How an idea becomes a Donor Wall

In no uncertain terms, Goodwill would not be the organization it is today without the generosity of numerous individuals and organizations who have believed in and supported our work throughout the years. And so in our new building, we wanted to make sure we recognized those whose contributions have helped us pursue our mission of changing lives and strengthening communities through education, training and work.

Goodwill partnered with RDG Planning & Design of Omaha to develop the look of the building, including the interior signage. Lissa Sutton, our Director of Development, worked with RDG designers Lea Schuster and Sonja Carter, who reflected the theme of our capital campaign in their concept:

This unique donor wall visually displays the concept of “Building Hope”, the title of this fund-raising campaign. Each of the donor blocks represents a stepping stone that helps build hope in the community, build a future for people (through career) and helped build this new facility. Donor names are engraved into painted wooden strips of varying height, depth and length. This variation of size and shape reflects the texture and uniqueness of the Goodwill programs as well as the individuals being recognized. No matter how big the block is – together the blocks prepare a path for Goodwill to make a difference in peoples’ lives.

The initial concept art called for each of Goodwill’s capital campaigns from the past 30 years to be included on the same wall.

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Younkers Goodwill sale starts Wednesday

The Younkers Goodwill Sale starts Wednesday with the “Stuff the Truck” event!

Just bring your donations to Younkers from Wednesday, September 15 through September 29. You will receive a coupon that can be used at both Younkers locations for 20-percent off regular or sale price apparel, fine jewelry, shoes and accessories, and 15-percent off cosmetics, fragrances and home store merchandise. Certain items, including furniture, electronics and toys, qualify for a 10-percent discount.

We will have trucks at the Oak View and Westroads Younkers stores from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

Your donations will then be sold at Omaha area Goodwill stores, where they help put people to work!

We’ve moved!

Goodwill’s administrative headquarters and 41st & Pacific Street store have now completed the move to Benson Park Plaza.

The new store is our biggest in Omaha at 45,000 square feet. It opened Tuesday and has already been super busy.

Come check it out and say hi! Here’s a map, so now you have no excuse to not visit us:


Memories of PAC

As we prepare to leave our Pacific Street headquarters, we’ve asked people to share their memories of the building that has served as Goodwill’s Omaha home for the past 50 years.

Heather Carrico
Employment & Training – R.E.A.D.Y.

Being downstairs in the START and EF programs, we had great camaraderie that will never be matched! We all shared many tears and laughter with each other through all different phases of our lives.

We knew we could count on each other to cheer each other on, bring humor to lighten our sometimes heavy loads, encourage, and learn from each other and to be there in whatever was needed for each other at the time both professionally and personally.

I will always cherish those years and hold them close to my heart.

Manager of the Quarter: Q2 2010

In my earlier years at Goodwill, Jeff Bloes used to think it was hilarious to shoot rubber bands at me. This was an interest he shared with my boss. Since then, one of those two has matured* and become Manager of the Quarter for the 2nd Quarter of 2010.

As Database Administrator, Jeff has the fortune of working with Goodwill departments across the board – from retail stores to Employment & Training and everything in between. Jeff is available when needed and follows up on projects to ensure that the services he has provided are working for everyone involved. He does everything he can to provide a quality job at a low cost to our agency. Jeff even spends hours at home completing projects without complaint.

IT employees have the amazing ability to speak in a language that no one else understands, but Jeff takes the time to explain things in word the rest of us know, and always leaves the door open for more questions. Jeff believes that no question is a dumb question, and only made the marketing department feel a little bit stupid when he solved our printer problem by plugging it in.

Jeff & his wife Tina welcomed their first baby, Dane, in May. They spend their time feeding him, changing diapers, and making sure he’s happy. Jeff also enjoys playing bass guitar and smoking ribs and brisket.

In addition to being Manager of the Quarter, Jeff will soon get his picture on the Hall of Fame wall, signifying five years at Goodwill. Congratulations, Jeff, or as you IT people might say, “01000011 01101111 01101110 01100111 01110010 01100001 01110100 01110101 01101100 01100001 01110100 01101001 01101111 01101110 01110011.”

* Jeff has recently taken to calling me Pam, after the character on The Office, while I fill in for Mardell in the reception area. Maybe he’s not as mature as I once thought.

Memories of PAC

As we prepare to leave our Pacific Street headquarters, we’ve asked people to share their memories of the building that has served as Goodwill’s Omaha home for the past 50 years.

Andy Bradley

Quite a number of years ago, we won an award thru NISH for overall excellence regarding our custodial services at Offutt.

Because the award truly belonged to the folks actually doing the work, we decided to recognize our NISH crew in a very creative and dramatic way.

As you know, many NISH participants normally come here in the afternoon and wait for vans to take them on base. When we first started providing the transportation, we used school buses.

But on a day following the notification of our award, a whole convoy of limousines lined up in our drive and parking lot to take the AbilityOne crews to work in style. Then awaiting them upon their arrival was a special pizza party. The looks on their faces when they saw the limos – and then when they learned that the limos were for them! – is something I’ll never forget.

Certainly an exciting – and unexpected – day for them. And a memorable day for all of us who witnessed it.

Memories of PAC

As we prepare to leave our Pacific Street headquarters, we’ve asked people to share their memories of the building that has served as Goodwill’s Omaha home for the past 50 years.

Dolores Estrado

My favorite PAC memory began in October 1990. I remember walking in the front door and got a whiff of freshly baked cookies. The aroma was enough to make my toes curl. As I walked further, I would inhale that oh so wonderful sugary butter smell.

The aroma grounded me and it was so hard to move forward. It smelled like Christmas and happiness and warmth and that was just the sugar cookies. The chocolate chip cookies with all that chocolate was enough to send me over the edge…in becoming a cookie-holic. I knew I needed help. The huge cookies were priced at 20 cents each or 3 for 50 cents. Some days you were able to buy a bag of broken cookies for 50 cents. Ahhhhhhhh the good old days!!!
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Employee of the Month: July

To win Employee of the Month at Goodwill is quite a feat. To do it in one’s first year of employment is almost unheard of around here. But July Employee of the Month Carie Ideen has made a habit of exceeding expectations in her first nine months at Goodwill.

Carie started her custodial position in October of 2009, and it wasn’t long before she started to make her mark at the Denny Federal Building. Before long she was making suggestions on how she could improve her daily procedures. Says supervisor Cyndi Hartman, “The result was amazing. We tried some news tricks, and they worked. We have now improved our services, thanks to Carie’s commitment to excellence.”

Cyndi also praises Carie for her ability to adapt to a constantly changing schedule, her commitment to Goodwill, and her ability to see the good in all her coworkers.
“Carie is sunshine on a cloudy day. She radiates positive vibes daily. Enters and leaves with a smile. She loves her job and it has brought a tremendous joy to her family. She truly is a joy to have on staff.”

Even when she’s not at work, Carie displays great caring for the people in her life. She even used her own resources to give one of her coworkers a makeover. She is always willing to go the extra mile for the people in her life.

Goodwill is very fortunate to have Carie as a part of our team. Congratulations to Carie Ideen, the July Employee of the Month.