Hiding meaning in plain sight

Vicki Santillano at Divine Caroline compiled a list of 15 Famous Logos with Hidden Images. While some on Santillano’s list just add another interesting element to look at, others — like Goodwill’s “Smiling G” logo — add an extra layer of meaning:

What looks like half of a happy face is also a bigger version of the G in Goodwill’s name. It gives the logo an entirely different feel when you think about it that way.

Designer Joseph Selame created the “Smiling G” logo for a Boston Agency in 1968, and it was adopted agency-wide by Goodwill Industries International later that year.

Selame passed away earlier this year, after leaving behind a legacy of similarly iconic logos.

11 tips for shopping at Goodwill stores

The idea of shopping at Goodwill can sometimes be overwhelming. There are racks and racks of seeminly random clothes, and you multiply that by twelve as you move across the Omaha metro area thrift stores.

Ashley of Sweet William has attempted to knock down any intimidation would-be first time shoppers might be experiencing. She has shared her Tips for First Time Shoppers at Goodwill of Northern New England’s fashion blog, including these 11 tips for shopping at Goodwill stores:

1. Always go in open minded
2. Eat something first to keep up your energy levels
3. Bring inspirational photos of outfits to recreate
4. Make a list of tops trends to look for
5. Start in one section and slowly make your way around the store, always saving bags and accessories for last
6. For dresses, pants, skirts, and blazers, look through all sizes. Sizes of the past do not always correlate with sizes of today.
7. Try on anything that speaks to you. Whether it is totally your style or something crazy new to try, just do it!
8. The shirt and tee shirt section is always the largest and isn’t always filled with the best stuff, so just skim those racks and pull out anything that jumps out at you. This is always the quickest section for me to go through
9. Remember anything can be altered or reworked. Turn a dress into a top or pants into a skirt. The possibilities are endless when only spending a few dollars.
10. Keep your shopping cart close and your favorite finds closer! Don’t let anyone take advantage of all your hard work!
11. Have fun! You will be surprised at how many cool things you can find and how little you will spend.

Check out more from Ashley at Sweet William and the Goodwill of Northern New England’s fashion blog.

Do you have any Goodwill shopping tips, exciting finds or other Goodwill-related thoughts you’d like to share with us? Post them in the comments below, write on our Facebook wall or send us a tweet.

Donating clothes tops TreeHugger.com’s list of best ways to “green” your wardrobe

This week’s TreeHugger.com poll question was “How do you keep your fashion eco-friendly?” And more than half of the poll respondents said “Donate your old clothes (instead of throwing them out).”

Dressing green doesn’t have to mean only buying hemp clothing in muted hues. There are plenty of other steps to take toward an environmentally-friendly wardrobe, like donating your old clothes. There may be more to it than you think!

Clothes require a lot of resources to be made and sending your unwanted outfits to the landfill decreases the lifespan of those garments. Your clothing could be worn by someone else or repurposed to avoid putting new materials into circulation. The sad fact is that half of Americans are unwilling to travel more than 10 minutes to donate! That’s why donation boxes are popping up in convenient locations. However, it’s important that you make the effort, regardless.

That’s the same attitude behind Goodwill Industries International’s Donate Movement, which educates people about the environmental, economic and employment impacts of your donations.

And for more on how Goodwill helps protect the environment, check out our “Go Green” section here at goodwillomaha.org.

Partnership gets schooled

School is usually the last thing on the mind of a high school student at the end of July. On Friday, July 22nd eleven Summer Youth Employment participants boarded a school bus with Partnership Youth Career Specialists Byron Olsen and Brett Gulbrandson. The participants were quite chatty on the bus considering it was an early summer morning. Maybe I was wrong to assume these students weren’t interested in school. Maybe they’re just that much more motivated than your average teen. You would have to be motivated to meet all of the requirements these teens are up against this summer.

This was just one of a series of college tours offered through the workforce development Partnership for Youth Development. The college tours are open to anyone enrolled in the Summer Youth Employment program. Participants are high school juniors, seniors or recent graduates hoping to gain some employment experience and a little extra money. The program has two main areas of focus: work experience and education. Participants earn a paycheck through working part time and fulfill the education aspect of the program through summer school, college courses or college tours. Education Quest and Metro Credit Union have also given presentations on scholarships and other money related topics. With completion of the program and a career workshop, participants earn an additional stipend. This year there are nearly 30 participants in the program, and Youth Career Specialist Sherri Hall hopes to triple that number next summer.
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New vision, new poster.

click on the image to see a larger version of the poster

If you haven’t seen the new Mission, Vision and Values posters around Goodwill, they’re quite a visual departure from our previous posters. Nothing against the friendly faces of Goodwill, but we wanted to make a different statement with the new look.

The catalyst for the new poster was the change in our Vision statement — “Unemployment will be eliminated among people who want to work.”

As Executive Vice President Andy Bradley explained, “The statement implies that Goodwill, working in partnership with other public and private agencies, has as its ultimate goal a community where everyone needing and wanting work can find it.”

That’s where this imagery comes in. A gear on its own is just a spinning wheel. But when combined with other gears – each with its own special size, shape and purpose – something big happens – something that could never happen without that cooperation.

Whether you’re talking about Goodwill’s role in this community-wide effort, a Goodwill employee’s role in our agency’s efforts, or a participant’s role in the relationship with his or her caseworker, everything we do here is bigger than any one individual, and each of us are able to do our jobs better with the support of others.

Some may see gears as dehumanizing, reducing us to cogs in a machine, but we see it as empowering; no matter how small we are, we are all essential components in the goal of reaching our agency’s ambitious vision.

These gears are symbols that simultaneously represent our small-scale individual contributions and our lofty big-picture dreams.

And here you probably just thought they were beautiful.