A Williamson County special education teacher was one of three lucky educators to receive a personal styling session with a well-known fashion blogger, free outfits and school supplies in a giveaway sponsored by Goodwill.
The winning teachers were Totika Mansfield, who teaches students with severe to profound disabilities in grades 9-12 at Page High School in Franklin; Donyelle Townsend, an 11th grade English teacher at Lead Academy High in Nashville; and Karlee Bailey, a fifth-grade teacher at Nanny Berry Elementary in Hendersonville. They were chosen from among more than 100 teachers nominated for the giveaway by students, parents and community members who felt their exemplary skills and special dedication to students deserved recognition.
Mansfield’s nominator said she has a “gift for reaching even the hardest to reach students and bringing them to a higher level” and noted that she sponsors a Best Buddies program at her school which fosters friendships between special eduction students and those from mainstream classes.
“I have taught my students things, but I have learned so much more from them,” said Mansfield, who has a master’s degree in special education and has been teaching for eight years. “They taught me patience and how to humble myself. They are like my own children. I love what I do.”
On Thursday, Porsche “Polished” Pope, a Nashville fashion blogger and stylist, devoted an hour-long styling session to each of the three Goodwill Style Your Teacher Back-2-School Giveaway winners. Each teacher also received a $50 gift card from Goodwill a $100 gift card for school supplies from Dollar General. The styling sessions were held at the Rivergate Goodwill store, 2101 Gallatin Pike N. in Madison.
Porsche demonstrated the benefits of shopping at Goodwill for back-to-school gear, including low prices on tax-free clothing, a 10 percent daily discount for students and teachers and racks organized by color to help shoppers find standard school attire.
The three giveaway winners, who like many school teachers frequently purchase supplies for their classrooms out of their own pockets, said the prizes would come in handy.
“The clothing will really help as far as having pieces ready for school. It will alleviate that stress of having to buy new clothes for work,” Mansfield said. “And with the Dollar General gift card I’ll be able to buy classroom items, like cleaning supplies. You can never have enough of those.”
Mansfield, a frequent Goodwill shopper, says she supports the nonprofit not only because of its bargains but also because it helps people such as her students through its mission of changing lives through education, training and employment. She noted that some of her special education students eventually receive work experience at Goodwill, which is one of the state’s largest employers of people with disabilities.
“I think of it as a cycle,” she explained. “You donate to Goodwill and they sell affordable clothing and provide jobs for people who might not otherwise have them. It’s a cycle in the community.”
About Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.
For 60 years, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has provided job training and job placement free of charge to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment through the sale of donated items. Goodwill’s vision is that all people will have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential through the power of work. More information about Goodwill’s Career Solutions, retail stores and donation centers can be obtained online at www.giveit2goodwill.org or by calling 1-800-545-9231.