Goodwill hosts annual cookoff fundraiser

HARLINGEN — Several teams will be cooking up a storm this weekend as they prepare an array of pork, tacos, beans, brisket and chicken recipes to win the title of best chef in their category.

This Saturday, Goodwill Industries of South Texas Inc., a nonprofit that serves community members in the Valley, Victoria and Corpus Christi, will host its fifth annual Cook Off fundraiser at Valley Race Park from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In addition to cooking competitions, there will be kids’ activities, food trucks, a Mustang Legacy car show and live music by Southgate Band.

As part of the event, Goodwill is asking community members to clean out their closets and donate gently-used items to its clothing donation drive from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Goodwill personnel are hoping to raise about $15,000 from the event and have made it their goal to fill their Goodwill truck with donated clothes.

Revenue generated from the fundraiser will go toward Goodwill’s job training and employment placement programs provided free of charge to people with disabilities and disadvantages.

“For example, they could either be an older worker, a person who is chronically unemployed or perhaps a person who has a criminal background,” said Goodwill Industries of South Texas Inc. Marketing and Fund Development Vice President Marjorie Boudreaux. “So, they reach out to Goodwill and we meet with them one-on-one to figure out what they might need to help them get a job.”

According to the nonprofit’s community impact report, it provided more than 18,000 services in 2017 to individuals in South Texas who needed job readiness training, placement, employment support, financial literacy, social life skills training, community service hours and free tax preparation.

“Imagine being a participant who is homeless and now you have a job and are able to save money so you can pay for rent and food,” Boudreaux said.

“So, participants have been very grateful that we’re helping them connect to jobs.”

If You Go

What — Fifth Annual Goodwill Cook Off

When — Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where —Valley Race Park, 2601 South Ed Carey Drive

Cost — Free

Competition categories:

IBCA — $150 entry fee

• Half chicken

• Pork spare ribs

• Brisket

Jackpot — $25 entry fee

• Beans

• Street tacos

Kids Q — $20 entry fee

• 11 years and younger

• 12 to 17 years old

Interested in competing?

Register at —

Interested in volunteering?

Sign up at —

Goodwill Clothing Donation Drive

When — Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where —Valley Race Park, 2601 South Ed Carey Drive

Goodwill Industries of South Texas, Inc. community support service statistics

Resume development — Meet one-on-one with an Employment Consultant who will help you develop a resume.

Digital skills training —Includes basic computer skills, such as setting up an email, uploading a resume online, applying for a job online and performing entry level computer tasks.

Work experience — Includes learning about work place rules, expectations and appropriate behaviors. Participants will perform their work experience wither at a Goodwill store or on a contract with local government and business.

Job readiness — Learn how to properly complete job applications, look for the right job, improve interviewing skills and career assessments.

Financial literacy — Lessons range from basic budgeting for groceries and rent, opening a checking account and fundamentals of credit.

Placement — Develop a joint placement plan, search for suitable jobs and meet regularly until you are successfully employed.