Goodwill Commits Giving Tuesday Donations to Help Job Seekers — Especially Those Impacted by COVID-19

The Employment Solutions program is free to anyone who needs help finding a job.

OMAHA, Neb., Nov. 25 2020 — Goodwill Industries, Inc., Serving Eastern Nebraska and Southwest Iowa, (Goodwill Omaha) has announced that it will once again participate in Giving Tuesday next week, on Dec. 1, and the organization said it will use the money to help those impacted by COVID-19.

Building on its commitment to giving back, Goodwill Omaha said funds raised during its Giving Tuesday campaign will go toward helping job seekers, particularly those who lost jobs due to COVID-19, with job training, preparation, certification and placement services.

“This year, we especially want to help people in the communities we serve who have been affected by COVID-19, so the money we raise for Giving Tuesday will go to our Employment Solutions program,” said Tobi Mathouser, president and CEO at Goodwill Omaha. “Through Employment Solutions, we offer job services to anyone in the community. Many who lost jobs earlier this year because of COVID are having a tough time finding long-term work. We want them to know that we are here to help them, and we’re actively investing funds to help them.”

Goodwill Omaha has several mission programs, including Employment Solutions, that are designed to provide employment services to job seekers who have disabilities, who lack education or job experience, and who face challenges or barriers to finding employment. Unlike most of Goodwill Omaha’s programs, Employment Solutions participants do not need to meet any specific criteria, other than to be looking for a job.

“Last year alone, Goodwill’s employment programs helped more than 230,000 people in the United States and Canada find long-term employment,” Mathouser said. “Put another way, one out of every 275 people who went to work in the United States last year did so with the help of Goodwill. Locally, our programs put several thousand people to work every year. With the gifts we receive on Giving Tuesday, we’ll be able to help people who have been affected by COVID-19 get back to work.”

Goodwill’s Employment Solutions program offers training classes, accelerated certified nursing assistant classes, and follow-up services at no cost to anyone who needs help finding a job.

“We work with more than 200 employers in the Omaha metro area,” Mathouser said. “Employment Solutions is designed to work for everyone involved: Employers let us know what positions they’re hiring for. Our Employment Solutions team recommends candidates they’re working with who may be a good fit. Our team also provides résumé assistance, prepares them for job interviews, and provides or facilitates training in areas where participants may be lacking.

“The final step is our follow-up program, which helps us ensure that the employer and employee are a good fit for one another,” Mathouser said.

Goodwill’s Employment Solutions also offers sector training classes, computer training classes, hiring events and even CNA certification — all at no cost to program participants.

Giving Tuesday is a collective, worldwide effort to transform how people take part in the giving season. “Our Giving Tuesday donation page is live and accepting early donations,” Mathouser said, “so anyone who wants to help can donate to Goodwill Omaha and our Employment Solutions program any time.

“Goodwill Omaha has been transforming lives through job training, placement and other services since 1933,” Mathouser continued. “It just makes sense for us to take part in a broader effort to give back to the people in our community this holiday season — especially those who have been impacted by the pandemic.”

To learn more or support Goodwill’s Employment Solutions program with a tax-deductible gift for Giving Tuesday, please visit GoodwillOmaha.org/givingtuesday for more information and the donation page link.

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Goodwill Omaha Is ‘Rounding Up’ for Local United Ways

Goodwill shoppers can donate their change to help others in the community who are experiencing hardship due to COVID-19.

OMAHA, Neb., Nov. 24, 2020 — Goodwill Industries, Inc., Serving Eastern Nebraska and Southwest Iowa, is pleased to announce that its retail stores are raising money for two local United Way organizations to help people in the area who have been affected by COVID-19. The “Round It Up for United Way” campaign is raising awareness and money to support United Way of the Midlands (UWM) and the Fremont Area United Way in their efforts to help people in Omaha and surrounding communities.

The campaign kicked off on Nov. 1 and runs through Dec. 31, allowing shoppers at Goodwill retail stores to choose to “round up” their purchase totals to the next dollar when they check out. Round-it-up donations at Goodwill Omaha’s stores in Fremont and Blair will be donated to the Fremont Area United Way, and donations made at the other Goodwill locations will be donated to United Way of the Midlands.

“This year has been tough for most people, but it’s been especially difficult for those who have been impacted by COVID-19,” said Tobi Mathouser, president and CEO of Goodwill Omaha. “So many people lost jobs, either permanently or temporarily, in March, when many businesses had to close due to COVID. Several months later, some people who were furloughed or expected their layoffs to be temporary learned their positions were eliminated because employers experienced financial and economic losses due to COVID.”

UWM reports that, since March, the Nebraska/Iowa 211 Helpline has experienced a 142% increase in call volumes over last year, despite the high volumes the Helpline saw during the floods in spring 2019. As many people know, COVID-19 created an entirely new set of challenges, which United Way organizations are trying to keep up with.

For example, UWM modified its community investment process to quickly move dollars to programs that meet the community’s most pressing needs and to better respond to the community’s rapidly evolving needs.

“Goodwill holds campaigns like this throughout the year to benefit other nonprofits in our communities. It’s a way we can give back to the communities and partners who show so much support for Goodwill and our employment programs,” Mathouser continued. “Our shoppers tend to be very generous, and our round-it-up campaigns can raise a surprising amount of money. We love doing it. To us, giving back is just part of what it means to be a good steward of the community.”

 

About Goodwill Industries, Inc.

Many people know Goodwill Industries, Inc., Serving Eastern Nebraska and Southwest Iowa, as a place to donate used clothing and household items or find great bargains. But you might not know the mission at the heart of our organization: We provide job training and placement services to people with disabilities and other disadvantages.

The sale of donated items sold in Goodwill retail stores supports our mission programs. Here’s how: People in the community donate gently used items to Goodwill. We sell those donated items in Goodwill retail stores. The proceeds from those sales subsidize our mission programs, giving thousands of individuals in the Omaha area the chance to earn a living, discover independence and succeed in life.

Goodwill provides opportunities through a variety of employment programs, including YouthBuild AmeriCorps, Employment Solutions and Work Experience. We also are affiliated with the federal AbilityOne program, which provides jobs at federal facilities to people with severe disabilities.

Goodwill is a private, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit agency governed by a local board of trustees. We are a member agency of Goodwill Industries International of Gaithersburg, Maryland, and accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

For more information about Goodwill’s programs and our 18 convenient locations in Omaha, Bellevue, Papillion, Fremont, Blair, Gretna and Council Bluffs, please visit GoodwillOmaha.org.

 

About United Way of the Midlands

United Way of the Midlands (UWM) has served the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro for more than 95 years. Guided by best practices and community input, it approaches poverty in a specific way — a “united” way. With the support of volunteers, community partners and donors, UWM invests donor dollars efficiently and effectively in our local community. These dollars fund basic needs, education and financial stability programs at local nonprofits, creating a circle of support for people in need. Please visit unitedwaymidlands.org for more information.

 

About the Fremont Area United Way

The Fremont Area United Way works to advance the common good by focusing on education, income and health. Our goal is to create long-lasting changes that prevent problems from happening in the first place. Our vision for the Fremont area is to create solutions to community issues where we can make a difference, such as school readiness. We hope you want to be a part of the change. We think we can do more together than any of us can do alone. This is what it means to “Live United.” Learn more at FremontUnitedWay.org.

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United Way of the Midlands Awards Karnett Trust Grant to Goodwill Omaha

The grant will enable Goodwill Omaha to offer virtual learning options for the Work Experience program.

OMAHA, Neb., Nov. 4, 2020 — Goodwill Industries, Inc., Serving Eastern Nebraska and Southwest Iowa, (Goodwill Omaha) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded the $70,000 Karnett Family Trust Grant by United Way of the Midlands Karnett Trust.

The Karnett Family Trust Grant is administered by United Way of the Midlands and is open to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Douglas, Sarpy and Pottawattamie counties to fund programs that are focused on the care, education and training of children with intellectual/developmental disabilities in the Omaha metropolitan area. The grant will provide vital funding for Goodwill Omaha’s Work Experience program, which gives developmentally disabled high school students opportunities to gain exposure to work situations in supportive environments.

“We are incredibly thankful to United Way of the Midlands and the Karnett Family for this grant,” said Linda Kizzier, director of mission programs at Goodwill Omaha. “Goodwill began developing basic virtual-learning curriculum for our programs prior to the COVID-19 lockdowns in March 2020, and the Karnett Family Trust Grant will enable us to put more time and resources toward that initiative, so we can offer our Work Experience students a more standardized curriculum that’s available and accessible if there are times when they cannot attend in-person learning at schools.”

Goodwill’s Work Experience program has provided training services to developmentally disabled high school students since 1965. As Goodwill’s oldest program, Work Experience has professionals who work with local school districts in eight retail and community-based locations in the metropolitan community.

When most schools closed in March, students participating in Goodwill Omaha’s Work Experience program were forced to end their training abruptly. “With the help of this grant, the Work Experience program will move closer to providing a more robust virtual training platform,” Kizzier said. “We’ll develop the virtual platform to help our Work Experience students maintain a more consistent pace and scope of our traditional program, so they’ll be able to continue the program with as little interruption as possible.”

COVID-19 has presented many challenges for students at schools that haven’t yet returned to in-person learning, parents’ reluctance to allow children to return to a classroom, or whose underlying health concerns make returning to a classroom undesirable or unsafe. Goodwill Omaha is adapting its service delivery with a flexible online training system designed to help bridge the gap until schools and students can return to more normal learning environments.

Kizzier said the Work Experience team has been developing videos demonstrating the various skill sets they teach during face-to-face training, so students who cannot attend classes in person still have the opportunity to learn certain social and work skills. Following video training, students will answer questions to demonstrate their understanding of the task shown in the video.

“By using the Karnett Family Trust Grant to offer virtual training to students, Goodwill Omaha can provide an introduction and better understanding of various tasks when face-to-face classroom activities are not feasible,” said Tobi Mathouser, president and CEO at Goodwill Omaha. “Access to virtual training will also help students remain connected to their trainers, the training program and their peers, helping to ensure that ongoing learning takes place and students are in a good position to return to face-to-face training.”

About United Way of the Midlands

We focus the efforts of many to help our neighbors stand strong – by addressing basic needs, and fostering success in the classroom and the workplace. www.UnitedWayMidlands.org.

About Goodwill Industries, Inc.

Many people know Goodwill Industries, Inc., Serving Eastern Nebraska and Southwest Iowa, as a place to donate used clothing and household items or find great bargains. But you might not know the mission at the heart of our organization: We provide job training and placement services to people with disabilities and other disadvantages.

The sale of donated items sold in Goodwill retail stores supports our mission programs. Here’s how: People in the community donate gently used items to Goodwill. We sell those donated items in Goodwill retail stores. The proceeds from those sales subsidize our mission programs, giving thousands of individuals in the Omaha area the chance to earn a living, discover independence and succeed in life.

Goodwill provides opportunities through a variety of employment programs, including YouthBuild AmeriCorps, Employment Solutions and Work Experience. We also are affiliated with the federal AbilityOne program, which provides jobs at federal facilities to people with severe disabilities.

Goodwill is a private, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit agency governed by a local board of trustees. We are a member agency of Goodwill Industries International of Gaithersburg, Maryland, and accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

For more information about Goodwill’s programs and our 18 convenient locations in Omaha, Bellevue, Papillion, Fremont, Blair, Gretna and Council Bluffs, please visit GoodwillOmaha.org.

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