Home / Hot News / Teen Charged with Felony and Fired for Helping Struggling Goodwill Customers (Video)
Teen Charged with Felony and Fired for Helping Struggling Goodwill Customers (Video)

Teen Charged with Felony and Fired for Helping Struggling Goodwill Customers (Video)

A 19-year-old teen in Florida thought he was doing a good deed for customers at the Goodwill store he worked for.

Andrew Anderson, 19, was crestfallen by some of the folks who visited the store “wearing all of the clothes they had,” so he would give them discounts of up to 50 percent on the items they bought. Sounds like his heart was in the right place, huh?

But once store officials got wind of his kindness, they weren’t so kind in return. Anderson not only was fired from his job, but he was charged with a felony.

andersonAnderson does not feel he did anything wrong, or at least not worthy of facing felony grand theft charges and losing his job.

“I’m not a bad person, what I did was with all good intentions,” Anderson said. “People would come in on bicycles — wearing all of the clothes they had, coming in with $2, $3 max.”

“I wasn’t actually stealing. Goodwill is a giving and helping company, so I took it upon to myself to be giving and helping because I feel people deserve it.”

Unfortunately, his employer doesn’t see it the same way.

“Our stores are not around to give a hand out, they’re around to give people a hand up by providing funding, said Kirstin O’Donnell, a spokesperson for Goodwill Retail and Donation Center in the East Naples, Florida store where Anderson worked.

“In incidents like this, we always prosecute and the reason why is when people steal from Goodwill, they’re not stealing from the company, they’re stealing from the mission of our organization.”

The mission of their organization is to help people, correct? Why then does Goodwill’s CEO make a base salary of nearly $450,000 per year? Not to mention that salaries for top managers at 150 Goodwill locations across the country total more than $30 million.

Then there is the matter of Goodwill, thanks to a labor law loophole, exploiting their disabled employees by paying them as little as 22 cents per hour. Goodwill argues that the disabled workers would otherwise not be employed and should therefore be grateful for any amount they earn, even if it is 22 cents.

Gee, thanks!!

As for Anderson, he hopes that people will see that he was merely trying to do a good deed and hopes that the felony charge will be dropped.

Look, the kid is 19 years old. The proper thing to do would have been to just explain to him that while his heart is in the right place, it is a violation of policy to give discounts to select people. Anderson has even offered to repay the difference between the actual prices and what he charged those customers, but to no avail.

Or at the very least, drop the felony charge against him.

Watch the local news report below, courtesy of NBC2.

NBC-2.com WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral

About Progressive Populist

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I'm the founder of Progressive Populist and a passionate Liberal-Progressive who despises the Tea Party

65 comments

  1. Author Image

    Huh. I was going to drop some stuff off at GoodWill tomorrow but I think, after hearing what the CEO is earning, I’ll find another charitable foundation to take my stuff to. $450k for a charitable organizations CEO is freakin’ crazy.

  2. Author Image

    Shame on you, Goodwill! Everything you sell comes to you as a free gift! This is absolutely disgusting and I hope people boycott your thieving company. You should be prosecuted for fraud and tax evasion by posing as a charity.

  3. Author Image

    Shame on goodwill – where is the goodwill? Lining the pockets of the selfish, greedy pig executives! I don’t know how those subhumans can sleep at night. The most I can hope is they die horrible painful long-term deaths in front of their families. What evil people and what an evil organization. I will be sure to tell this story to all my friends and family with the warning beware of supposed ‘goodwill’!

  4. Author Image

    I worked part time at a Goodwill several years ago. They don’t really care about helping people. Want to know what the location I worked at did with glass and ceramic items that didn’t sell in the store? They didn’t give it away, they threw it out. Dish sets, cups/glasses, glass pans, vases and pretty much anything breakable. They put it into the donated suitcases and tossed in the dumpster. They may have cared about people years ago. Now they care about the dollar.

    • Author Image

      I worked at a goodwill that did that. If it was not clean or they did not feel like dealing with it they would throw it away. They also did the same with clothes. There was so many nice dishes they did not feel like dealing with they would toss. I have seen them throw someone whole donation away just because the person did not look clean enough they did not even bother to open it.

      • Author Image

        And to think i was actually applying to work at their stores and we have donated clothes to them on Numerous occasions we are a family of 8 and we give goodwill all of our clothes that don’t fit us. Makes you wonder what they actually did with our donation

  5. Author Image

    I cannot believe what I read! I am so disturbed by how this young man was treated and Their policy, I will never donate or go into their stores again! The store should practice some good will to that young man! What a racket they have going!

  6. Author Image

    This is an utter disgrace. The CEO should be in the dock not the employee!

  7. Author Image

    let look at the real picture Goodwill is only prosecuting because it takes money out of their pocket. Really, they get the stuff for free and charge prices that are competitive for the same item brand new.

  8. Author Image

    If we give our stuff to goodwill then it really didn’tcost then a dime. So if they want to press charges then we as Americans should stop donating them just so they can make a profit. GOOD WILL SUCKS

  9. Author Image

    I used to donate to Goodwill because I thought that they were helping out the underdog and other challenged people with employment and training. What a bunch of chumps and chimp a** chumps. So sickened by this story, that I will no longer donate to Goodwill or shop at their stores. So long Goodwill, good riddance!

  10. Author Image

    Channel 2 in Ft. Meyers? When did that happen?

  11. Author Image

    i dont think he should be fired that why i dont give to good will stores there not out to help if they were they would of not done this and i would of done the same thing

  12. Author Image

    This is exactly why I NEVER give to Goodwill,450,000 is excessive in my book when you are taking donations.

  13. Author Image

    I have always shopped at Goodwill.. I guess I have been duped.. I that by giving donations to Goodwill and Salvation Army or Disabled Vets, those items would be used to HELP the unfortunate people who are needing help.. Or our veterans in need of help.. This young man did not profit from the things he sold at half price, the company got all the proceeds.. he HELPED those right there in front of him by making a judgement call that the person was in NEED.. I will not buy from Goodwill stores again.. Their corporate leader should be ashamed of themselves.. I sure am ashamed of them…

  14. Author Image

    The punishment does not fit the petty crime Mr money bags! My business will go to The Salvation Army and others I see on the streets. I will not give them money however I will buy them a hot meal when I can and clothes that I randomly buy at thrift stores twice a year. If I were still employed I would even hire this young man you fired and the people that we’re desperate for clothes. I hope you can sleep at night. Oh yea, the disabled too!
    Good luck in your future endeavors..

    • Author Image

      Don’t donate to the Salvation Army either. They are anti-gay, anti-single mother, anti-rape vctim, Bible-thumpers.

      • Author Image

        Gee, let me see. Salvation Army doesn’t deal with single mothers, gay persons, victims of rape????? That’s news to me. The local Salvation Army here does not practice anything like that. They have an open door-open arm policy. In fact, they have daycare so single moms can thrive by working. You just didn’t have anything nice to say so you dump. Try a toilet.

      • Author Image

        The Salvation Army actually practices what they preach. Yes, they have an opinion, based on their religious views about divorce, pre-marital sex and homosexuality, but that NEVER stops them from helping those in need. Just like Jesus told ALL Christians to do.

  15. Author Image

    Sounds like typical Florida people. No more donations to Goodwill from me. They should reward him not fire him.

    • Author Image

      Why would they reward someone for cutting from corporate profits? It isn’t a charity center it is a company, you can’t reward someone for stealing, even if it was an accident.
      That isn’t to say it isn’t a little harsh but rewarding him for that doesn’t make any sense.

      • Author Image

        It’s a non-profit corporation. They aren’t allowed to have corporate profits.

        They justify their existence as a non-profit with the claim that they are a charitable organization. People who think they are being uncharitable in this case are perfectly justified in choosing not to give them things or not to shop there.

  16. Author Image

    Boo Hiss Hiss. Goodwill gets the stuff for free- From now on I’ll donate to St.Vincents ( they sell it for cheap- they even have the 1$ bag days! If they charge him w anything I won’t donate/ or buy at Goodwill again.

  17. Author Image

    Wow! Goodwill seems just as bad as Walmart. It’s Salvation Army here on out.

    • Author Image

      The Salvation Army is just as bad, I had a friend whose house burned down and they gave them a $20 gift certificate and that’s it. The stuff there is also donated and that’s all they done to help a family of 4!!

    • Author Image

      So Goodwill, a private company looking for a profit-not a donation center-and who is rightly upset that someone has been cutting into their profits, Is just as bad as the salvation army which discriminates against gays AND is actually meant to be charitable and help out the community?

      The salvation army has its own issues.

  18. Author Image

    This does seem really suspect especially considering their stock costs them almost nothing to keep and maintain. I wish him the best.

  19. Author Image

    This is ridiculous! I already boycot the Goodwill. But this tops the cake! People give this stuff for free; to help the poor! Instead the rich are getting richer, the disabled are getting taken advantage of, and the poor arent able to afford their prices. I always have and always will give my stuff to places that give it out free. Like the hope center or a church.

  20. Author Image

    How much did Goodwill pay for that merchandise? That’s the last time they will get a donation of anything from me. Such greed is disgusting and this young man should be praised rather than punished.

  21. Author Image

    The felony was committed by the CEO!!!

  22. Author Image

    Upper crust idiots that run this organization should be spat on. I will never donate to you again. I rather it would be put in the trash then give it to you selfish people. Goodwill you better change your name to NO Hope. Shame on your organization !

  23. Author Image

    There is a concept known as “Corporate Goodwill”. It’s when a corporations gives some of its time and money to a charitable cause or does something positive in the community where it is based. However it is often used to disguise or whitewash a bad set of corporate behavior. Goodwill is anything but good and they work their people with a will while their CEO will do only good for himself.

  24. Author Image

    This is why I hate people and society. It’s all about the money. Money leads to greed and corruption. Money ultimately leads to sadness. Give money to those who really need it. I support Andrew Anderson 100%+ Good on you, Andrew =^w^= Shame on Goodwill for being greedy 3:<

  25. Author Image

    I don’t give to those organization except the food bank where I know it is free . I started a group on facebook in Canada call it’s free. People put picture of the items that they are giving free and others just answer they will take it and they arrange pick up. It works great and no one is making money. Believe it or not some people found a way to cheat in taking the article and sell it in yard sale. In a small town you don’t do that because people learn that pretty fast. Help in your community as much as you can before you go with those big organization with CEO.

  26. Author Image

    Someone out there give that nice young man a job ,he is honest ,He didn’t know that was a business not a charitable store.

  27. Author Image

    i would encourge the disabled to sue Goodwill for discrimination. do the math @.22 an hour thats $8.80 for 40hr. how can americans permit such treatment. while yes the employee does not have the right to discount prices. firing him should have appeased Goodwill. what a can of worms goodwill has opened. social medid will crucify them

  28. Author Image

    I used to work for goodwill long long time ago. They do make profits. They like to sell stuff at high prices that poor people with large families wont be able to afford. My supervisor always got bonuses for the labor us processors did. She would threaten us that if she did not get her bonus for that quarter there will be hell.All she had to do to get it is make sure we were putting out enough clothes and the store was making profits. The director drives a nice vehicle that the company pays for the company also pays for his housing. All he does is sit in his office all day. Employees start at minumum wage their first year and get a 3% raise every year. I worked 10 years and got a total of 2.75 increase over time and some of that was because minumum wage went up. There was a freeze for three years because company funds were short but the director or any people on the board was not affected by the freeze.

  29. Author Image

    Well, this sucks…he didn’t give a “hand out” (something for free), he gave them a helping hand (in the form of a discount). The $450,000 year administrator is the one getting a hand out! I agree that he is only 19, saw the struggles of his fellow man, and tried to help by giving a DISCOUNT on items that were GIVEN to Goodwill. This would merit a write up and since he offered restitution, what real harm was done? Goodwill isn’t like a Walmart or KMart…these are used items with varying prices attached to them. I’ve seen two or three of the same exact items priced two or three difference prices on the shelves of my local Goodwill…should the persons who priced those items also be brought up on charges?

    And speaking of Goodwill, doesn’t what he did only represent their name (Good Will)? Shame on Goodwill and their practices…I’ve gone shopping in their stores and negotiated a cheaper price, so why should this guy get singled out? I’m gonna start strictly shopping at thrift shops and antique stores…

  30. Author Image

    How was this stealing? The company does not even pay for the things in their store. It is all donated by people who do not want their stuff anymore. I would understand if they had to buy their items, but they don’t. Glad to say I will no longer be donating to this company.

  31. Author Image

    I will never donate to Goodwill ever again.

  32. Author Image

    I take all my clothing donations directly to a local shelter. I stopped donating to goodwill many years ago when I realized that they were the biggest ripoff around..

  33. Author Image

    ms o’donnell and andersen must be part of the high salaries with their cold and insensitive statements. apparently they, or goodwill, didn’t learn anything from the abortion statement susan komen executive put out. all i know is what goes around comes around and i hope they never find themselves in a position of need. all the rich people who trusted bernie madoff never thought it would happen to them and when it did, they would be treated differently. well, they weren’t.

  34. Author Image

    Donations can be made to Community Services run by the Seventh-day Adventist church . Most of them distribute clothes etc for free.

  35. Author Image

    I don’t think the CEO’s base salary would be in question if the organization was actually living up to what they truly believe. The genius in Goodwill’s merchandising strategy is that their model is based on donations. People in the community donate their goods to the store, which the store workers inspect to see if it is fairly reasonable to resell. If the items are reasonable, then it shows up on the store shelves/racks. Goodwill pays little to NOTHING for their merchandising. What makes this case so troubling is that it clearly shows that even in the name of “goodwill”, Goodwill isn’t so good after all.

  36. Author Image

    Grand theft? felony? Jail? —this boy offered to pay the money back and
    would not do this in the future. Everyone makes mistakes and his was
    from a good heart. Goodwill–have some sympathy,empathy—if this
    boy wishes it please give him his job back with a pay increase. Obviously
    you can afford it. Also please pay the underpaid fair pay.

  37. Author Image

    This is awful, it truly is. I really hope hundreds of people show up to support this young man and protest at his trial.

  38. Author Image

    I will NEVER donate to Goodwill again!

  39. Author Image

    For nearly five years my fire dept at Christmas time would have a cloth drive and send it to Goodwill.
    As one of the organizers, after reading not only what happened to the fella trying to help others, but more important the idea that someone makes 450,000, guess what can guarantee you, our fundraiser will NOT be going to them but to another organization, sadly though its happening more and more that the big folks in charge of these companies are making tons of money whole their employees make squat, really disgusts me and if your a Firefighter or fire dept that gives to this company. I pray you think twice. So sad!!!!

  40. Author Image

    I will be sure not to donate at Goodwill. I used to donate to them years ago, because it was convenient to I used to work. I have since found a few charities that will come to my house and pick up the donations when I call them. Goodwill should be ashamed of themselves.

  41. Author Image

    In 2011, Goodwill International CEO Jim Gibbons made $729,000 in salary and deferred compensation. You need to make about $400, 000 yearly salary to be in the top 1% of earners. His base salary is nearly half a million per year. If a charity worker making more than 99% of the country is not greedy, I don’t know what is. More to the point if Goodwill can’t find a talented worker for less, they are not trying very hard.

  42. Author Image

    Id advise goodwill industries to close there doors now. The kid said he’d pay back the difference , what more do you want? Oh yeah, charge him with a felony instead and mess up his life. Well I guarantee you won’t be getting my cast off goods anymore. Good sams.you are not. How do you treat the employees who work in your factories? You do know sweat shops are illegal.

  43. Author Image

    Looks like I’m taking my business to Savers from now on…

  44. Author Image

    I think that the store was justified in disciplining this young man. It is not his call to make on who gets deals and who doesn’t. That is in the hands of store management and if the employee doesn’t comply, then he faces the consequences, which can include termination of employment. I don’t think he should have been charged with a felony, especially since he offered to pay back the money. But what he did still amounted to stealing. Condemning a great organization because of one story in which an employee was stealing from them is baseless. Goodwill does so much good in the world and I am proud to donate things I no longer need to them.

    • Author Image

      I agree with what you say about their handling of this matter, but disagree as to the organizations level of benevolence. I don’t remember the exact figure but not enough of the “profits” actually goes to where it is promised. Are they evil? No, but they are far from saintly.

  45. Author Image

    I hate to see this young man so heavily punished for having a kind heart. I do hope he would do it again if he saw someone in need.
    I have been reading through this website tonight and found stories on a young girl severely disciplined for sober driving her drunk friend. A woman sacked from her job of 18 years for trying to catch a shoplifter. People punished for feeding homeless people. And now this. Why are people being dissuaded (and imprisoned) from helping those in need?
    This compassion is beautiful and vital. Keep it up!

  46. Author Image

    Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem with your web site in internet explorer, might test this?
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  47. Author Image

    the 19 year old was trying to help the less fortunate shame on you goodwill industries i worked at the greensboro goodwill industries i got paid subminimum wage i maent slave wages shame on you greedy ceos you should be ashamed of your selves you should live on subminimum wage live in poverty also living in homeless shelter not fancy homes nice cars take public transit see how it feels to live in poverty i only made$335.10 for 34 days i quit after 34 days job training it’s nothing but a joke shame on you! greedy heartless ceos

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