Thankful Thursday with YouthBuild

This Thanksgiving, we all have a lot to be thankful for.  YouthBuild Participant Brandon writes about how Goodwill is helping to change his life.

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Brandon, center, at a YouthBuild worksite for United Way’s Day of Caring

My name is Brandon. I was born May 27, 1991 and I am the oldest of three children. I have two younger brothers, ages 19 and nine.

I consider myself to be very vibrant and outgoing, but sometimes it can get the best of me.

Throughout my school years I was always very talkative and at times the class clown.  I can’t say that worked out well for me.  I didn’t get into trouble as much in elementary and middle school as I did in high school.

My high school years got the best of me and at times I sit back and wish I could go back and do things a lot differently.  My freshman and sophomore years were the best years of my life!  I did everything I was supposed to do and more.  I made sure I stayed on top of all my homework and grades.

As years progressed I started hanging out with the wrong group of people.  The people I was hanging with did not have my best interest in mind.  They saw me as someone who was a little more fortunate and wanted to see what they could get out of me. Being the nice, gullible person I used to be, they pulled the wool over my eyes.  I was the only one of all my close friends to have a car in high school.

I made it all the way to my senior year, second semester, forty-two credits, and I just got too wrapped up in my out-of-school life that I stopped going to school.

That was the biggest mistake I could have ever made.  To this day, I regret dropping out. I let myself down and my family.

The person I upset the most and I hurt everyday about is my mother.  I messed around so much in school all she wanted to do was see her oldest son graduate.

Unfortunately, she passed away of a heart attack before I could make it happen.  I was supposed to graduate four years ago, and I still haven’t.

After the death of my mother I really got on the wrong path, I started drinking and partying and I guess it’s safe to say I was focused on the wrong things.  I did get a job and I got my very first apartment for me and my younger brothers where we have lived for the last four years.

Even though I got a little wild I kept a roof over our heads and I did what needed to be done at that time.

I don’t regret anything in my past for it has made me who I am today.  I like to say “success is at your own rate.”  After everything I’ve been through, I can say, I am ready to buckle down and get it together. Joining YouthBuild was a great decision.

I look forward to taking advantage of everything this program has to offer. I know that this is my time and nothing or no one can distract me.  I have to do what’s best for me and my brothers.

It really saddens me that my younger brother walked the stage before me, but I was proud.  He is currently in college out of state on a full ride scholarship. I am so proud of him, and I know my mother is too.

I believe my mom is very proud of what we’ve grown to be and I know she’s happy to see me back in school.  It feels great to do something positive.  My life couldn’t be any better right now I’m looking forward to my future knowing it’s going to be bright.

My mother always said, “Only the strong survive.”  Thank you to everyone who makes this program possible.

#ThriftyThursday – it’s not running weather, but…

Ok, I know that it is way too cold to be running outside, especially with your little ones.  But when you see a deal at Goodwill, sometimes you can’t pass it up!

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These two InStep running strollers are in like-new condition and ready for a new home.  These strollers retail for upwards of $120 new, but were only $24.99 at the Southwestern Plaza Goodwill.

Motivate yourself to stay on-track for your New Year’s resolution with this Goodwill find.  Happy shopping!

#ThriftyThursday – fun times at Reserve 99

Reserve 99, located in the Old Market, sells everything for just $0.99 – seriously, everything.  Everything for under a $1.  It’s a great place to bring your kids, because you can’t break the bank to get them a special find.  And Reserve 99 has way more than just clothes.

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This is Liam.  Liam is in the running for cutest kid ever and is also a Goodwill shopper-in-the-making.  On a recent trip to Reserve 99, Liam was allowed to buy one item of his choosing.

There was a wide selection of toys, from fire trucks to farm animal sets, but Liam chose this awesome blue and red Spiderman scooter. The scooter is in great condition and ready for more years of riding fun.

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I think it’s safe to say that Liam is happy with the purchase.

Head to Reserve 99 today.  Inventory is restocked constantly, so you never know what you might find.  Happy hunting!

 

Boo!dwill Costume Contest Winners

The results are in!  Our Boo!dwill contest had over 6,000 votes this votes this year, and it was extremely competitive.

In third place, lady the dog dress as lady Cleopatra.  Lady’s outfit was purchased by her human, Laura, at our Papillion store.

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In second place, Bailey found the pieces to her colorful bird costume at our Benson Park Plaza store on 72nd and Ames.

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And the winner is Kristi, who did a lot of Goodwill hunting to find her possessed ringleader costume.  Outfit pieces are from Reserve 99, 78th and Dodge, and our West Center store.

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Congrats to all the winners and thank you to everyone that participated in the contest.  Without you, we couldn’t carry out our mission of changing lives and strengthening communities through education, training and work.

Vote for the winners of our 2014 BOO!dwill Costume Contest!

Thanks to everyone who entered this year’s BOO!dwill Costume Contest! We had some amazing submissions, and you can see them all in our 2014 costume gallery on our Facebook page. This year we had many entries and we have narrowed it down to our top 10 finalists. But now it’s time to choose the winners!

So take a look at our finalists below, and then vote for your THREE FAVORITE COSTUMES in the poll at the end. On Sunday, November 9, the voting will close, and the top three will all receive Goodwill gift certificates ($100 for 1st place, $50 for 2nd, $25 for 3rd)!

Now, here are your finalists… Drum roll please?!

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Bailey made her bird costume with items from the Benson Park Plaza store.

Baylor-Bear

Baylor use pieces purchased at Goodwill on 1144th Street, just South of L street.

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Debbie upcycled items from Goodwill Harris Center to transform into a fabulous Pinocchio costume.

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These two minions made their costumes from items purchased at the 180th & Q street Goodwill.

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Lady, also know as Cleopatra on Halloween, had help from her human mom and purchased her items at Goodwill on 84th & Giles.

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Seen on the left is Roy. He created this year’s Halloween costume by using items from the Gretna Goodwill.

Amanda-Popeye&Olive

Amanda and son Paxton dressed up as Popeye and Olive Oyl, thanks to costumes found at Goodwill on 156th & Maple and 180th & Q.

Virginia-ZombieBride

Virginia dressed up as a vampire bride with a great purchase of a wedding gown at Bellevue’s Goodwill store.

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Brad & Emily dressed up as Curious George and The Man in the Yellow Hat for Halloween. They purchased pieces to their costumes at Goodwill on 78th & Dodge.

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Kristi dressed up as a possessed ringleader and made this fashionable costumes with items from multiple Goodwill stores that include Reserve 99, 78th & Dodge, and West Center.

 

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#ThriftyThursday – one day until Halloween!

OK… I admit it, sometimes I can procrastinate.  I’m going trick-or-treating with some little ones this year and I still haven’t found a costume.  If you’re just like me, have no fear, Goodwill is here.

One thing I don’t like about Halloween is spending upwards of $50.00 on something you’ll never wear again.  Well, Goodwill has a solution for both of those issues.

This cute Khaki Anne Klein dress was only $5.49, and can be worn with a bucket hat and some binoculars as a safari girl.  Pair it with you significant other or child as a safari animal for group outfits.  The costume is simple to put together, affordable, and (best part) you can wear the dress after Halloween is over!

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If you and your friends are musically inclined (or like to pretend to be), pick up four sombreros and put together a mariachi band.  Black pants and suit jacket, which can also be found at Goodwill, complete the outfit and can be worn again.  Sombreros are only $2.49.

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If you’re feeling a little less adventurous, check out Goodwill’s new goods section.  Pick up cat ears and a tail, pair it with an all-black outfit for a quick comfortable costume.  A pirate hat, eye patch and inflatable sw0rd is a great start for a pirate costume.  We also sell new capes, witches hats and makeup to complete any Halloween outfit.   Most of our new goods are prices under $3.

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Best part – all donated Halloween merchandise is 50% off today and tomorrow.  Head to Goodwill and get your great Halloween fashions before they vanish!