New Attended Donation Centers Coming Soon!

Exciting news! Goodwill Donation Centers are moving to new locations! We are very grateful for the ongoing community support during our time in these locations.

Current Donation Center closing dates:
• 90th & Maplewood Trailer – November 30
• 50th & Grover Trailer – December 16
• 108th & Mockingbird Site – December 16

All Goodwill retail stores will continue to accept donations during the Donation Center transitions.

In order to serve our customers better, we are excited to share that we will be opening three new Donation Centers on Friday, December 7, and they may be found at:
• 5018 Grover Street, Omaha, NE 68106
(Located next to Godfather’s Pizza)
• 5411 S. 96th Street, Omaha, NE 68127
(Located next to Palm Beach Tan)
• 1056 N. 204th Avenue, Elkhorn, NE 68022
(Located next to Don Carmelo’s)

Thank you for your ongoing support and we look forward to seeing you in our newest Donation Centers!

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Blood Saves Lives

Join Goodwill as we host a blood drive with American Red Cross helping in the support of relief efforts to make a difference in our community.

Who: Everyone is invited

What: An opportunity to make a donation to the American Red Cross

When: Wednesday, November 28, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Where: Goodwill – 4805 North 72nd Street

Why: Helping communities come together—donating blood to save lives

How: Contact us at [email protected] or visit redcrossblood.org and enter: Goodwill to schedule an appointment

Click the images below to learn more about how your blood donation makes a difference to people in our community.

 

 

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Tell Us What You Think & Win!

Don’t miss your chance to win!

Answer a few questions about shopping and donating at Goodwill and be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $100, $50, or $25 Goodwill gift card.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY

It should take less than ten minutes and the feedback we receive will make a huge difference in how we grow to serve you better in our community.
Our gift card winner will be announced on December 7. 
Thanks for helping us improve!
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Mark Ellerbrake Retires After 28 Years of Service

Mark Ellerbrake Retires After 28 Years of Service


Meet Mark

Mark Ellerbrake is a well-spoken gentleman who was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 1990, Mark was hired by Goodwill to work on Goodwill’s AbilityOne federal contract at the Denney Federal Building in Lincoln. Before starting at Goodwill, Mark had worked a handful of odd jobs such as a gift shop attendant and a staff member at a local pizza shop. He had a goal to find a perfect match in employer in hopes of gaining stable employment. Over his 28 years as an AbilityOne custodian, Mark has been able to maintain self-sufficiency at work and at home.

With 28 years of experience in the custodial field, Mark is now embarking on the next chapter of his life as he officially retired from Goodwill on October 31, 2018.

When asked what challenges he has overcome while working at Goodwill, Mark gave a smirk and said “I’ve learned not to wreck a vacuum cord.” We both chuckled as he went on to say that aside from learning how to properly clean and care for a federal building—he loved that Goodwill and his position allowed him to have structure in his life, making it much easier to plan his days.

“The consistency in my job has a big part in what allows me to excel in my work. I have been reliable and am almost never absent from work, so my supervisors have been able to depend on me over the years”, says Mark.

Mark Ellerbrake retires after 28 years of service

A Love For Lincoln

Mark has a love for his hometown, leaving Lincoln has never been an option for him. Mark plans to be as active as possible during his retirement. He wants to stay involved in the community by volunteering his time to different business and organizations in Lincoln.

We would like to celebrate and thank Mark for dedication and his time spent with Goodwill’s Ability One contract at the Denney Federal Building. You will be missed, Mark!


Josh Author Photo

Written By: Josh Meyer

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2017 Goodwill Donor List

Goodwill’s mission to change lives and strengthen communities through education, training and work would not be possible without the generous support of our donors. See below for a complete list of Goodwill donors in 2017.

$25,000+
Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality
United Way of the Midlands

$5,000+
R.J. & Liz Neary
UMB Bank

$2,500+
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
Fraser Stryker Law Firm
Helen Pearson Charitable Trust
Joe & Kacey Lempka
Mark & Donelle Stokes
Millard Lumber
Mutual of Omaha Bank
Silvia Roffman

$1,000+
Baird Holm LLP
Baxter Toyota La Vista
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska
Borsheims
Broadmoor
Carita Sommer
Dell
Deloitte
Egan Supply
Erin and Michael Limas
Execupay Solutions
Frankel Zacharia LLC
Great Western Bank
Investor’s Realty
J.E. Dunn Construction Company
Jet Linx
Jim and Jenny Rich
Joseph and Molly Lang
Kiewit Building Group
McGrath North Mullin & Kratz, PC LLO.
Outlook Nebraska
Pansing, Hogan, Ernst, & Bachman, LLP.
Pinnacle Bank
RDG Planning and Design
Richard & Rosemary Frandeen
Rick and Carol Russell
Robert Bertsch
Robert Mitchell
Russ Lee
Sandy Lane
Scott & Lindsey Semrad
SilverStone Group
SupplyWorks
The Harry A. Koch Co.
TSYS
Urban Village
Vincentini Plumbing

$500+
Aon
Brent Koster and Chelsey Erpelding
Central States Health & Life Co.
Dan Hemphill
David & Melissa Anderson
Frank & Kendra McGree
Gerald Gray
Hamann Charitable Fund
Joseph and Molly Lang
Kathryn and Thomas Sudyka, Jr.
Lovgren Marketing Group
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
Morrissey Engineering
OneNeck IT Solutions
Pauli Bishop
Quantum Real Estate
Streck
Thompson, Dreessen & Dorner, Inc.

For corrections or updates, please contact us at [email protected]

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AbilityOne Representatives Attend Grassroots Advocacy Conference

AbilityOne Representatives Attend Grassroots Advocacy Conference

From June 12 through June 15 Nate Gunter and Gary Lane, Goodwill Omaha employees, joined other nonprofits in the SourceAmerica network at the 20th Grassroots Advocacy Conference in Washington, DC. Gunter, Assistant Project Manager, along with Lane, a valued employee, both work at Goodwill’s AbilityOne contract at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Nebraska. Goodwill Omaha’s AbilityOne program was just one of 50 nonprofits that had representatives present at the conference.

With approximately 200 attendees the conference connected self-advocates with disabilities to their representatives and senators. Conferences like Grassroots Advocacy allow those self-advocates to highlight the importance of creating employment opportunities and choices for people with disabilities. This conference gave Gunter and Lane, Goodwill Omaha’s representatives, the ability to advocate for programs like AbilityOne, defend the WIOA (Work Innovation and Opportunity Act).

“This year we focused on encouraging members of congress to increase what the government elects to pay out from .7 %to 1.5 %,” said Gunter. (Lets have Nate or Tobi give one or two more sentences on what this means)

The conference started off with registration and dinner where SourceAmerica CEO, Steve Soroka, introduced keynote speaker David Egan, Special Olympics athlete and advocate for others with disabilities. Tuesday, June 15 consisted of a full day of training Give an example of what training it was. Wednesday and Thursday the nonprofit attendees participated in a walk and engaged in meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. A banquet was held Wednesday evening where Congressman Don Bacon and Senator Deb Fischer were in attendance.

Gunter also shared that because 2018 is an election year, there was more of a responsibility to defend and promote programs supporting the employment of people with disabilities.

When asked about Gunter’s experience with SourceAmerica, he stated, “Being able to see people from other AbilityOne programs was a big learning experience—people had the ability to share their stories and what they have been through and the help that the AbilityOne program has provided to them.”

We want to thank our community for continued support in programs such as AbilityOne. AbilityOne is just one of many programs that help us continue to fulfill our mission of changing lives and strengthening communities through education, training and work.


Josh Author Photo

Written By: Josh Meyer

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Sector Training Expands Mission Focus at Goodwill Omaha

Sector Training Expands Mission Focus at Goodwill Omaha

Over the spring months of 2018, Goodwill Omaha developed a sector training program based on multiple community needs. The Mission Advancement team identified a nationally recognized retail training. After research was done it was determined that the training would be a good fit for the new program. At Goodwill we have a unique benefit of having access to our retail stores. This access provides real, on-the-job training in a real-life setting.

With the initial curriculum was built, we determined that a defined classroom space to practice these skills while teaching them would be very beneficial—in turn we created a mock retail store located in our headquarters building.

“We had a great trainer, Jen Driscoll. She developed the curriculum, trained and tested participants by working one-one-one with them daily. Jen made sure the program participants were successful and supported at all times” says Christine Aguilar, Director of Mission Training.

Our Employment Ready program assisted with the job readiness curriculum and our Business Solutions program worked with the participants during their training to identify employment goals. Employment Ready and Business Solutions worked together to achieve permanent employment opportunities for the participants.

“After reviewing the first cohort, we are very excited with the successful results and we plan to provide this training on an ongoing basis. We are also exploring other potential referral sources to expand the number of participants served” says Aguilar.  

Results

The first training class started on May 7, 2018 and concluded June 1, 2018. All four program participants successfully obtained certification. Two of the participants have secured full time employment. The other two participants are actively interviewing with local employers. Goodwill’s Business Solutions team continues to assist the participants with the employment and retention support.

“I enjoyed the opportunity to learn new skills and learn more about the operations of a retail store. I would one day like to own my own small retail store to provide fashionable items for women of all sizes,” said Michelle, one of the four program participants.

The new program is just one of many ways that Goodwill Omaha is proudly serving members of our community by changing lives through education, training, and work.

“We are looking forward to offering another class in the coming months,” says Aguilar.

Sector training opportunities are available to those in the community who desire training to increase their employability in order to secure employment.


Written By: Joshua Meyer

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Kim Streit, A Story Behind the Store

Kim Streit, A Story Behind the Store

Whizzing by with clothing in hand and a smile on her face, Kim Streit works hard to keep a clean sales floor full of fresh product at the 180th and Q Goodwill store. Kim is an ever positive 29 year old who was born with a cognitive learning disability. Having been born and raised in Gretna, Nebraska—Kim is blessed with a loving and supportive family who strives to go the extra mile to make sure she is provided opportunities to succeed in life.

Kim Distributing Softlines Back to Camera

Kindness is one of Kim’s strong suits, you will likely never catch her in bad mood, or without a smile on her face. Unfortunately, her kindness was also been taken advantage of in the past, which added a level of difficulty in building her social skills as she grew older.

“Socializing has never been one of Kim’s strong suits, but working at Goodwill has helped her come out of her shell,” says Denise, Kim’s mother.

Throughout her retail training in the Work Experience Program and her time working at Goodwill, Kim has made tremendous strides in her social interaction skills and has become much more personable.

Kim Streit Distributing Clothing Facing Camera

Goodwill’s partnership with Kim came to fruition when she was enrolled in the Work Experience Program in August of 2006. For many, the Work Experience Program is the first step toward successful job placement through supportive training in our retail stores. During Kim’s time in the program, she learned vital skills in a supportive classroom setting and gained exposure to a real work environment in Goodwill’s retail stores.

Kim Streit Distributing Hardline Facing Camera

Upon graduating from the Work Experience Program in March of 2009, Kim went on to part time work at Lucky-D’s Tack Shop in Gretna. To help with a smooth transition from student to employee, Kim was partnered with a job coach from Career Solutions through the Ollie Webb Center Inc. The job coach helped Kim become acclimated to her new surroundings and adapt to her new set of responsibilities.

Kim’s time at Lucky-D’s came to an end after the summer of 2009. Soon after Kim applied for a position at the 180th & Q Goodwill store. She was hired as a part time employee after interviewing with Janelle Ellis, who was the Store Manager at the time of Kim’s hire.

“While interviewing Kim, she smiled the entire time and I knew she could add so much value to our team with her can-do attitude and bright personality. She was going to fit in well with our team dynamics and make us even stronger. I just had to hire her! She was, and still is, a ray of sunshine. Kim started at Goodwill with her job coach from Career Solutions, my plan for her was to start off small and grow.  She first learned how to put away tank tops, then once she was a pro at that, she moved on to putting away tank tops and short sleeve shirts. We worked in each clothing category for a day or two, then added another category. In about two months, she knew how to put all clothing away by size, color and category. Once she mastered that, we began on fitting room recovery. She would check the fitting rooms between putting away each clothing rack.  She caught on quickly in each area. Her job coach was instrumental in her success as well as the rest of the Goodwill team. One doesn’t succeed without help from others, it takes a family to succeed. At first her job coach was coming in daily, then a couple times a week, then once a week. After about two months he approached me and stated that Kim told him he doesn’t need to come anymore. At that point we both knew that Kim had the confidence in her work and had adapted very well to the team. She was ready to do it all on her own,” said Janelle Ellis, who is now Assistant Director of Retail Sales at Goodwill. Kim has been a model employee at the 180th and Q store for eight years and will be celebrating her ninth anniversary with Goodwill on October 5, 2018. According to her current manager, Osama Rashan, “Kim arrives on time every day, works hard, and never calls in. Her current duties and responsibilities include greeting all customers, distributing processed clothing and household wares items and assisting customers with dressing rooms. Other duties that Kim helps with are cleaning the store and maintaining sales floor standards.”

Kim Streit pushing wares cart not facing camera

“She is always willing to help where needed and has an amazing memory when it comes to scheduling. She even helps remind others of scheduling changes that occur.” says Osama.

“Structure is something Kim relies on in her life, she sometimes struggles with being flexible when unforeseen conflicts arise in her daily schedule.” says Denise, Kim’s mother.

As part of the mission of changing lives through education, training and work,  Goodwill is able to offer Kim the structure to strive in her daily work life and is able to help her embrace flexibility by the means of retail’s ever-changing environment. Kim is also able to focus on her strong suits of memorization and consistency when working in the store. Kim’s strengths support the ongoing success of the 180th & Q store.

Kim Streit distributing hardlines

Kim is currently focused on living well, eating healthy and getting involved in social atmospheres aside from work.

“I like to hangout with friends and play games, my favorite board game is Sorry. I also love to go bowling with friends and family,” said Kim.

According to Kim’s parents, Goodwill has been able to help Kim in many ways. These ways include assisting Kim in building her self worth and confidence, while providing a supportive setting for social interaction.  From a shy Work Experience student in 2006, to an outgoing employee today, Goodwill is proud to provide employment services to amazing people just like Kim. This is Kim’s story, just one of the many Stories Behind the Stores. Kim is an amazing young woman who has taken, and continues to take, steps to better herself—growing both personally and professionally.

Kim Streit Smiles while helping coworkers

 


Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist
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Press Release – Attorney General Investigation of Goodwill Concludes

For Immediate Release

Attorney General Investigation of Goodwill Concludes

(Omaha, NE) Goodwill fully cooperated with the Attorney General throughout the investigation and the agency is pleased that the investigation has concluded. We appreciate the professionalism with which the Attorney General conducted the investigation.

We also appreciate the Attorney General’s courtesy and consideration extended to Goodwill by recognizing and citing progress made by current Goodwill leadership to bring the agency back onto a good path. Goodwill will fully comply with the terms and conditions of the Consent Decree.

For Information Contact:
Dr. Michael McGinnis
Brig. Gen. (Ret), USA
CEO & President
Goodwill Industries, Inc., Serving Eastern Nebraska and Southwest Iowa
402-231-1911
[email protected]

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