Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Land of Lincoln Goodwill Industries (LLGI) has a long history of supporting those with unique needs and disabilities. Our priority is to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion remains prevalent within our organization and our workforce. We encourage you to check this page regularly as we update our work and activities embracing diversity at LLGI.

Memorial Day: Honoring Sacrifice and Supporting Heroes

This May, America will mark Memorial Day, a solemn tribute to the brave individuals who have laid down their lives for our nation. The holiday, originally called Decoration Day, traces its roots back to the post-Civil War era and was formally recognized as a federal holiday in 1971.

This day, which typically marks the first unofficial day of summer, offers numerous ways to honor the ultimate sacrifices of American soldiers. Across the country, families visit cemeteries and memorials, engage in community parades, and enjoy family gatherings. Additionally, members of the American Legion distribute red poppies as a symbol of remembrance to honor the fallen.

Memorial Day prompts reflection on enhancing our support for active military members and veterans. Currently, the United States is home to over 16 million veterans, with more than 200,000 transitioning to civilian life annually. Many veterans and their families encounter challenges as they navigate this significant life change.

Since 1919, Goodwill has been at the forefront of creating employment opportunities for returning soldiers and their loved ones. This mission began in the aftermath of World War I when many veterans and disabled service members found themselves without work. Today, Land of Lincoln Goodwill Industries proudly upholds this vital tradition of helping veterans and their families achieve financial stability through meaningful employment.

As a gesture of our appreciation, this Memorial Day, May 27, 2024, we invite all veterans and active military to visit our retail stores every Monday for a special 15% discount on all regularly-priced donated items. Please join us in celebration of these everyday heroes and in remembrance of the courageous men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

Older Americans Month: Celebrating Connection and Contributions

In 1963, just 17 million Americans had celebrated their 65th birthday. Fast forward to 2024, and the number of adults aged 65 and older in the U.S. has surged to approximately 62 million. Forecasts suggest this figure will climb to 84 million by 2044, representing 23% of the U.S. population.

This demographic shift was anticipated by President John F. Kennedy, who in recognition of the growing needs and contributions of older Americans, designated May as a month to celebrate this vibrant population. Today, this observance is known as Older Americans Month, with this year’s theme, “Powered by Connection,” spearheaded by the Administration for Community Living. The theme underscores the critical impact of meaningful relationships and social connections on health and well-being.

Employment remains a significant avenue for older adults to maintain these vital social connections. Data from the Pew Research Center indicates that nearly one-fifth of Americans aged 65 and older are actively employed. By 2031, it’s expected that workers aged 55 and older will constitute over a quarter of the global workforce.

The landscape has shifted dramatically since 1984, when only 11% of older adults were in the workforce. Today, many choose to remain employed, re-enter the workforce, or delay retirement to meet critical job shortages, drive innovation, and alleviate burnout across various industries. This engagement benefits the individuals and the workplaces they enrich, providing a unique blend of experience and perspective that enhances multigenerational teams.

At Land of Lincoln Goodwill, we champion the essential role of connectedness in promoting independence and vitality among aging populations through both employment and volunteer opportunities. These initiatives are pivotal in addressing isolation and loneliness among older Americans, enriching their lives and in turn, enriching our community with their invaluable knowledge, dedication, and insights.

This Older Americans Month, we celebrate the enduring contributions and connections of our older working employees, customers, and generally older citizens, recognizing the profound benefits that flow from embracing the experience and wisdom they bring to our society.

Faces of Good

Our mission supports a diverse population. Read our success stories here.

Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Statement

LLGI recognizes our employee’s differences in age, disability, veteran status, ethnicity, national origin, language, race, religion, family and marital status, social-economic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, political affiliation and other unique attributes. The individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, innovation, unique capabilities and talent our employees bring to the workplace represents an essential part of our culture.

Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Strategic Intent

LLGI will be realistic, open, flexible and progressive as we embrace diversity, inclusion, and equality. Our organization will remain accountable to these values.