SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente

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Goodwill of Orange County Reimagines the Donation Bin With Singing, Tech-Enabled "Smiley Boxes"

OC-Designed and -Manufactured Donation Bins Launch Pilot Program

SANTA ANA, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/05/14 -- Goodwill of Orange County, a social-enterprise organization that helps people facing barriers secure purpose-fulfilling jobs, is happy to announce the public debut of its revamped, tech-enabled custom "Smiley Box" donation bins. The sleekly designed bins represent the first major technology upgrade in the history of the traditional donation box and will serve as a model for the rest of the county to emulate. Each Smiley Box features high-tech capabilities that create an experiential connection with users, making donation giving an exciting event.

From the Addy Award-winning custom song "Find the Good" by kid-favorite, and Orange County natives The Aquabats! (of Yo Gabba Gabba! fame), that plays whenever a donation is made, to the QR code-enabled ability to quickly obtain a receipt, and sensors that detect when the bin is full and ready for Goodwill pick-up which saves unnecessary trips to pick up donations -- Smiley Boxes make donation giving an elevated experience for everyone involved.

The 230-cubic feet bins emblazoned with the iconic Goodwill logo were created, designed and manufactured in Orange County. Innovated by Joe Burke, Goodwill of Orange County's VP of marketing and community development -- and named by his six-year-old daughter Judith; CAD design by a local company -- Form, Feel & Function of Westminster, Calif.; and custom built by Precision Metal of Placentia, Calif., Smiley Boxes instill a sense of community pride for those living in Orange County -- also serving as a form of public art.

"We wanted to express our gratitude and deliver a smile with every donation," said Burke. "The more donations we receive, the more jobs we can create for people who truly deserve good jobs."

Goodwill of Orange County is pursuing the IP rights on the design and pieces of the functionality, they continue to be an innovator in the industry by providing new models and setting new standards for other Goodwill locations nationwide to follow. "We priced these out overseas, but really wanted to keep the project close to home, especially if we could impact jobs and companies in Orange County," Burke added. Albertsons collaborated with Goodwill to have the first two Smiley Boxes installed at its stores in Orange and Rancho Santa Margarita. The organization hopes to roll out 20 bins of various sizes across Orange County before the end of the year, and is considering adding gamification or augmented reality to the experience.

"We are proud to be the first recipients of Goodwill of Orange County's Smiley Boxes," said Rick Crandall, environmental manager of Albertsons. "They are cool, fun, and getting a lot of attention -- and best of all they truly support the good work Goodwill of Orange County does in the community."

For 90 years, Goodwill of Orange County has supported individuals facing barriers; helping them secure and keep jobs that provide purpose, pride and dignity. Goodwill of Orange County places more than 300 individuals in permanent employment at local companies like Cox Communications and California Pizza Kitchen every year. The organization operates 22 thrift stores and 42 donation centers in Orange County -- and more than 90 cents of every dollar that comes into Goodwill directly funds its various programs including job training and education, veterans' services and the Goodwill Fitness Center. To learn more, visit ocgoodwill.org.

About Goodwill of Orange County: Since 1924, Goodwill of Orange County has been in the business of helping people who are facing barriers to enter the workforce in a meaningful, fulfilling manner. Founded on the belief that every person should have the opportunity to achieve the independence that work provides, Goodwill is most recognized for being the conduit where donated goods are sold in America's favorite thrift stores to generate the revenue that provides the services to those who face employment challenges. Celebrating its 90th year in 2014, Goodwill of Orange County has supported thousands of Orange County residents since its inception by creating and providing quality training and employment services to empower its program participants to be productive and independent. The nonprofit organization has dozens of programs that support this effort, including the Goodwill Fitness Center, Orange County's only facility specially designed for people suffering from chronic illnesses and physical disabilities; its veterans' advocacy program, Enduring Independence, which helps veterans and their families transition to civilian life through the power of work; and its Assistive Technology Exchange Center (ATEC), which provides access to more than 1,000 state-of-the-art technology devices for children and adults with disabilities. These are just a few of Goodwill of Orange County's innovative programs that have served those facing barriers in Orange County for the past nine decades. In 2012, Goodwill was named one of Orange County's Most Trusted Brands. To learn more about Goodwill of Orange County, visit ocgoodwill.org.

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