Kumpuris Communications

Goodwill | Teresa: 2017 Achiever of the Year

When you donate items to your local Goodwill store, have you ever stopped and wondered what happens to those items?

I mean really stopped and thought about it?

To you, you're getting rid of clothing you no longer want, gently used kitchen pots and pans or perhaps furniture and household items. But to someone at Goodwill, those items can be life-changing.

Goodwill Industries of Arkansas does so much more for Arkansas than being a retail store. The items you donate that are sold in stores across the state and the proceeds go to fund programs that help members of the community.

One the those programs is the Transitional Employment Opportunities program, or TEO. This program helps people who have committed nonviolent crimes and have served their time to transition back into daily lives. The TEO program gives them hands-on job training, current employment status and helps them get back into a daily routine of living and being a contributing member of society. 

The video is a testament to the lives changed because of Goodwill. Watch Teresa's story and you'll see why and know that everyone deserves a second chance. Goodwill gave her that second chance.

Along with BackFocus Productions and Kumpuris Communications, I was honored to work on this project. We would like to congratulate Teresa on her award.  

So go out and donate to Goodwill Industries of Arkansas.

Video Project for Goodwill | Little Rock Arkansas Advertising Photographer

I recently worked with BackFocus Productions on two video projects for Goodwill Industries of Arkansas focusing on their Transitional Employment Opportunity (TEO) program. This is the third time we've worked with Goodwill and we love everything about this company and what they represent to those they help throughout Arkansas.

Goodwill’s Transitional Employment Opportunity (TEO) program offers job readiness training and job placement services for people re-entering the workforce.

This video features John Crihfield who is the Frank Lyon Jr. Achiever of the Year 2015. Just two years ago, John was serving a 20-year prison sentence after a painful childhood, drug abuse, as well as a learning disability. Today, Crihfield is Goodwill’s Frank Lyon Jr. Achiever of the Year and works as a donation service associate in one of the Northwest Arkansas Goodwill store.

NWA Re-entry Coach, Joe Bruton said, “All the hard work that John has put in to help change his life - the award could not go to a more deserving individual.

The second video features Brian Miller. Both of John's parents struggling with drug addiction, the odds were stacked against Brian Miller from the start. Brian compounded his challenges with poor choices that landed him in federal prison serving a 36-month sentence. It only took a handful of people and the right resources to help him rebuild his life. Brian currently works as a Production Supervisor, and was named Goodwill’s Graduate of the Year 2015.

Watch Brian’s story:

In Brian's own words,
"Not only did they help me change my life...they changed my children’s life, because they got their father back. I’m working and doing something positive."

Finding gainful employment today is a challenge. What would it be like to add a felony to your job application? Thousands of Arkansans are released from prison every year, and one out of two, go back to prison.

Goodwill understands this is certainly preventable if only these people have a real chance to rebuild their lives through education, hard work and earning a paycheck while working on these skills. A strong community means creating an environment where every single person has an opportunity to contribute. Rebuilding lives creates value for everyone. 

The 16-week training program provides assessment, occupational training, career planning and job search assistance, resume development and basic education services and more.

Goodwill has served over 15,000 clients through their various programs and services in the past year alone.

So the next time you donate clothing, furniture or any other miscellaneous items to Goodwill, the monies generated from those sales goes to fund programs Goodwill like the TEO program.

We wish to thank for both Goodwill Industries of Arkansas and Sajni Kumpuris for this opportunity to collaborate on a great project.

Here are some of our Behind-the-scenes photos from John and Brian's videos.

On a side note, it seems that people who shop at Goodwill will buy just about anything, even without knowing what it is.

We filmed John's story in the NWA location inside the store in one of their conference rooms. Space was tight. We left our productions along the wall in the back of the store. Shoppers at Goodwill were very interested in our carts, especially what they could buy off the carts. We had to tell three different shoppers that our apple boxes were not for sale. Then people tried to buy our flags....then a pouch filled with C-47s (clothespins for the non-production people).

It seems our finely-crafted "Not for Sale" signs didn't work.

Production Carts are NOT FOR SALE!

Production Carts are NOT FOR SALE!


  Setting up for the interviews for the Goodwill videos.


When most people think of Goodwill, they think of those store front where people can drop off donations of clothes, housewares and furniture. The work that Goodwill does goes way beyond their storefronts. What many people don't realize is that the money raised by Goodwill's storefronts financially support their numerous programs.

In late April, I worked with BackFocus Productions and Kumpuris Communications to produce the Goodwill Industries of Arkansas tribute videos for their annual awards luncheon. Each year, Goodwill Industries of Arkansas selects an Achiever of the Year, and a Graduate of the Year from hundreds of candidates submitted for consideration by their program coordinators within Goodwill.  The selected winners are awarded during the annual "Turning Jeans into Dreams" with the video presentation of their story. Winners are past clients that have completed Goodwill's Job Training Program, or the TEO (Transitional Employment Opportunities) program.

The Job Training program provides services to anyone that has a disability. This includes developmental and physical disabilities that often make it more difficult to seek training and employment in a traditional method. Through Goodwill Industries of Arkansas' extensive education and training, their achievements are nothing short of inspirational. The TEO program is designed to help clients that were incarserated re-enter society, and gain full time employment.

We also worked on the their videos for their 2013 awards. You can also watch them all on Goodwill's website by going here:

The videos for the 2014 Awards are below. Please be sure to watch the full-screen, HD version.

Goodwill Industries of Arkansas Achiever of the Year 2014 - Jo Wilson from Kumpuris Communications, LLC on Vimeo.

Goodwill Graduate of the Year 2014 - Rayvion Perkins from Kumpuris Communications, LLC on Vimeo.