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Paying it forward: contribution to local organization holds great significance

May 1, 2015 · Community

Last year, Goodwyn Mills Cawood (GMC) established an annual award to recognize an employee for outstanding leadership and commitment to community service—qualities the architecture and engineering firm holds in the highest regard. Named after one of the company’s founders, the inaugural George Goodwyn Community Service Award was given to a most-deserving honoree: Mr. George Goodwyn himself.

As the recipient, Goodwyn was awarded $2,500. True to his character, he chose to donate the money to Family Promise of Montgomery, a nonprofit organization near and dear to his heart. Goodwyn not only serves on the organization’s Board of Trustees, but was one of the original board members responsible for opening the nonprofit to aid homeless families with children more than 10 years ago.

Executive Director Beth Biggs accepted the donation on behalf of the organization.

“I am so happy GMC is honoring George with the establishment of this award,” said Biggs. “His gifts of inspiration, organization and generosity helped bring caring individuals together to make Family Promise a reality.”

Family Promise is an Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) and service model being duplicated nationwide where churches share their facilities with homeless families from the community and provide them safe lodging, meals and most importantly, encouragement in the midst of difficult circumstances. The Montgomery network of churches has continued to grow over the years and now includes 16 host congregations.

“I believe George cares more about Montgomery than any other citizen I know,” said Biggs. “His life and legacy of service and caring for those less fortunate is a huge inspiration to me and many of us in Family Promise.”

GMC commissioned artist Kathy Hamrick of Eufaula, Ala., to create a sculpture for the George Goodwyn Community Service Award. Hamrick crafted the piece, titled “Grace,” by welding together found objects and basic building material. The award will be presented annually at the firm’s shareholder meeting and will be inscribed with the names of past award honorees.