AbilityOne meet and greet … and eat!

AbilityOne’s very first Meet and Greet Potluck Luncheon was held Saturday, June 2, 2012. AbilityOne employees and loved ones were gathered together for fun, food and an opportunity to strengthen our AbilityOne family at Goodwill. It was a terrific opportunity for AbilityOne employees, their family and friends, as well as other Goodwill employees to build community…and have a little fun!

Employees from all metro area AbilityOne worksites were invited to the event, and there was an ample amount of food. Participants each brought a dish (or other needed items) to share and many brought the recipe to share as well. It was a delicious spread of all kinds of salads, casseroles, sides, desserts, hamburgers and hot dogs. Thanks to the Peony Park Hy-Vee for their hot dog donation!
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It’s time for another Reserve “Name That Cover” contest!

Over the past few months, we’ve once again been spreading the word about Reserve in The Reader by way of some images inspired by classic album covers.

And now that we’ve got a fresh batch of ads, it’s time for a new round of the contest! Back in January, we gave away a $25 Goodwill gift certificate to Goodwill supporter Lauren for being able to correctly identify which album each ad was inspired by. And this time around, instead of six ads, we have eight, so it’ll be even tougher! But this time, there will be TWO winners!

So here’s how it works:

Visit our Facebook page at facebook.com/goodwillomaha. Check out our gallery called Reserve “Name That Cover” Contest #2, which includes all eight advertisements. If you think you know the album that each is based on, e-mail us at [email protected] with the artist and title of all eight. We’ll collect entries this week and next, and at noon on Tuesday, July 3rd, we’ll draw two winners from all of the correct entries.

The winners each receive a $25 Goodwill gift certificate, which they can collect at Reserve: Goodwill in the Market at 13th & Howard.

Good luck!

Thanks for another great Goodwill Golf Classic!

Goodwill hosted its 14th Annual Golf Classic this past Monday at Shadow Ridge. Nearly 150 golfers braved the gusty winds and high temperatures to hit that little white ball in support of Goodwill.

For the first time in its history, all 37 foursomes supported the event at the Corporate Gold level. The numbers aren’t final, but the revenue for the golf tournament before expenses is almost $70,000. That’s a lot of community support for the Goodwill mission. Each year, the tournament’s proceeds help fund additional positions and resources for Employment and Training programs. Since its inception, the Goodwill Golf Classic has raised nearly $300,000 in support these areas.

Many thanks to all of the sponsors, businesses, employees and volunteers who helped make this event such a big success! Special thanks to this year’s event assistants who braved near-100 degree temperatures to make sure all the golfers had a great time. From running the course challenges, to providing transportation, to hanging out with celebrity golfer John Knicely, the day couldn’t have happened without them.

We’ll have more photos to come next week!

We’re making great progress on our Blair store!

We first gave you a sneak peek back in April as the first walls were going up, but our newest store is really taking shape!

The classic Goodwill tower

Located at the intersection of US-75 and US-30, you’re seeing what will be our first retail store and training center in Blair. In addition to the shopping and donating activities our Goodwill stores are known for, the Blair store will also house another branch of our Work Experience program for high school students with disabilities.

We’re shooting for a late summer / early fall opening, so stay tuned for updates!

The view from inside the store

We’re expecting!

Something adorable is about to happen at Goodwill. We’re getting ducklings! Call me a girly-girl, but if it’s a newborn animal, chances are I’m going to love it. There’s a reason “Baby Animals on the Farm” was my favorite book as an infant.

If you follow us on Instagram (@goodwillomaha), you’ve already seen the nest of eggs in the parking lot at our Benson Park Plaza location. Employees and customers alike have been keeping a watchful eye on the nest. We’re no duck experts, but we’re guessing the eggs will hatch in about a week.

You may be wondering why the duck decided to lay her eggs in the middle of a concrete field. With the pond at Benson Park just a short flight south of our building, and water features of the Benson Park Golf Course just east and north of us, it seems this mama wanted to leave her options open for a post-hatch home. We’ll have to see where the ducklings end up! Perhaps they’ll choose to stick close to the building and greet shoppers and donors as they come to the store.

Mama Duck provides her eggs some extra warmth on a hot summer day.

Nine new ducks on the way.

Extreme Craft Roadshow comes to Omaha Tuesday

Garth Johnson / ExtremeCraft.com

Garth Johnson is a ceramic artist, educator and writer. And of particular interest to readers of this blog, he is also the author of 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse: Remake, Restyle, Recycle, Renew, a collection of exciting and inventive work created from existing materials.

He will be bringing The Extreme Craft Roadshow will be at Peerless Gallery on Tuesday, June 12, to share some of the highlights of artists he has written about for the past seven years at his website, ExtremeCraft.com.

The Extreme Craft Roadshow is a slide presentation showing some of the “greatest hits” of the website that aims to change the way you think about art and craft. You’ll see a giant pink bunny on a Swiss mountaintop, exciting works of prison craft, knitted graffiti and much much more. You’ll find out about the risks that Polish grannies face just for practicing their craft. You’ll learn how craft can be used as a weapon to combat Nigerian email scammers, and you’ll even find out how craft can save the lives of Tasmanian penguins.

Craft means different things to different people—it’s about tradition, materials, hands, hearts and stories. Craft is an incredible Trojan horse that can be used to sneak ideas and concepts into objects that will shatter the expectations of the viewer. The Extreme Craft Roadshow will expose you to craft that is by turns witty, mind-blowing, provocative, rude, and of course…extreme.

The lecture is at Peerless Gallery in Midtown Crossing, 3157 Farnam St, Ste. 7108. A reception begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by the lecture at 7 p.m. For more information, visit the Facebook event page.

Goodwill Omaha Partnership star goes to Washington

Goodwill program participants with GII CEO Jim Gibbons / from Goodwill.org

Chris Parker, a participant in Goodwill Omaha’s Partnership for Youth Development program, was one of four Goodwill participants from across the country invited to speak to the White House Council for Community Solutions in Washington, DC earlier this week.

Chris has been a great role model for young people looking to turn their lives around. He has shared his story with honesty and humility, acknowledging the depths to which he’d sunk before Partnership helped him turn his life around. Chris has also been previously featured in a Goodwill Industries International My Story profile, which covers much of his journey.

He and his fellow participants demonstrated to the Council the positive effects of youth-based programs. From Goodwill Industries International (link unavailable):

Findings from the council confirmed that to effectively address the needs of opportunity youth, national and community initiatives must embody three fundamental principles: (1) young people themselves are key to the solution; (2) all sectors must unite around a common goal to address the challenge at hand; and (3) policies and funding must be data-driven to ensure limited resources are invested wisely.

The council’s recommendations, which focus on the following four areas, aim to help significantly reduce the number of opportunity youth and make substantial progress toward putting all youth on a path to prosperity.

1. Drive the Development of Cross-Sector Community Collaboratives
2. Create Shared National Responsibility and Accountability for Opportunity Youth
3. Engage Youth as Leaders in the Solution
4. Build More Robust On-Ramps for Employment for Opportunity Youth

On his blog Monday, GII President & CEO Jim Gibbons expressed the hope and confidence that drives his work as part of the Council:

Young people want to be – and must be a part of the discussion. Their voices must be heard. Despite the barriers that keep many young people out of school and work, these youth do not see themselves as “disconnected.” Rather, they have energy and aspirations and are eager to work hand-in-hand with local leaders to develop solutions that improve their lives, benefit their communities, and help their peers nationwide. That’s why the Council sees them as opportunity youth – because of the untapped potential they offer.

You can view the full report at serve.gov (PDF 4.8mb).

DIY: Make a secret bookshelf box!

from Instructables.com

I was at the Brownville Flea Market over Memorial Day weekend and saw an enormous copy of Moby Dick. I’ve long wanted to read Moby Dick, yet for some reason the paperback copy I bought a few years ago has sat unopened. I thought to myself, “Maybe if I had this giant copy of the book, I’d get it read.” Like this was huge — probably 18″ tall and at least 4″ thick. It looked really old and fancy too! So I picked it up, preparing to leaf through it and smell musty old book pages, when I discovered it wasn’t a book at all — it was a secret box disguised as a book!

I didn’t buy it, mainly because it drew way too much attention to itself for being a secret compartment, and secondly because I was a little annoyed that I had been fooled, but I’ve always thought that secret boxes camoflaged on bookshelves have been awesome. So if you’re like me, you are in luck, because Instructables has a new tutorial on how to make a secret bookshelf box!

Personally, I have some moral / psychological hangups about this project. For starters, it requires you to destroy books, which makes me feel uneasy. But then you could just try to use books that you have no problems destroying, such as really awful books. The problem there is that people might see these awful books on your shelf and be like “What is this awful book doing on your — oh hello there, secret things…” This is, of course, a dilemma you’ll have to solve for yourself. But I just wanted to make sure you’re thinking about it.

And of course, remember to use proper safety precautions when using power tools!

The making of a Goodwill truck wrap: Cute robot edition

I really enjoy seeing the process behind how things are made, so in case any of you people are like me, I thought I’d share the process behind creating the new truck wraps that promote Goodwill’s computer donation and recycling services.

The origin of this design was a conversation with Retail Operations Director Shirley Hall. Shirley was telling me how much she liked the cute little robots from our agency highlights video, and she floated the idea — what if we used those adorable guys to promote computer recycling on some of our trucks?

I’m all for anything that requires I draw more robots, so the first step was to sketch out ideas for the truck wrap.

The first concept is seen below — the idea being that one little robot takes his computer junk to be recycled, and something happy and wonderful emerges because he chose to recycle his electronic waste instead of throwing it away.
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