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.
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.
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.
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.”
“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 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.
Goodwill wants to make back to school shopping fun for kids…and parents!
Our Director of Marketing and Development took her children back to school shopping.
Below is her experience at our 180th & Q location!
Back to school shopping is a major process – going from store to store hunting for clothes, shoes, backpacks and school supplies. Not to mention your wallet takes a hit. For the past few years I started planning my back to school shopping a bit differently. Before I shopped at the big box retailers for back to school items, now I make Goodwill my first stop. I start looking for deals on kid’s clothing – because let’s be honest, kids can be quite picky when it comes to finding that perfect outfit for the first day of school. And with kids growing out of their clothes so quickly, it is a challenge to not spend too much by paying full price.
This year we began our back to school shopping at Goodwill on 180th and Q Street. I took my four year old daughter Amelia to look for deals on clothes she can wear to preschool. We found the perfect Justice shirt with a bright pink sparkly A on the front for only $1.59. Now it’s her new favorite shirt! We even had luck finding pants – Old Navy jeans for $2.99 and lounge pants for $1.59.
Of course we couldn’t leave the store without hitting up the toy section. We walked out with a Disney princess game and a stuffed animal for $1.99 each.
By shopping at Goodwill for back to school clothes, I can feel good about diverting clothes from the landfill as well as saving money for my family. All while getting really great items that my kids love.
Make Goodwill your first stop for back to school shopping!
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 nineteen stores around town 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!
1. Between now and 5 p.m. on Monday, November 2, 2015, 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].
Updated: This years contest will be based on Facebook likes. Please visit the Boo!dwill 2015 Facebook Album and like your favorite costume. Only “likes” will determine our winner, shares and comments are not needed in order to win..
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 Wednesday, November 11, 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:
Back to school shopping is expensive and time-consuming. As a parent, you are often going store-to-store looking for the right name brands, the cool styles and the best bargains for all of your kids. Well, look no further – Goodwill is here!
I recently stopped at the Goodwill at 180th & Q and found some really awesome deals on cute clothes for an elementary school-aged girl. These fourteen items would make the perfect back to school wardrobe. Boom. You could be done shopping in just one trip.
As always, the best part about Goodwill is the price. And this #ThriftyThursday, we’re going to do things a little differently. It’s contest time!
Comment on this page or on our Facebook status the amount you think all 14 of these items combined cost (before tax) and we’ll help you go back to school with a $20 Goodwill gift card. Price is Right rules here – must be closest without going over.
Good guess everyone!
For reference, the items shown are:
Pink girl & pony Gap long-sleep shirt (new with tags)
Yellow Mudd butterfly tee
Orange flower accent Gap Dress
Old Navy denim jacket
Black and pink polka dot skirt
Pink capri pants with button accents
Mudd Black cardigan with blue striped tank set
Green Flapdoodles bermuda shorts (new with tags)
Green flower lace Justice layer tee
Tribal print long blouse
Old Navy khaki corduroys
Black sequin Justice long sleeve shirt
Children’s Place straight-leg jeans
Jessica Simpson red print and striped dress with belt (new with tags)