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Why We Do What We Do: Goodwill Contract Services



By Kelly Olivieri
Digital Communications/IT intern

Updated: 10/17/16

Pulling a floral shoe box from the shelf, Gail Ball beamed with pride as she showed me the dozens of photos inside.

She told a story with each photo, which she has accumulated through the almost 25 years she has worked at Goodwill Contract Services (GCS).

She is the Leanne Tuohy of the division.

You won’t find any footballs or Ole Miss banners in her office, but I sensed Gail has the same dedication to family. Gail’s coworkers call her a tough-yet-fair boss.

Goodwill Contract Services at Goodwill Industries of Tulsa helps employ people with severe disabilities for subcontract jobs for civic-minded local companies, such as Whirlpool, AAA and others.

Many of the supported workers come from harsh backgrounds, especially those who are older and experienced a society that was not a welcome environment for individuals with disabilities. Providing opportunities for individuals with disabilities to learn the Power of Work is the inspiration that has kept her going through the years.

GCS provides a pathway for the employees to not only earn wages, but also to grow their self-esteem and social skills.

“The pride on their faces when they earn their first pay raise or attendance certificate is worth it,” said Gail, who is the director of GCS. “I could never work anywhere else — no one could measure up to what Goodwill Contract Services does.”

GCS has undergone a change this year. Previously located in East Tulsa, it is now in a new facility next to Goodwill Tulsa’s main building on Southwest Boulevard.

However, change is nothing new to Gail. A child of the 1960s, she grew up in the countryside of New York as a farmer’s daughter and traveled across the states. Gail most famously attended Woodstock; a framed poster from the festival is on her office wall.

Gail has taken all of her life experiences as a single mother to heart and she emphasizes those things she has had to learn the hard way to her supported workers.

As of now, there are hundreds of success stories and around 30 supported workers at GCS.

“I will never let this be just a job,” Gail said. “I am passionate about what I do and how it impacts others.”


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2800 Southwest Boulevard, Tulsa OK 74107