Halloween at the ROC

They’re really getting in the Halloween spirit down at our Retail Operations Center at 72nd & Ames!

The ROC is home to our GoodBytes and WearHouse stores, our largest Work Experience location, our computer recycling area, our E-Commerce department and our retail warehouse. Check out the photos below to see how they’re celebrating today.

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National Disability Awareness Month: The AbilityOne Design Challenge

Federal Contracts Director Tobi Mathouser speaks with the team of Omaha North engineering students.

Goodwill and Omaha North High School are teaming up for the first time to take on the AbilityOne Design Challenge. In this national competition, students work together to create devices that will improve the lives of people with disabilities.

Federal Contracts Director Tobi Mathouser met with a team of seven Omaha North engineering students, Engineering Technology faculty member Dr. Lee Kallstrom and Special Education Coordinator Doug Pospishil earlier in October to talk about the project and working with people with disabilities.

“You guys are part of a great, really pioneering group,” Mathouser told the class. “Goodwill has never done anything like this.”

The AbilityOne Design Challenge is sponsored by NISH, the national nonprofit organization that partners with Goodwill to employ people with significant disabilities. The contest is in its 11th year, but this is the first time Goodwill Omaha has been a part of it.

One of Mathouser’s goals is to expose as many students as possible to what it’s like working with people with disabilities – a goal that Kallstrom and Pospishil share.
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Halloween costume inspiration: superhero / geek edition

from Clever Girl

If you’re like me and you could safely be considered in the “geek” or “nerd” category, you might want to dress up as your favorite superhero / Star Wars character / giant robot who happens to be the greatest fictional hero ever created. And there’s still time to put together a Halloween costume!

Thanks to some of our friends from around the web, we have some tutorials for you. And remember, if you assemble your costume with anything acquired at Goodwill, you should definitely enter our BOO!dwill Halloween Costume Contest. You can win a $100 Goodwill gift certificate!

  • Jenn of Clever Girl shows you how to make an R2D2 head out of a bike helmet. She kind of glosses over this part, but you can mount a light onto that helmet too, making it even safer than a normal bike helmet! And let’s face it, if you’re someone who’s going to want to wear an R2D2 helmet on Halloween, you’re probably someone who’s going to want to wear it year round. So you’re in luck.
  • Here’s an ehow tutorial for making your own Iron Man costume. This tutorial sadly lacks any photo references of the project, other than a photo of Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man. Based on the instructions that include things like “sew the red shirt to the yellow shirt,” considering metal-clad actors are your only reference, you might need to use your imagination. But it’s Halloween! That’s imagination time!
  • This one’s really impressive, and if you want to get it done before Halloween you might need to use some vacation time. But here is a step-by-step tutorial for making a Captain America costume complete with those scale things!
  • Ok this one is super amazing. Build your own Optimus Prime costume. This thing looks so good I can only assume it actually transforms and this guy gives his friends rides to parties.
  • Put a bird on it! Hitchcock style.
  • And if you’d like to spend all night cursing the fact that you got blue body paint on your bright-white clothes, here’s a Smurf hat tutorial.
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Halloween at Goodwill!

The October Town Hall meeting is always one of the most fun here at Goodwill. In addition to all of the regular fun at Town Hall — the slideshows, the guest speakers, the awards — we also have the annual costume contest, and this year’s food challenge was a cupcake contest!

We had a packed house this month, with the Durham Community Gathering Room overflowing with Goodwill employees and guests.

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The November issue of The Clothes Line is now available for download!

In this month’s issue:

  • Learn about the partnership between Omaha North High School’s engineering students and Goodwill for the AbilityOne design challenge…
  • Meet our August and September employees of the month…
  • Take a trip to the ribbon cutting at the new Heartland Workforce Solutions career center…
  • Get to know one of our amazing participants who has totally changed her life through the Partnership program…
  • Celebrate Goodwill’s recognition at the Better Business Bureau’s Integrity Awards ceremony…
  • Find out about the latest Goodwill / WOWT / Omaha West Rotary Drive for Drives…
  • Learn more about the Planned Giving office…
  • Get caught up on what’s happening with management training…
  • Find out all of the ways to get involved with Goodwill in the community…
  • Another exciting word search…
  • Birthdays, anniversaries and new hires…
  • …and more!

Visit our Publications page to download your copy today!

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Celebrating the Heartland Workforce Solutions grand opening

More than 100 board members, elected officials, staff members and other community representatives attended this morning’s Heartland Workforce Solutions grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony at 5752 Ames Avenue. HWS Executive Director Jan Kauk, Mayor Jim Suttle, Councilmember Ben Gray and Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce President and CEO David Brown were among the speakers at the ceremony.

After months of detailed planning and well over a year of conversations, the operation formerly known as “the One Stop” and then “Workforce Solutions Center” moved from its long-time home at the Blue Lion building on 24th & Lake to its new home at Ames Plaza. Now known simply as “Heartland Workforce Solutions,” the building houses everything one could find at the Blue Lion and more. Goodwill operates the center, in addition to providing adult and youth workforce services, core services assistance and READY workshops under its roof.

Tim Suelter, the Heartland Workforce Solutions career center manager, said that customer flow had become a big issue at the Blue Lion.

“A lot of direction was needed to get participants where they needed to be,” he said. Additionally, there was a lot of wasted space in the building, as partners would be crammed into small rooms when there was huge unusable space in the corridors.

“Here, we can take advantage of every square inch we have,” Suelter said. Continue reading

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Thanks for another great Drive for Drives!

Goodwill’s Drive for Drives last Saturday was a huge success! With the help of WOWT, the Omaha West Rotary, Werner Park and our many generous donors, we collected more than 60,000 pounds of unwanted computers and computer equipment. We took everything — 20-year-old big-box CRT monitors, computer towers, keyboards, laptops and a couple colorful iMacs, which reminded of my great elementary school days.

Missed the drive? Still have used computer equipment just lying around? Don’t fret! We take computers every day at all of our donation locations. Once we get the equipment, Goodwill’s highly-trained staff either wipe the hard drives clean for resale in our GoodBytes store, or they send the devices to be destroyed and recycled, keeping thousands of pounds of materials out of landfills. Goodwill still recommends that you try to clean up your hard drive before donating anything.

We want to thank the Omaha community again for being supportive of this drive and Goodwill’s mission. We wouldn’t be on track to reach this year’s goal of collecting 1 million pounds of computer materials without your help!

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This week’s READY workshops – Money Management, Stress / Anger Management and Time Management

Every week, Goodwill Omaha presents free READY workshops designed to enhance your job readiness skills. The workshops are free and open to the public, and they are held from 1:00pm – 3:00pm at Heartland Workforce Solutions, 5752 Ames Avenue (in Ames Plaza, between 56th and 60th) in Omaha. To sign up, call 402-231-1978.

Here’s what we have coming up this week:

Monday, October 8, 2012 – Money Management
What’s the fun in earning a paycheck if you can’t go spend it, right? Well it’s not that simple. We need to make sure we manage our money so that our bills are paid and needs are met and our future is considered. And then, once you’ve figured out how to be responsible with your money, spending a little on your own fun feels that much better.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 – Stress/Anger Management
We all endure stress. It’s a natural part of life. But how we let that stress affect our lives is up to us. Acting out and letting stress affect how you interact with others in the workplace — not to mention your ability to do your own job — can be a major detriment to your continued employment. Learn techniques for managing stress and anger so that you don’t let your frustrations get in your way.

Thursday, October 11, 2012 – Time Management
Learn how to be responsible for deciding how much time to dedicate to different tasks to maximize your efficiency and productivity. Time management doesn’t just include your work tasks — learning good time management skills can help you maximize your personal time too!

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The Fall 2012 Drive for Drives is next weekend!

Goodwill Industries, the Omaha West Rotary and WOWT are partnering to sponsor the “Drive for Drives” computer recycling event on October 13th at Werner Park.

All computer equipment will be accepted free of charge from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Werner Park. Owners are responsible for removing all personal data prior to donation.

Goodwill’s highly trained staff will safely disassemble the CPUs and sort the various components for responsible recycling. Omaha Goodwill is a partner in the national Dell Reconnect program. Some refurbished computers will be sold in Goodwill’s GoodBytes Computer Store at 72nd & F with proceeds from sales going to support the agency’s mission of helping people find jobs.

Household items and gently used clothing will also be accepted during the drive.

So come on out next Saturday! We hope to see you there.

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It’s time for the BOO!dwill Halloween Costume Contest!

The BOO!dwill Halloween Costume Contest won’t stay dead, nor should it! Because it’s that time a year again when you need to start thinking “Halloween costume” and “Goodwill” in the same sentence!

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 fourteen stores around town (fifteen 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!

To enter:
1. Between now and 5 p.m. on Thursday, November 1, 2012, 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 email, 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 Friday, November 2, we will select our favorites, and those finalists will be posted here at the GoodTimes Blog for a public vote. On Wednesday, November 7, the voting will close, and the top three will all receive Goodwill gift certificates ($100 for 1st place, $50 for 2nd, $25 for 3rd)!

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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