Goodwill gives opportunity to those with special needs
MIAMI (WSVN) -- A South Florida company is playing a major role in producing the American flag and providing jobs to people with special needs.
The American flag is a symbol of nationalism and freedom. Tens of thousands of flags are made every year by Goodwill Industries of South Florida, to provide opportunities to people with disabilities.
Hugo Matiz, operations manager of Goodwill Industries of South Florida, said Goodwill is proud to provide jobs to people with special needs. "There are many people with special needs, people who we are proud to provide with a job and with rehabilitation services, too," said Matiz.
A lot of people suffer from physical, psychosocial and emotional needs, among other disabilities, but this work experience allows them to develop social skills and work ethic while earning a paycheck.
For many, the job also pays with pride. Many flags are made for retail sales.
Milagros Lopez makes flags to drape the coffins of U.S. veterans. On her sowing machine is a picture of her son, who is actively serving in the military. "When I'm making the uniforms, it makes me very emotional to think that many soldiers like my son are using them," says Lopez.
Her son is a Marine who served in Iraq. She carries his picture and proudly displays her Marines pin while making Military uniforms.
"We make over a million garments a year, worn by our soldiers with pride," said Diana Valencia, the vice president of apparel manufacturing for Goodwill Industries of South Florida.
The uniforms and flags are made to exact government specifications. "Their creation serves both our country, and people who make them. It provides training opportunities for them, and it provides money for them to support their families," said Valencia.
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