Interview Series: Danielle Hardy, Community Donations Specialist for Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania
|June 30, 2015||Posted by M. P. under Interview Series||
Danielle Hardy is the Community Donations Specialist for Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania, where she focuses on donation acquisitions and community outreach events. She is also on the board of directors for Macedonia Family and Community Enrichment Center Inc., a faith-based non-profit community outreach of Macedonia Church in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, PA. As an organization, Macedonia FACE is committed to living out its mission to encourage the development of healthy families.
Years in the Pittsburgh area?
I was born and raised in the city of Pittsburgh. I left my beloved city to attend Virginia Tech but I couldn’t stay away long and returned right after graduation.
What was your first job?
I worked as an Assistant Event Coordinator at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens where I provided day-of coordination for weddings and other special events throughout the year.
How were you drawn to nonprofit work?
Since I was young I knew I wanted a career that bettered the lives of others. I always told myself that I would find the cure to cancer. Unfortunately, I am terrible at chemistry! But working in nonprofits has been a good second choice career path that has allowed me to do work that matters.
What is the first thing you do each day?
I don’t want to admit it, but if I’m being honest; the first thing I do each day is check my Facebook and Instagram. One day I’ll be able to say “meditation and yoga” … life goals!
What keeps you motivated?
I am motivated by my grandmother. She grew up in a time where women cleaned the house and cared for the children while their husbands worked and provided for the family. All she wanted was for me to have an education and a career I could be proud of. She didn’t get to see me graduate from college but she continues to motivate me. I strive to work hard and take advantage of every available opportunity because I know that’s what she would have wanted.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Think positively. You can’t have a positive life with a negative mind.
What are you reading?
“Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches: The Riddle of Culture” by Marvin Harris. This very interesting book discusses the “bizarre” behaviors of different cultures and explains how these behaviors always stem from concrete social and economic conditions.
What are you listening to?
Kanye West’s debut album “The College Dropout,” Adele’s “19” and “21” albums, and Sam Smith “In the Lonely Hour.” These are all my favorite albums and I will love them forever!
What is your go-to time-saving/productivity hack?
I don’t rely on my memory. Every day when I get in the office I create a to-do list and I arrange my daily tasks by level of importance. This way, I get everything out of my head and onto paper and I can physically cross it off of the list when the task is completed.
What issue or trend is currently affecting your corner of the nonprofit sector?
The current trend of unidentified donation bins; particularly the bins that do not clearly state that they are a for-profit agency that sells the donations and the profit generated goes straight into their pockets. Donors assume their donations are going to support individuals in need in their community and too often, that is not the case.
What is one goal that you hope to accomplish in 2015?
Professional goal: To collect 200,000 pounds of donations by my one year anniversary with Goodwill. I am currently at 189,333 pounds!
Personal goal: To have a healthier diet and cook at home more often. I am currently at pizza!
What is the best thing about the nonprofit sector in Pittsburgh?
The nonprofit sector in Pittsburgh is very collaborative. I’ve worked with several nonprofits and we are always looking for ways to help one another fulfill our missions.
Tell us a little about any upcoming events Goodwill is involved in:
Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania is partnering with Thrill Mill Inc. on the 2015 Thrival Innovation and Music Festival. The Thrival Innovation and Music Festival is Pittsburgh’s premier convening platform for new ideas, change agents, cutting edge technology, creative artists, and disruptive thinkers. Join us in September 2015 to experience Pittsburgh, and discover the blueprint for post-industrial resurgence.
The music portion of the event is an intersection of art and new ideas. Thrival will feature 25 acts from emerging international, national, and local artists. In previous years, Thrival has featured Portugal, The Man, Talib Kweli, Misterwives, De La Soul, and Moby. The 2015 line-up is coming soon.
The innovation portion takes place over the course of a week. Top level thought leaders and organizations present original innovation-focused events for the general public. This year, Goodwill will present a symposium focused on sustainability through creative reuse.