Support Your Family, Friends, and Neighbors with Omaha Gives!

Omaha Gives! 2018Omaha Gives! is a community-wide event to show off Omaha’s spirit of giving, raise awareness about local nonprofits, and celebrate the collective effort it takes to make this city great.

On May 23, when you donate to Goodwill you’re directly supporting family, friends, and neighbors who participate in Goodwill’s employment and training programs. Goodwill Industries, Inc., Serving Eastern Nebraska and Southwest Iowa, has been a leader in helping people fulfill their dreams through work since 1933. We train and employ people with disabilities and others who may be at a competitive disadvantage in the job market, such as at-risk youth.

Many people know Goodwill as a place to donate used clothing or household items. But did you know that Goodwill is also a place where thousands of formerly unemployed individuals have been given the opportunity to earn a living and the chance to succeed in life?

Goodwill offers a variety of employment programs and job opportunities for individuals with barriers to self-sufficiency. To learn more about services provided, view the list below.

To show your support to Goodwill Omaha and the participants we serve, please click here.

ABILITYONE
The AbilityOne program provides part-time job opportunities for individuals with disabilities in a supportive, team-oriented work environment at several federal properties. To learn more, click here.

  • Every 48 hours, over two million square feet of federal contract buildings are cleaned by AbilityOne employees.
  • In 2017, our AbilityOne program employed 118 people. Of those 118 employees, 92 had a disability.

BUSINESS SOLUTIONS
Business Solutions creates relationships with businesses, maintains and grows a bank of jobs for participants, assists in assessing participants for potential job placements, and provides retention services for businesses and participants. To learn more, click here.

  • In 2017, Business Solutions placed program participants in 87 jobs.

EMPLOYMENT READY
Employment Ready provides one-on-one job readiness services to anyone who is unemployed or under-employed in the Omaha Metro, Council Bluffs or Fremont areas. Employment Ready staff reaches out to partner agencies and offers customizable services for on-site workshops at their location, as well as workshops at Goodwill. To learn more, click here.

  • Last year, 1,103 people were served by Employment Ready.

WORK EXPERIENCE
The Work Experience program can be the first step toward successful job placement. This program offers high school special education students, who are nearing the completion of their high school education, an opportunity to gain exposure to a work situation in a supportive environment. To learn more, click here.

  • In 2017, Work Experience served 317 students at 11 locations in the Omaha and Council Bluffs metro.
  • In 2017, Goodwill paid $303,905.16 in Work Experience student wages.

YOUTHBUILD
YouthBuild Omaha is a program for young adults ages 16 to 24 years who have struggled with school, many not receiving a high school diploma, and need help getting their life back on track. To learn more, click here.

  • In 2017, YouthBuild Omaha participants worked at 11 construction sites.

Thank you for continuing to support our mission of changing lives and strengthening communities through education, training and work.

 


Written by: Ann Woodford • Marketing Manager
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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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Show Respect, Take the Pledge, End the Word

Would you pledge to stop using a word that hurts others, is exclusive, offensive, and derogatory? Such words can be applied in everyday conversation without the user being aware of the impact they have on others. One commonly misused, derogatory word is the R-word, which refers to “retard” or “retarded”. On the first Wednesday of every March, thousands of people are pledging to show respect and refrain from using this word by uniting to Spread the Word to End the Word.

 

RECOGNIZE

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 Goodwill Omaha hosted a public event—a panel discussion regarding empowerment and employment of people with disabilities. Respect was the theme of the day. Sam Comfort, Work Experience Coordinator for Goodwill Omaha, acknowledged the fact that language impacts attitude and attitude affects action. Spread the Word to End the Word poses as a time to recognize that all people deserve respect and our community should be free from harmful and offensive words such as “retard” and “retarded”. Refreshments and popcorn were provided as Goodwill debuted a screening of the 2018 Spread the Word to End the Word video . The video focuses on respect for all individuals and gave Goodwill’s Work Experience students the opportunity to say what they would like to be called in place of the R-Word.

 

REVIEW

A guest panel was invited to discuss the importance of respect, diversity, and inclusion. Brice Meyer, Planet Fitness Regional Manager for Nebraska and Iowa, was invited to talk about his experience in employing persons with disabilities. Michaela Ahrens, Senior Director of PACE/Programs at Autism Action Partnership, encouraged everyone in the community to “join us in efforts to increase the inclusiveness and support in the community so that people with any type of disability are able to fully participate in community life. Whether it’s where they go to school, where they work, where they worship, or where they play.” 

Rachel Mulligan, Special Olympics of Nebraska athlete, and Kasey Haynes, who is employed with Culver’s and receives services from Crossroads of Western Iowa, joined the panel to answer questions of how people can show respect to those with disabilities. Kasey’s sister, Kerry Haynes, a Special Education Teacher at Fremont Public Schools, was able to provide great insight about being a sibling to a person with a disability. As an advocate for persons with disabilities, Edison McDonald, Executive Director at The Arc of Nebraska, enlightened us on the barriers that people with disabilities continue to face. We want to give a special thanks to all of our panel participants for being involved in spreading the word to end the word. Click here to view the full panel discussion.

Customers shopping and donating at Goodwill Omaha retail locations also had the opportunity to take the pledge and Spread the Word to End the Word. Work Experience students made popcorn for shoppers while inviting them to sign a Spread the Word to End the Word banner. “The Work Experience students felt encouraged to be interacting with customers on their own behalf”, said Christin Graff, Work Experience Trainer in Fremont.  

 

RESPECT

Each and every one of us has the opportunity to be the next person who will take a step forward and create a more inclusive and accepting community for those who are affected by the R-Word. For more news and events on how you can help be an advocate for those with disabilities in your community, visit Goodwill Omaha. Will you take the pledge to show respect?

 

2018 Spread the Word to End the Word Event Photos

 

 

 

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Washington County Gives!

Goodwill Omaha is proud to participate in the first Washington County Gives! a 24-hour charitable challenge organized by the Blair Area Chamber of Commerce and Blair Area Community Foundation. The online giving event will take place on November 28 starting at midnight.

All funds raised by Goodwill support our Work Experience program in Blair. Goodwill’s Work Experience program provides students in special education services an opportunity to gain exposure to a work situation in a supportive environment. By participating in Work Experience, students can take the first step in making the transition from a school setting to the world of work.

The Work Experience program at Goodwill’s retail store in Blair allows students with disabilities the opportunity to experience aspects of employment. From following a supervisor’s instructions to staying on task, students are gaining valuable skills to assist in the transition from the classroom to employment.

Earlier this month, the Blair Work Experience staff hosted an Open House to invite student’s families, teachers and community members to see what the students have been learning this semester. Blair Work Experience Trainer, Jenny organized an engaging night for both students and guests that included student-led store tours, face painting and craft tables. Students demonstrated the skills they’ve learned through the Work Experience program and guests enjoyed seeing the students in action.

Your support will allow Goodwill to continue to provide these opportunities for students in Washington County. Help us continue to change lives and strengthen our community by giving to Goodwill’s Work Experience program in Blair during Washington County Gives!

  1. Visit WCNEGives.org on Tuesday November 28, 2017
  2. Click “DONATE NOW”
  3. Select “Goodwill Industries Inc.” to support Goodwill’s Work Experience program in Blair!
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Media Update – Shop Goodwill For Last Minute Halloween Needs!

Halloween comes alive at Goodwill! Check out the Goodwill team showcasing costumes on the Morning Blend. We had a blast searching Goodwill stores to create several individual and group costumes for all ages. Whether you’re looking for a fresh costume idea or just need the finishing touches for your creation, Goodwill is the place to find it! Stop in today, there’s still time to create that perfect Halloween costume at Goodwill. Remember, when you shop at Goodwill you are supporting our job readiness programs that are helping people from all over the community to achieve their employment goals.

See the original story here.

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Mayor’s Proclamation Supports National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)

Today Goodwill Industries in partnership with the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors hosted a special ribbon cutting and mayoral proclamation to celebrate the month of October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).

The event was held at the Omni Center in Council Bluffs and brought together more than 100 community members to celebrate NDEAM. High school students from Goodwill’s Work Experience program served refreshments as guests gathered for the presentation.

The program began with introductions from the Council Bluff’s Ambassadors through the Chamber of Commerce. Dozens of Ambassadors representing a wide variety of businesses and organizations stood in support of the proclamation.

Council Bluffs Mayor, Matt Walsh thanked the crowd for their support of NDEAM. Mayor Walsh emphasized the importance of work in defining oneself. Citizens with disabilities also need the opportunity to work and contribute their skills to the community.

Mayor Walsh presented the official proclamation affirming Council Bluff’s commitment to building an inclusive community for all citizens. The city recognizes the month of October as an opportunity to raise awareness on disability issues throughout the community.

Next Dan Koenig, representing the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce, explained the Chamber’s responsibility to educate businesses about the importance of inclusive hiring practices. He highlighted the impact of programs like Work Experience at Goodwill, which provides high school students with disabilities the opportunity to develop employment skills in a supportive environment.

Goodwill's Work Experience and Staff

Brad Krause, owner of Grease Monkey in Council Bluffs spoke about his experience working with representatives from Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation to employ individuals with disabilities. He explained the positive impact that disabled employees have had on his business.

Goodwill Work Experience participant, Noah Wegener spoke about the importance of work in his life. This is Noah’s third year in the Work Experience Program and he’s learned many tips to being successful on the job; including hard work, being responsible and being nice to your boss. Noah is proud to be able to work and contribute to his household. He looks forward to the future and gaining more independence as he works toward his goals.

Goodwill is proud to bring together many community members committed to bringing awareness to issues for employees with disabilities. Visit our interactive calendar HERE for more information and events to celebrate NDEAM. Check out our Facebook to view a video from this morning’s event (click the Videos tab on our Facebook page).

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Out & About Storytime at Goodwill

Goodwill is proud to partner with the Omaha Public Library to host a monthly Out & About Storytime event at the Benson Park Goodwill Store! Storytime fosters early literacy skills by providing parents the opportunity to introduce their children to reading and language in a fun way. Storytime is designed for preschoolers and their parents, but children of all ages are encouraged to attend and participate.

During Storytime, a librarian leads parents and children in engaging stories, songs, rhymes and finger plays – all designed to help your child learn to love reading. Parents must stay with their children during Storytime and are encouraged to participate in activities. Parents can also learn tips from Omaha Public Library staff about reading aloud, age-appropriate books, music, songs and other activities used during Storytime.

Join us for Out & About Storytime at the Benson Park Goodwill store located at 4805 N 72nd St (72nd & Ames) from 10:30-11:00 on Friday, January 26.

Guests at Goodwill’s Out & About Storytime will also enjoy snacks, stickers and a coupon for one FREE book to take home!

Click here to view the event on Facebook >>>

Click here to view all upcoming Goodwill events on Facebook >>>

Storytime at Goodwill

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