Guest Blog: Plaid Scarf

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Editor’s note: Say hello to Caitlin! She’s a personal-style blogger at Re-Mix-Her who also loves Goodwill! Caitlin will be sharing some of her favorite Goodwill finds with you each month here at the GoodTimes Blog.

Happy December and merry Christmas! Winter dressing can be difficult to “spruce up.” Black and other dark neutrals are the easy way out. Here’s my challenge to you this month: When the cold, dreary days hit, try injecting a little color into your wardrobe. It’s easy to do at Goodwill; I got this cobalt blouse for 99 cents a few months ago at a local Omaha Goodwill, and not only has it been amazing versatile, but it also manages to make my mood a little brighter and lighter, despite the grey clouds outside. So next time you’re at Goodwill, take a chance on a color you wouldn’t necessarily purchase; you might find it does wonders for your mood.

I hope you all have a safe and merry holiday! If you get the chance, stop by my blog and say hi!

Dispelling the ‘One Person Can’t Make a Difference’ Myth

Public awareness about the value of recycling is at an all-time high, but currently fewer than 35 percent of households and 10 percent of businesses in the United States recycle, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Sometimes the enormity of a problem, such as massive amounts of waste headed to our landfills, keeps people from taking small steps that could add up to make a big positive change. It’s the “one person can’t make a difference” myth.

November 15 is America Recycles Day, an initiative of Keep America Beautiful. This national commemoration is the perfect opportunity to raise public awareness while encouraging action, because every person can make a difference.

Goodwill Omaha is a proud supporter of America Recycles Day. Environmental sustainability has been central to Goodwill’s mission since its founding 111 years ago. Goodwill’s donation-resale model extends the life of usable clothing and other goods, and earns revenue for Goodwill job training programs, employment placement services and other important social services that benefitted more than 6.7 million people last year alone. In the process, thousands of tons of waste are diverted from landfills.

Goodwill offers this advice for America Recycles Day in hopes that occasional recyclers will become regular recyclers.

1. Make it simple.

2. Make it meaningful.

This model works successfully for Goodwill’s donated goods retail business. We provide easy-to-access donation drop-off points in convenient locations. We demonstrate how donations make a positive impact on the donor and the community: Donations are sold in stores. Store revenues fund job training and career services. People get jobs. Families grow stronger. Communities thrive.

The model can work for recycling as well. Breaking down your efforts into simple steps can help. To start, choose to recycle one item — whether it’s newspaper, aluminum or glass — for six months. After that time period, start recycling a second item that you use regularly until it becomes a habit. You can continue to add to your recycling efforts as they become part of your daily life.

Then, understand that your actions have impact. For example, recycling one aluminum product can save enough energy to allow you to listen to a full music album on an iPod. Recycling 100 cans can light a room for two weeks.

Whether you donate regularly to Goodwill or just recycle your aluminum cans, you help dispel the myth that small acts aren’t important. On America Recycles Day, it’s appropriate to celebrate all the ways we collectively and individually protect the planet.

Click here to see our additional recycling efforts.

Honoring Those Who Have Served

Photo credit: google.com

The U.S. Veterans Administration notes that 22 million veterans have reintegrated back into civilian life since World War I. That reintegration often proves difficult for veterans as they face numerous challenges, including finding meaningful employment to support themselves and their families. They lack the skills, education and credentials for jobs in the current marketplace. Many also have physical and emotional disabilities, including post-traumatic stress disorder. Still others face non-work-related challenges such as lack of health care, child care, housing and transportation.

At Goodwill Omaha, we strive to streamline re-entry and reduce the stressors of an already challenging time in the lives of returning military members. Many veterans who approach Goodwill for career services are surprised to find that they can gain much more than just job search assistance.

Goodwill Omaha employs veterans throughout our retail, employment and training, contracts and administrative divisions.

At our October Town Hall, we honored 18 of those veterans. Goodwill employees who have served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard were given plaques and gift cards as a small token of our appreciation for their dedicated service to our country. Veteran Tom Bessey represented the group, telling the audience what his service means to him. He then led the group in a moment of silence for our fallen heroes.

Thank you to all the veterans who have served our country.

Congratulations to the Boo!dwill Costume Contest Winners!

We had more than 7,300 votes cast in our fourth annual BOO!dwill Halloween Costume Contest, and we had the most impressive batch of entries yet! Thanks to all of you who sent in your submissions — both for sharing your creativity and for supporting Goodwill. When you shop at Goodwill, that revenue goes to support our employment and training programs, which help people with disabilities and other employment disadvantages get the training and support they need to find work.

Finishing in third place, and receiving a $25 Goodwill gift certificate, it’s Frankenstein and the Mummy by Aaron and Jeremy!


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Guest Blog: Welcoming Fall

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Editor’s note: Say hello to Caitlin! She’s a personal style blogger at Re-Mix-Her.com who also loves Goodwill! Caitlin will be sharing some of her favorite Goodwill finds with you each month here at the GoodTimes Blog.

Fall finally feels like it’s here to stay in Omaha, doesn’t it? Fall means warm drinks, earthy colors, fuzzy sweaters, and BOOTS! I love shoes in general (proof here), but finding shoes at Goodwill is the best because the price is so affordable. The boots I’m wearing in this particular post I bought at one of the Omaha Goodwills for $15 — and they normally retail for upwards of $200 at department stores.

To find the best quality and the best deals at Goodwill, try shopping out of season. I bought these boots in June. They were sitting on the shelf being overlooked by everyone in favor of summery sandals and wedges. I knew I’d have to wait at least another three months before Mother Nature gave me the chance to wear them, but the price I paid was well worth my patience.

So this fall and winter, instead of buying sweaters and winter coats, try shopping in the short-sleeve shirts and summery dresses for the best deals. You never know what bargains you’ll find!

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Next month, I’ll be sharing another Goodwill find of the month. I’m a personal-style blogger and update my blog daily with outfits and other inspirations, so stop by my blog and say hi!