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by Abigail Van Buren

Goodwill Is Still Helping Others Help Themselves

DEAR ABBY: For 100 years, Americans have shopped in our stores and faithfully contributed clothing and household items to Goodwill Industries. It all began back in 1902, when Edgar J. Helms, a young Methodist minister, took a burlap bag and called on Boston's wealthy citizens to donate whatever clothing they could spare. The Goodwill store was born when Helms hired people in need to repair and sell the donated goods.

Since then, Goodwill Industries has remained true to Helms' compassionate vision. It has evolved into one of the world's largest providers of employment services, helping nearly 6 million people earn a paycheck and support their families.

Last year, Goodwill Industries placed someone in a good job every two minutes of every business day. We train thousands of people in the United States, Canada and 22 other countries for jobs in fields such as financial services, computer programming, hospitality and health care.

As we pause to remember our many blessings this year, we want to say "Thank you" to the 500 million donors who have supported us since 1902, and to the millions more who have shopped at Goodwill stores. "Thank you" to the thousands of volunteers (including your mother, Pauline Phillips) who have given us their time and expertise. "Thank you" to the employees of Goodwill Industries, past and present, who have built an agency that serves 500,000 people each year.

Thank you one and all for believing in the "Power of Work," and for believing in Goodwill Industries. -- GEORGE W. KESSINGER, PRESIDENT, GOODWILL INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL

DEAR GEORGE: My mother said it very well back in 1969 when she joined your Board of Advisors: "Because I have boundless respect for those whose prime objective is to help themselves, I feel privileged to be on your team."

May you and all of the other wonderful people at Goodwill Industries International enjoy continued success in your endeavors -- and thank YOU for all you have done for others.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 21-year-old guy who has been with my girlfriend for two years. We've always had a good thing going, but lately I've been feeling the pressure of living with her. Now we're on the brink of a breakup that is mostly my fault.

The problem is I like to go out and have a good time with the guys, and she's not exactly keen on the idea. What can I do to save our relationship, other than quit hanging out with my friends? Thanks, Abby. -- TORN BETWEEN MY GIRL AND THE GUYS

DEAR TORN: Negotiate. Compromise. One way to accomplish this is to agree on a "girls' night out" and a "boys' night out" -- preferably the same night. Give it a try. You'll both be better off for it.

DEAR ABBY: I thought you might enjoy a joke that I conceived and sent to Reader's Digest.

Question: What do they call Mother Teresa now that she is enjoying her heavenly reward?

Answer: Nun of the above.

Apparently Reader's Digest deemed the joke to be religiously incorrect. They did not reply. -- WARD C. McCURTAIN, BEAUMONT, TEXAS

DEAR WARD: Your joke is cute -- so I'm sharing it with my readers. It was heaven-sent.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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