A couple DIY Halloween projects

We’re now just barely over a month away from Halloween. The BOO!dwill Costume Contest is in effect. We’ve shared some DIY costume ideas. And now here are a couple projects from the bloggers at Crafting a Green World:

  • Upcycled Pillowcase Trick-or-Treat Tote: You can accomplish the dual goals of putting an old pillowcase to new use while creating a reusable, eco-friendly trick-or-treat bag. This will be perfect for my old Empire Strikes Back sheets.
  • Mummified Glass Jar Candle Holders: My garden was kind of a bust this year, so I have more glass jars than I have veggies to store. And Omaha still is kind of behind when it comes to easy glass recycling. So why not put those jars to use by making some festive candle holders?

Halloween is a great time of year for DIY projects, since the holiday lends itself to gaudiness, and you can also get away with screw-ups more easily because things are supposed to look weird and scary. So if you’re looking for a little push, it’s a good opportunity to dip your toes into the DIY world, and I’m sure we’ll have plenty more projects to share with you over the next month.

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Upcycle your old corks

A few weeks ago we shared a DIY wine-bottle planter project — but what to do with the corks?

The good folks at Sustainablog have assembled a list of projects you can make with upcycled corks — bathmats, birdhouses, Christmas wreaths and more. Someone even built a chair out of old wine corks.

Drinking wine can be nice. Drinking hundreds of bottles of wine so that you can make upcycled cork projects is probably a mix of overwhelming, unhealthy, dangerous and cost-prohibitive. So you can always stop by bars and restaurants and ask them for their used corks. Cut down on other people’s trash too!

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Free course to help the unbanked on Saturday

Between cashing checks, purchasing money orders, high-cost lending and other transactions, people without bank accounts are commonly surrendering approximately 10% of their income to fees. These fees also disproportionately affect those with incomes under $30,000 a year.

So give yourself a 10% raise, and attend Credit Advisors Foundation and Bank on the Heartland’s free three-hour course this Saturday. Learn how to manage a bank account, review basic budgeting concepts and receive financial management tips. Participants will earn a certificate that will allow them to open a checking account with one of the nine participating local financial institutions, regardless of previous banking or credit history.

“People will be able to keep their funds somewhere secure, stop paying check cashing fees and money order fees, pay bills on-line, have a debit card- access to the basics of banking that will save them time and money,” said Michaela Harper, Director of Community Education at Credit Advisors Foundation. “At the session on which I partnered last week, one of the participants said that she didn’t pay for money orders because she paid all of her bills in cash. But she had to take the one day off she had per week to run all over town to do it.”

Harper said there is no push or sales pitch of any kind. The class will be held from 9:00 a.m. to noon this Saturday, September 24 in the second floor conference room at 1850 South 72nd Street. The session is free, but interested parties should call Harper at 402.514.3310 or email her at [email protected].org.

The Bank on the Heartland partnership is a coordination of local banks, credit unions and non-profit organizations. The goal of the BOTH initiative is to help members of our community hold on to more of their income, have access to traditional banking venues and increase their financial stability.

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Join us this weekend for the Southwest Grand Re-Opening Celebration!

Our Southwestern Plaza Goodwill (at 14277 Hillsdale Ave Circle) has been undergoing renovations all summer long, and now it’s time to unveil them to the public!

Join us this Friday, September 23 through Sunday, September 25 for our Grand Re-Opening Celebration!

We’ll have balloons, snacks, raffles and more — not to mention the fact that you get to enjoy our new-and-improved store.

Remember, your donations and purchases at our Goodwill stores support our employment and training programs, which help put people to work!

Thanks for your support, and we hope to see you this weekend!

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It’s BOO!dwill Halloween Costume Contest Time!

Like a mummy, zombie or some other kind of undead monster, the BOO!dwill Halloween Costume Contest has returned from its temporary grave!

But unlike the resurrection of mummies, zombies and other kinds of undead monsters, the return of the BOO!dwill Halloween Costume Contest is a good thing! You can win prizes! Electronic fame!

Goodwill is an awesome place to shop for Halloween costumes. Are you someone who likes to dream up some creative outfit and enjoys the hunt for just the right pieces? We have twelve stores around town (thirteen if you are going to use electronic components in your costume and thus want to include GoodBytes) where you can find those costume ingredients. Or are you someone who just wants a quick and easy costume so you’re not the person dressed up as “suburbanite” or “adult” at the Halloween party? We’ve got plenty of more traditional costumes too! And no matter which camp you fall into, your costume purchases at Goodwill stores help put people to work — and they can win you some treats.

We want to see what you’ve come up with by shopping at our stores, so it’s time show off your costume and win prizes in the process — by entering the BOO!dwill Halloween Costume Contest!

DUE TO FACEBOOK RULES, WE’VE HAD TO SLIGHTLY CHANGE THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES. PLEASE READ BELOW:

To enter:
1. Become a fan of Goodwill Omaha on facebook: facebook.com/GoodwillOmaha
2. Between now and 5 p.m. on November 1, 2011, post a photo of yourself on our facebook page in a costume you either purchased or assembled from items purchased at an Omaha area Goodwill.
3. Tag yourself in the photo.
4. In the comments, tell us at which store(s) you bought your costume.

1. Between now and 5 p.m. on November 1, 2011, e-mail a photo of yourself in a costume you either purchased or assembled from items purchased at an Omaha area Goodwill to [email protected].
2. In the e-mail, tell us your name, how to contact you, and at which store(s) you bought your costume.

That’s it! We’ll be sharing the entries as we receive them on our Facebook wall. On November 2, we will select our favorites, and those finalists will be posted here at the GoodTimes Blog for a public vote. On Sunday, November 6, the voting will close, and the top three will all receive Goodwill gift certificates ($30 for 1st place, $20 for 2nd, $10 for 3rd) UPDATE! We’ve upped the prize levels to $100, $50 and $25!

If you have any questions, post them here in the comments or send us an e-mail at [email protected]. And if you’d like some inspiration, check out last year’s finalists or television coverage of some of our Halloween offerings:

Finding Affordable Halloween Costumes a Real Treat – WOWT Omaha
Shop Goodwill for Halloween Costumes – KMTV Omaha

Good luck!

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Career Fair and Clothing Extravaganza – Tuesday 9/20

The Women’s Center for Advancement is hosting a career fair and “clothing extravaganza” tomorrow from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at their main location at 222 South 29th Street (on 29th between Douglas and Farnam).

Participating women will have the opportunity to explore career and educational prospects at the job fair, select a complete clothing outfit from the WCA clothing closet, receive makeup consultation for professional settings, participate in a financial basics workshop, and receive both job coaching and legal consultation.

The event is free and open to the public, and no registration is required. If you have any questions, contact Transitions and Career Services Director Margo Parsow at 402.345.6555.

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September 18-25 is No Impact Week

Although it technically started yesterday, it’s not too late to participate in The No Impact Project’s “No Impact” Week — seven days of various challenges and exercises designed to educate and experience what it’s like to minimize an individual or family’s environmental impact.

It’s a great opportunity to really explore and reflect on how much of an imprint we leave on our environment without really thinking about it. As partner YES! Magazine says,

Whether it’s your first, second, or tenth time around, you’ll answer questions like:

How well can I live without modern “conveniences?”
Which expenses actually make me happy, and improve my family’s quality of life?
Which ones just eat away at my time and money?
What does my carbon footprint really look like?

You can find out more at NoImpactProject.org or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

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YouthBuild graduate featured on KETV tonight

A recent Goodwill participant is featured in a new KETV documentary focusing on teen pregnancy. The one-hour segment, “Teen Sex: Lost Childhoods, Lost Generations” will air on KETV Wednesday, September 14 from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Goodwill’s YouthBuild graduate, Jamie Matson, is a young mother of two small boys.

Producer Julie Cornell has been working on the documentary in May, 2011. You can learn more about the documentary at KETV.com.

And don’t forget to tune in tonight at 7!

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Younkers Goodwill Sale starts Wednesday!

The semiannual Younkers Goodwill Sale kicks off this Wednesday, September 14th with the “Stuff the Truck” double-coupon event!

Bring Goodwill donations to either Omaha-area Younkers location (Westroads Mall and Oakview Mall) and receive a coupon for a discount at Younkers stores. And this Wednesday, when you help us fill our donation trailers, you’ll get two coupons for each item donated!

The sale goes on for two weeks – Wednesday, September 14th through Wednesday, September 28th – so you’ll have numerous opportunities to save money while also helping Goodwill fulfill its mission of changing lives and strengthening communities through education, training and work.

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Friday Roundup – Sept 9

A collection of recent links that didn’t end up in posts of their own…

  • Five tutorials on making your own Halloween costumes, several from materials you probably already have lying around the house. Warning: these tutorials are somewhat nerd-targeted (including Transformers, Star Wars and superheroes).
  • Supermarkets are going green. Did you know Goodwill Omaha makes a conscious effort to make its stores as green as possible? For example, you may notice that many of our interior walls are made from OSB.
  • Sustainablog examines recent trends and declares that the Western economic model is unsustainable, making eco-friendly consumption, recycling and repurposing that much more essential.
  • EnergySavvy has an interesting infographic showing that for less than one half the cost of building a new nuclear power plant, we could retrofit 1.6 million homes for increased energy efficiency, create more than ninety times more jobs in the process, and have the same net effect on energy supply.
  • Treehugger shares the work of artist Gregory Kloehn, an artist who has repurposed a dumpster as a luxury one-room home.

Have a great weekend! If you wake up in a dumpster, I hope it has hardwood floors.

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