Goodwill Industries, Inc., Announces ‘Merry Thriftmas’ Contest at South Papillion Retail Store

A local volunteer group approached Goodwill with the idea; if it’s successful this year, the organization may roll it out at additional locations in coming years.

Goodwill Industries, Inc., today announced “Merry Thriftmas,” a campaign that will include a contest giveaway, event and promotion that will run Dec. 1 through Dec. 14. During the two-week period, shoppers at Goodwill at 704 Gold Coast Drive in South Papillion will receive a contest entry form each time they visit the store for their chance to win one of four unique prizes.

“We had a family come to us and ask if they could decorate our four display windows at the South Papillion store and hold a drawing for everything in the windows,” said Janelle Ellis, director of retail operations for Goodwill in the Omaha metro area. “The family has recruited additional volunteers in the Papillion area, and collectively, we call them the Goodwill Elves.”

The concept is this: The Goodwill Elves developed a theme for each window, and they’ve been scouring Goodwill for the perfect decorations and items, which they purchase and donate for each theme. The Elves are also visiting Papillion businesses for donations of new items for the windows, and Goodwill is donating items for each window.

On Nov. 17, the Goodwill Elves covered the display windows at the South Papillion store with gift wrap and went to work building their window themes. On Dec. 1 at 3 p.m., Goodwill is hosting a Merry Thriftmas Unveiling Event, where the Goodwill Elves will “unwrap” the four windows. From Dec. 1 through Dec. 14, shoppers at the South Papillion store will receive entry tickets that they can drop into the coordinating box for the window they’d like to win. On Dec. 14, the Goodwill Elves will draw a winner for each window during a Facebook Live event.Merry Thriftmas

“Santa Claus will be at the unveiling event, and the Goodwill Elves are currently trying to secure donations of milk, cookies and hot chocolate for the event,” said Goodwill CEO Mike McGinnis. “We want this to be a fun event for the Papillion community, and the whole community is invited.”

“What’s really great about this contest is the winners win everything in their window,” Ellis said. “The furniture, the lights and decorations, all of the gifts — everything. I know our Goodwill customers will be excited about this contest, and if it’s successful, we’re talking about doing ‘Merry Thriftmas’ at more of our stores next year and in the years after.”

For more information about “Merry Thriftmas” and updates about the Dec. 1 unveiling event, please visit, and watch Goodwill Omaha’s social media for the most up-to-date information.