Goodwill Industries of Central Florida was named “Organization of the Year” at the inaugural Change Everything Awards on Dec. 14.

The event, sponsored by Change Everything, a new social innovation company headquartered in Orlando, honored nonprofit leaders and nonprofit organizations in Central Florida.

The “Organization of the Year” award honored the group, nonprofit or charity that made the biggest impact in Central Florida in 2017. Finalists included: Central Florida Foundation, The Salvation Army, Second Harvest Food Bank, Clean the World, LIFT Orlando, Covenant House Florida and Central Florida Community Arts.

“Being named ‘Organization of the Year’ is a distinct and particular honor,” said Bill Oakley, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Florida. “Every day, we strive to improve the lives of the people we serve by connecting them with job training and employment.”

In 2017, Goodwill partnered with several local agencies and nonprofits to launch Impact Families, an initiative that focuses on increasing housing stability through a strong emphasis on employment and education. Goodwill also opened a new Job Connection Center and retail store in DeLand in November.

Andrae Bailey, the former head of the Central Florida Commission on Homeless and the founder of Change Everything, said Goodwill is a shining example of how to operate a large nonprofit organization.

“When it comes to fundraising, messaging, leadership, advocacy, and most of all, effectiveness, Goodwill Industries of Central Florida does it right,” Bailey said.

Other awards given out included “Advocate of the Year, “Message of the Year,” “Influencer of the Year” and the “2017 Change Everything Person of the Year.”

Billy Manes, former columnist of Orlando Weekly who passed away in July, was named the 2017 Change Everything Person of the Year.

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