Supporting Communities Affected By Floods – How You Can Help

Goodwill is committed to helping our communities recover from the damage and loss of belongings caused by the recent floods. The information below explains how Goodwill, with community help, will support our surrounding communities during this time of crisis.

Salvation Army Donation Sites:

All Goodwill locations will accept donated flood relief items in support of Salvation Army’s efforts. Please bring the items listed below to your local Goodwill. Donation receipts will be given upon request. All donations collected will be transported by Goodwill to the Salvation Army for distribution.

Items specifically requested at this time:

  • Bleach
  • Work gloves
  • Rakes
  • Mops
  • Shovels
  • Buckets
  • Tarps
  • Household cleaning items

Round It Up Campaign:

Goodwill invites all customers to round up purchases to the nearest dollar, which Goodwill will use to provide needed support for communities in eastern Nebraska and southwest Iowa affected by the recent flooding. All Round-It-Up donations will go directly to the Red Cross to support communities as they recover and rebuild.

Goodwill Vouchers for Affected Individuals & Families:

Beginning Friday March 15, Goodwill began issuing store vouchers to the local agencies listed below to help those affected by the flooding. Vouchers can be used to purchase needed items at any Goodwill retail location. Contact the agencies listed below to learn more about the Goodwill store voucher program. As of March 22, Goodwill has issued over $16,000 in store vouchers to the following agencies:

Other agencies providing relief support:

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Meet Victoria – YouthBuild AmeriCorps

Victoria Irby

Meet Victoria! She is an aspiring artist with a very creative personality. She is also a member of Goodwill’s YouthBuild AmeriCorps Program. YouthBuild is a national educational, leadership, development and occupational skill-training program for young adults. It offers paid construction training, paid education and learning, leadership training, and ongoing support after graduation to help build leaders in the community through service projects.

YouthBuild serves young adults, ages 16 to 24, who are underemployed or do not have a high school diploma, are interested in learning construction and helping to build/repair homes for low-income families, and are willing to commit to nine months of training and development. Victoria has been in the program for approximately six months and has come a long way. She is bettering herself by showing up, making herself available and being willing to learn every day as part of the program.

Before Goodwill, Victoria was staying at home most days dreading getting out of bed. It was hard for her to find the motivation she needed to thrive. She had no structure in place to see the value in her efforts to become the person she wanted to be. Victoria lacked the support to overcome difficult times. Without hope, fear of consequences is absent and it is something that Victoria frequently struggled with.

She learned about Goodwill’s services after she decided to go back to school. After about a year at Metropolitan Community College, she felt it was too complicated for her and was ready for something different. While spending time at the Omaha Public Schools Teacher Administration Center (TAC) building, she read about Goodwill’s YouthBuild AmeriCorps program.
Victoria said lack of motivation was one of the biggest obstacles to finding a job, becoming independent, and becoming the person she envisioned. Before joining YouthBuild AmeriCorps, she was distant from everyone and everything. Victoria stated, “I felt like I didn’t have a purpose. I would probably be dead or doing a lot of unhealthy stuff if it wasn’t for some of the training and support that Goodwill has provided.”

According to Victoria, the training that YouthBuild provides helped her learn the value of patience and not to doubt herself. Since joining the program her social skills have improved, she believes in herself and has the support in place to help fulfill her dreams. She is recognizing the changes in her behavior and can more easily identify her feelings and talk more openly with a level of trust and understanding that did not exist before. It’s also easier for her to identify things she enjoys doing. “I think more before speaking and I care about the feelings and opinions of others,” said Victoria. She is gaining valuable insight and knowledge to help better understand the nuances and intricacies of interpersonal communication and life.

 

Chinese Checkers game board Victoria made

Victoria’s passion for art and creativity will be incredible assets as she continues her journey to find her place in the world. She loves to listen to old school music, like Isaac Hayes and the Isley Brothers. Her taste in music is not surprising when you consider her gentle, calm and relaxed demeanor. Outside of YouthBuild AmeriCorps, Victoria enjoys dancing and doing math (not at the same time, of course), watching her favorite movie, Norbit, and sipping on a nice glass of her favorite beverage, apple juice. Victoria’s favorite holiday is Halloween and she dressed up as Michael Myers last year.

We are very proud of and happy for Victoria and the strides she has made to better herself both personally and professionally. She has embraced this opportunity and we are excited to see more of the beautiful things she will create! The YouthBuild AmeriCorps program has helped her come into her own and we are privileged to help share in her journey as she continues to learn about all the great things she is capable of.

Victoria’s multi-purpose décor creation

For more information regarding Goodwill’s services and programs, please visit https://www.goodwillomaha.org/employment-services/ or call us at (402) 341 – 4609.
If you or anyone you know could benefit from the YouthBuild AmeriCorps Program, please contact:
Norman Barnes – YouthBuild Manager
Goodwill Industries
4805 N. 72nd St., Omaha, NE 68134
Phone: (402) 522-7231
[email protected]

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Janelle Ellis Promoted to Director of Retail Operations

Goodwill Industries, Inc., Serving Eastern Nebraska & Southwest Iowa is pleased to announce that Janelle Ellis has been named Director of Retail Operations.

“Janelle is a proven leader who has the experience and the skills to take Goodwill’s retail program and mission integration to new level,” said Goodwill CEO Mike McGinnis.

Janelle began her career with Goodwill as an Assistant Store Manager in September 2006. Serving Goodwill in various roles throughout her tenure, she now leads as Director of Retail Operations. Janelle oversees 14 traditional retail stores, 3 specialty stores, warehouse operations, transportation and logistics, facilities maintenance and custodial contracts. Janelle is a graduate of the University of Nebraska Kearney.

For Information Contact:

Ann Woodford
Goodwill Industries, Inc.
Phone: 402-231-1919
[email protected]

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