inc., a nonprofit that serves community members in the Valley, Victoria and Corpus Christi, will host its fifth annual Cook Off fundraiser at Valley Race Park from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In addition to cooking competitions, there will be kids’ activities, food trucks, a Mustang Legacy car show and live music by Southgate Band.

As part of the event, Goodwill is asking community members to clean out their closets and donate gently-used items to its clothing donation drive from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Goodwill personnel are hoping to raise about $15,000 from the event and have made it their goal to fill their Goodwill truck with donated clothes.

Revenue generated from the fundraiser will go toward Goodwill’s job training and employment placement programs provided free of charge to people with disabilities and disadvantages.

“ For example, they could either be an older worker, a person who is chronically unemployed or perhaps a person who has a criminal background,” said Goodwill Industries of South Texas Inc. Marketing and Fund Development Vice President Marjorie Boudreaux. “So, they reach out to Goodwill and we meet with them one-on-one to figure out what they might need to help them get a job.”

According to the nonprofit’s community impact report, it provided more than 18,000 services in 2017 to individuals in South Texas who needed job readiness training, placement, employment support, financial literacy, social life skills training, community service hours and free tax preparation.

“ Imagine being a participant who is homeless and now you have a job and are able to save money so you can pay for rent and food,” Boudreaux said.

“ So, participants have been very grateful that we’re helping them connect to jobs.”

ahernandez@valleystar.com