Good Turn for Goodwill – A Partnership with Girl Scouts of Nebraska

Good Turn For Goodwill

A Partnership with Girl Scouts of Nebraska

Good Turn for Goodwill

During the month of April, Goodwill Omaha partnered with Girl Scouts of Nebraska for the annual Good Turn for Goodwill donation drive.  Throughout April, Girl Scout troops went into the Omaha Metro, Fremont, Lincoln, and Norfolk communities to collect donations from the public. Troops then dropped of the donations at their local Goodwill Omaha location. This year marked the 33rd year for the Good Turn for Goodwill donation drive.

Good Turn Recap

This year, 13 troops including 183 scouts participated—making more than 75 donations to Goodwill Omaha. That’s approximately 3,000 pounds of donated goods collected from the community. In years past Goodwill has given bags to help collect donations. For this year’s drive, Goodwill Omaha decided to be more environmentally conscious. By forgoing bags and encouraging scouts to make bagless donations, Goodwill can help keep waste out of the landfills. We find it important for the scouts to understand that we care about the environment. Donations are not required to be given in a bag or box. Donations can simply be dropped off at any Goodwill donation center.

Event sponsors included: Amazing Pizza Machine and Papio Fun Park. Troops were chosen at random to receive prizes that consisted of $100 Amazing Pizza Machine gift cards and $50 Sonic gift cards. All scouts who participated were sent a “Good Turn for Goodwill” badge and certificates for a free game of mini golf at Papio Fun Park.

Mission Support

All donated materials collected during the drive will be sold in Goodwill Omaha’s 14 retail stores. Each time you shop or donate at a Goodwill retail store, the revenue generated is used to support the not-for-profit agency’s employment and training programs for individuals with disabilities and other disadvantages. To find out more about our employment and training programs, click here.

Through training and employment opportunities, Goodwill assists the community’s economy by creating wage earners as well as consumers. Thanks to our customers and donors, 1,797 people were enrolled in a Goodwill program in 2017. In addition, Goodwill program participants were placed in 230 jobs during 2017.


JoshMeyer-MarketingSpecialist

Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist
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Sustainability For A Greener Earth

Sustainability For a Greener Earth

 

On April 18 Goodwill partnered with Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart and hosted an electronics drive at the Duchesne campus from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM. Goodwill Omaha was contacted in February by Duchesne’s Sustainability Committee about donating a large amount of electronics.

SustainabilityElectronics donor

Jason Schlesiger, Director of Technology at Duchesne said “Our Sustainability Committee saw this drive as an opportunity to recycle as much as possible. We wanted to take our efforts from inside the school into the surrounding community. This electronics drive benefits not only Duchesne but also our neighbors.”

Eric and Jason from Duchesne's Sustainability CommitteeIn 2016, Duchesne was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an Energy Star Award recipient. “When Duchesne was recognized with the Energy Star Award, generous community donors offered to underwrite the Verdis Group, a local sustainability consulting firm. The donations supported our partnership with the Verdis Group who spent a year with Duchesne to analyze our processes and help us move forward in efforts of sustainability” said Eric Krakwoski, Assistant Principal of Duchesne Academy. Eric stated that their Sustainability Committee has 4 main goals.

  1. Be a zero waste campus by 2030
  2. Use net positive energy by 2030
  3. Revamp the schools lunch program
  4. Integrate sustainability into the schools curriculum

Results

Loading Electronic Donations

Goodwill Omaha helped approximately 30 donors and collected 4,900 pounds of electronic equipment during the drive. The electronics drive is just one environmentally friendly event that Duchesne is holding during the month of April. You can find out more about what Duchesne is doing for the environment in April by clicking here.

Dell Reconnect

Dell Laptops at Duchesne Academy's Electronics Donation DriveAt Goodwill Omaha, we partner with Dell Reconnect to ensure proper handling of donated electronics. Dell Reconnect is a program that partners with Goodwill’s across North America to handle proper refurbishing or recycling of your computer systems and accessories. Since 2004, Dell Reconnect has recycled more than 450 million pounds of used electronics. Goodwill Omaha contributes roughly 40,000 pounds of that number each year. Click here to find out more about Goodwill’s partnership with the Dell Reconnect program.  

Inherently Green

Our mission is to change lives through education, training, and work. Through our mission, we are inherently environmentally friendly. When people donate their used goods to Goodwill, it keeps unwanted items out of landfills and prevents the production of unnecessary new materials. Think Goodwill before you toss your used goods while doing your spring cleaning and Earth Day activities. Click on the following to view a list of our acceptable donations and locations. Together we can make an effort to improve and care for our environment.Goodwill Industries, Inc. - Omaha Donate Today Truck Wrap


JoshMeyer-MarketingSpecialist

Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist
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Clean Sweep – Living with Less Mess

Clean Sweep – Living with Less Mess

Draw the curtains and let the sun shine in because it’s time to do some spring cleaning. Wondering where to start or what to do with those household items you can’t wait to move on from?  We will be sharing some helpful tips on how and what to clean; along with getting the most out of your spring cleaning endeavors.

Science Behind Spring Cleaning  

Do you sometimes wonder why so many of us have the urge to tidy up or do our most detailed cleaning this time of year? You can thank biology for that. HowStuffWorks’ blog post Why Do We Traditionally Clean Our Homes At the Beginning of Spring explains that due to lack of sunlight exposure our bodies produce a hormone called melatonin that causes sleepiness in humans. Research shows that as the days grow longer and we are exposed to more sunlight we have more energy. Hence the reason we become more active in the warmer sun drenched months. With your replenished energy supply, you are free to tackle all of those cleaning and organizing tasks that have been pushed aside over the winter months.

Clean Slate

Cleaning SuppliesMost of us know that during winter months dust tends to settle and allergens can be trapped indoors due to lack of air movement and fresh air entering our homes. A great place to start your cleaning is dusting every nook and cranny. If you are a new homeowner or renter, try finding guidelines for your spring cleaning while tailoring them to your living space. HGTV has provided what seems like a fool-proof cleaning list to help guide you and ensure your home is left spotless. Click here to view their easy to follow cleaning checklist. We suggest keeping lists like this on hand year round. Consistently cleaning your home throughout the year will significantly lessen the amount of work you have to do come next spring.

Let’s Talk Minimalism.

Minimalism is growing in popularity. Some consider it just another bandwagon fad, yet others consider it a lifestyle choice. Those who have chosen to live with a more minimal mindset claim to be freed from the control of material items. In the end those individuals find they have less to clean and take care of. Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus expand upon minimalism and give helpful advice on how to live minimally on their website The Minimalists. Maybe you have thought about living a minimal lifestyle, your wardrobe could be a great place to start. If you decide to make a switch towards minimalism, you can donate your unwanted items to your local Goodwill.

At Goodwill Omaha the items you donate are either sold in our retail stores, or recycled. Keeping thousand of pounds of goods from going into the landfills. The sales from your donations directly support the employment services and programs we provide. In 2017 our employment services and mission programs served 1,797 people.

Declutter and Donate

A large part of spring cleaning is decluttering your space. Naturally, some areas of our home tend to become more cluttered than others. Trying to tackle clutter can be quite overwhelming for some of us. You’ll probably want to set up quick, efficient tasks similar to these tasks that Good Housekeeping has listed. Doing so will help guide you toward the end results you are seeking. We suggest going through the areas listed below and setting aside all of the items you no longer need, use, or want.

Spring Clean

  • Closets (clothing, linen, etc.)
  • Junk Drawers
  • Office Space
  • Pantries
  • Storage Rooms
  • Garage

 

Click here to view Goodwill Omaha’s acceptable donations guideline. You can donate those items at any of our conveniently located donation pods or donation centers. To find the location nearest you, click here.


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Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist
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Spring Into Your New Look

Spring Into Your New Look

Spring is here and we will be seeing brighter days soon—though it may not seem true with this unpleasant April weather. Nonetheless it is time to start unpacking our spring clothes. You’ll most likely want to take some time to analyze your wardrobe. Are you holding onto garments that have served you well but now need a new home? What pieces are you missing from your selection to update your look? Today we’re going to share our newest addition to our Look Book—giving you some inspiration on how to update your spring wardrobe.

Spring Forward and Let Go.

Many of us hold onto things much longer than needed. Realizing what can go and what can stay in your closet will help you assess your needs for the upcoming seasons. The blog post Closet Hacks: How to Know When It’s Time to Donate Your Clothes gives you some good ideas on how to easily say goodbye to that pair of denim that you haven’t worn in two years. There’s probably at least one item in all of our closets that we haven’t touched in quite some time. Is it really worth keeping or could you benefit from something new in its place? This is the perfect time to evaluate your wardrobe and take out the old to bring in the new.

For those who are environmentally conscious—donating to Goodwill will keep your clothing out of the landfills. By donating to any of Goodwill’s conveniently located donation centers, you are directly supporting our programs in the community. Click here to find a donation center in your neighborhood.  

Dress Your Hangers.

First you need to evaluate your wardrobe and pinpoint your needs for the upcoming season. As a result, you will have some shopping to do! In our Spring Look Book we have put together some outfits that will have you ready for any occasion.  Click here to view our top picks for this season.

White Sweater Tank - Brown Wide Leg Pant            Tassel Necklace

One great benefit to shopping at Goodwill is that you can fully stock and expand upon your wardrobe without breaking the bank. Plus, you won’t feel so guilty come next year when you’re ready to move on to something else. You’ll be able to get a handful of items at the same price as one new item at the mall.

There are plenty of savvy shoppers out there who take full advantage of thrift markets. Likewise, we suggest you join in on the fun and savings. Shopping at your local Goodwill directly supports our programs and services in the community. Click here to learn more about the programs and services we provide to the Omaha metro and surrounding communities.

Mix and Match.

Finding garments that are versatile is a key component to building a great wardrobe. We suggest buying some staple garments that make you look and feel great. Whether you are dressing up or dressing down; primary, versatile clothing is a must for all wardrobes. Satisfy yourself. Focus on what works for you instead of constantly seeking the next best thing on all the online fashion sites. Doing so will give your wardrobe the substance you may be seeking. Check out The 9 Most Versatile Closet Staples to see what every woman needs in their closet. Not so fast gentlemen. Having versatile, staple pieces of clothing in your wardrobe applies to you as well. Here are 21 Things Every Man Should Have in His Closet. Take it from the gents at GQ, you’ll be thanking them later.

Items found in these blogs are just some of the styles you should be looking for at your local thrift store. By no means do you need to go spend hundreds of dollars on one single item to get these looks. Visit your favorite Goodwill retail location. Often while keeping your eyes peeled for good finds; you will almost always be able to find items that fall into these categories for a much better price. Keep in mind that our Look Book and other articles posted here are just guides to help inspire your creativity. Be yourself and embrace your own personal style—wear it with confidence.


JoshMeyer-MarketingSpecialist

Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist
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Old computers? Recycle them with Goodwill

Technology has been changing so quickly that we find ourselves with piles of older electronics that we do not use. What to do with those electronics? Goodwill has the answer, donate them to be recycled.

In 2016 Goodwill recycled 545,552 pounds of computer and electronics.

Goodwill will accept your residential computers, printers and monitors without charge, regardless of age or condition. Just drop off at any of Goodwill’s convenient donation centers.

What does Goodwill do with your used computer equipment? 

Through our partnership with the Dell Reconnect Computer Recycling Program, Goodwill will accept your residential intact computers, printers and monitors without charge, regardless of age or condition. See our Recycling FAQ tab for more information about Dell Reconnect.

Goodwill’s highly trained staff will safely disassemble the CPUs and sort the various components for responsible recycling, thus eliminating the environmental risk of landfill disposal.

What about security?

We take the privacy of our donors very seriously, and we take great care and concern for all items that may possibly contain customer data. To begin the process, we do ask that people do their best to delete any sensitive information they may have on their computers before donating. Once the computers are in our hands, we undergo a four-step process as follows:

Phase One: Our technicians determine which desktop and laptop computers are viable for refurbishing and which ones are to be decommissioned and used for parts. The units are powered on and checked for defects. Hard Drives and memory are bench-tested for quality.

Phase Two: We secure all systems and hard drives determined to be reusable, as well as any materials that will be sent out for recycling, in a locked area that only the manager and techs have access to until they are processed.

Phase Three: We apply a rigorous three-pass Department of Defense-standard data wiping process to all drives determined to be usable.

Phase Four: We select random hard drives from every wiping session and verify they have no retrievable data on them. Also, every month Dell Reconnect sends an independent auditor to verify that the data on the hard drives has been erased and no personal data remains, and that all our process conforms and exceeds their high standards. Goodwill has passed this audit every month since we started with the program.

Goodwill takes pride in being able to partner with Dell Reconnect to keep electronics out of landfills and do our part in being green.

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Weekend Messy Mayhem Challenge

Need to clean your house and don’t have a lot of time?

Take our weekend challenge!

I was talking to my grandma on the way to the office today. She told me she’s planning on cleaning up her apartment to get rid of the clutter. My grandma is a very busy lady who is high in demand, so she really only has time to clean on the dreamstimelarge_35951162weekends. If you are a busy person but need to de-clutter your house, take the Goodwill Weekend Messy Mayhem Challenge! Because you only have two days and three nights, commit to cleaning out a few parts of your place each day. When Sunday night rolls around, you’ll have a clean home and a truckload of items to donate to Goodwill.

Friday Night

Main Floor Madness: Kitchen & Living Room

Your main floor is the area where all of your guests go when they come over. After dinner, begin going through your kitchen cabinets and put all the things you haven’t used in the past two months into a box. Get rid of duplicates and clean up your counter space. Get rid of any old silverware or table settings that haven’t been used since Christmas of 1985.

donate-middle-age-group-dreamstime_xxl_31667687When you finish in the kitchen, move onto your living room. Start by the television and get rid of any VHS tapes you still have laying around and any CDs that you no longer listen to – don’t forget about all of the DVDs and Blu-Ray discs you no longer watch. Once you finish your entertainment area, head over to the bookshelf and take a look to see which books have collected the most dust. If your old kids’ books and cheesy romance novels haven’t been touched since 1995, it’s safe to put them in the Goodwill donation box to make room for some new reads.

 

Saturday

Hidden Chaos: Crammed closets, Alarming Attic, and Gloomy Garage

If you haven’t worn it in the past year, you probably don’t need it and won’t miss it when it’s gone. Clean out your closets. Shoes, hats, blouses, pants, skirts; you name it, Goodwill would love to take it off of your hands! Once your closets have less clutter, make a pact to follow dreamstimemaximum_5080693The Goodwill Closet Golden Rule: one in, one out. Every time you buy something new, get rid of something you already own.

After your closets are decluttered and looking spiffy, work your way to the attic and garage. Find old holiday décor that hasn’t been seen since you were a child? Donate it. Piles of things you forget you owed and haven’t used in years, donate them!

Sunday

Sunday Fun Day: Office and bedrooms

We saved the best and easiest rooms for last. When you look around your bedroom, do you see trinkets and other odd objects you haven’t touched or used in years?  I know I do! Start by clearing out all your old toys that another child could enjoy. Get rid of any jewelry or trinkets that no longer serve any use to you. Last, but not least, work your way to the office. No one wants to work in a messy space. This weekend cleanup is the perfect time to San_Antonio_17846make sure your office is clean, starting the month organized. You have probably updated your computer, laptop, or tablet, so why hang on to the two old computers in the closet? Why keep old office supplies when you are always buying the newest edition and throwing the old ones into a box? Update your file cabinet; give up your old outdated computer equipment (working and non-working), and donate it all to Goodwill. We’ll wipe your equipment clean and recycle it in a safe way.

 

Well folks, you made it through the Weekend Messy Mayhem Challenge! Hooray! That wasn’t too bad, was it? Look at how clean your house is. Doesn’t it feel great? You should also feel great by knowing that all of your no longer needed items are going to be reused or recycled at your local Goodwill, where they will empower Eastern Nebraskans and Western Iowans and transform their lives. It’s now time to say goodbye to your donations and bring them over to Goodwill; we’ll take care of the rest.

 

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Dispelling the ‘One Person Can’t Make a Difference’ Myth

Public awareness about the value of recycling is at an all-time high, but currently fewer than 35 percent of households and 10 percent of businesses in the United States recycle, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Sometimes the enormity of a problem, such as massive amounts of waste headed to our landfills, keeps people from taking small steps that could add up to make a big positive change. It’s the “one person can’t make a difference” myth.

November 15 is America Recycles Day, an initiative of Keep America Beautiful. This national commemoration is the perfect opportunity to raise public awareness while encouraging action, because every person can make a difference.

Goodwill Omaha is a proud supporter of America Recycles Day. Environmental sustainability has been central to Goodwill’s mission since its founding 111 years ago. Goodwill’s donation-resale model extends the life of usable clothing and other goods, and earns revenue for Goodwill job training programs, employment placement services and other important social services that benefitted more than 6.7 million people last year alone. In the process, thousands of tons of waste are diverted from landfills.

Goodwill offers this advice for America Recycles Day in hopes that occasional recyclers will become regular recyclers.

1. Make it simple.

2. Make it meaningful.

This model works successfully for Goodwill’s donated goods retail business. We provide easy-to-access donation drop-off points in convenient locations. We demonstrate how donations make a positive impact on the donor and the community: Donations are sold in stores. Store revenues fund job training and career services. People get jobs. Families grow stronger. Communities thrive.

The model can work for recycling as well. Breaking down your efforts into simple steps can help. To start, choose to recycle one item — whether it’s newspaper, aluminum or glass — for six months. After that time period, start recycling a second item that you use regularly until it becomes a habit. You can continue to add to your recycling efforts as they become part of your daily life.

Then, understand that your actions have impact. For example, recycling one aluminum product can save enough energy to allow you to listen to a full music album on an iPod. Recycling 100 cans can light a room for two weeks.

Whether you donate regularly to Goodwill or just recycle your aluminum cans, you help dispel the myth that small acts aren’t important. On America Recycles Day, it’s appropriate to celebrate all the ways we collectively and individually protect the planet.

Click here to see our additional recycling efforts.

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RECYCLING IN 2015

CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES

Baled clothing: 506,173 lbs.
Shoes: 19,225 lbs.
Stuffed toys: 351 lbs.
Books: 11,065 lbs.
Purses and belts: 0 lbs.
Cell phones: 0 lbs.
2015 YTD total: 536,814 lbs.

DELL RECONNECT MATERIALS

Printers: 12,204 lbs.
CRT monitors: 6,049 lbs.
Keyboards: 2,152 lbs.
Plastic: 563 lbs.
Power: 1,134 lbs.
CPUs: 7,304 lbs.
LCD monitors & laptops: 4,089 lbs.
Wire: 793 lbs.
Misc.: 2,689 lbs.
Batteries: 1,432 lbs.
Motherboards: 0 lbs.
Media: 117 lbs.
Toner / Ink: 71 lbs.
2015 YTD total: 38,597 lbs.

OTHER RECYCLED ITEMS

Cardboard: 29,575 lbs.
Mixed paper: 1,825 lbs.
Plastic: 2,435 lbs.
Aluminum breakage: 1,968 lbs.
Low-grade wire: 2,964 lbs.
Aluminum cans: 44 lbs.
#2 copper wire: 0 lbs.
2014 YTD total: 38,811 lbs.

Grand Total=
614,222 lbs.

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Another green year

green-bannerEnvironmental awareness has long been a priority of Goodwill, whether it’s the green building practices we teach in YouthBuild, the environmental friendliness of our store construction, or simply the act of keeping goods out of landfills by way of donating and reselling. But we took it to another level last year.

In 2012, energy conservation specifically was a big part of Goodwill Industries International’s (GII) agenda – so much that GII established a movement-wide friendly competition to see which agency could best improve the energy efficiency of their buildings. Facilities Manager Ross Tremaine said the agency began replacing the lighting at all of its stores in the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) area last spring.

“We changed out all of the lights to more energy-efficient bulbs,” he said. “That was in conjunction with rebates that OPPD is offering in an effort to help businesses go green; we are taking full advantage.”

Tremaine said that the light output of the new bulbs is equivalent, if not better, while using less power – creating both energy and financial savings. The contest results will be in sometime in mid-2013, but even if we don’t win, we’re making a difference.

There’s been a noticeable change in some of our back rooms as well. When we opened our 78th & Dodge retail store in November 2011, the space we moved into wasn’t large enough to accommodate a trash compactor — a fixture in the back room at all of our retail stores. The plan was to have a truck come by several times a day to pick up the store’s trash and take it down to the Retail Operations Center, where it could be compacted and sent away.

But that didn’t end up happening. The 78th & Dodge retail team were so cautious about what they discarded — while being more mindful of what could be recycled — that those multiple daily trash pickups turned into just single pickups — less than half of what was expected. And once they set that example, our retail operations department asked itself if it could replicate this success elsewhere.

This hole once housed the Benson Park store's trash compactor.

This hole once housed the Benson Park store’s trash compactor.

The answer was such a resounding “Yes” that in July 2012, our Benson Park Plaza store’s compactor was removed completely.

In 2011, the Benson Park Plaza store was averaging two trash pickups per month. But in 2012, the store manager and staff were doing such a great job monitoring their trash that they averaged fewer than one per month.

Goodwill employees have been so effective at ensuring the efficient sorting of all of our donations — whether those donations are going to the sales floor, to the WearHouse, to GoodBytes or separated for recycling — that our trash compactors are seeing only a fraction of the use that they once were. The retail department’s trash bill in 2012 was less than half of what it was in 2011. It’s also great for the environment, as we send less and less to landfills even as our operations continue to grow. And it’s great for our donors, who can be assured that their donations are being put to their best use.

As a result of the hard work at all of our locations, our recycling numbers across the agency continue to climb. In 2012, we recycled more than 5.9 million pounds of clothing, more than 390,000 pounds of shoes, more than 987,000 pounds of computers and computer components, more than 295,000 pounds of cardboard, more than 20,000 pounds of paper and more than 10,000 pounds of plastic.

It’s just another way our retail department demonstrates its commitment to the agency and the environment.

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