Everyone Could Use a Little Goodwill

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

— Maimonides

For more than 60 years, local Goodwill organizations across the United States and Canada have celebrated Goodwill Week during the first full week of May. During this time, we normally would hold our spring career fair for job seekers and people looking to advance their careers, allowing them to participate in our mission.

This spring, things still look a little different than usual, and we remain committed to the health and safety of our employees, participants, donors, customers, and the community. We can still have a sale, though. Join us on Wednesday, May 5, for a customer appreciation event in honor of Goodwill Week!

In the past, we’ve offered a flat discount on customer appreciation days. This year, we’re changing it up. This year, you could receive up to 50% off your entire purchase*!

Here’s how:

  1. Visit any Goodwill Omaha location on Wednesday, May 5.
  2. Enjoy the “thrill of hunt” as you shop in the store.
  3. At the checkout, draw a chip from the bucket.
  4. The color of your chip determines your discount:
    • White = 10% off*
    • Red = 20% off*
    • Blue = 30% off*
    • Black = 50% off*

We’ll be open from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m., so don’t miss this exciting sale!

* Must be a Goodwill Card cardholder and present card to draw a chip. Discount excludes the Goodwill Outlet, e-commerce, new goods, and color-of-the-week sale items. Not to be combined with any other sale or offer.

What’s With the Fishing Quote?

In 1902, a Methodist minister from Boston named Edgar J. Helms established an organization that personifies the ideal that Maimonides was illustrating in the quote about fishing. Helms saw the people of Boston encountering seemingly insurmountable poverty, and he wanted to give them something better than temporary relief in the form of a handout. He wanted to give them the means to permanently change their lives through sustainable employment that would allow them to earn a paycheck while building personal dignity.

Helms achieved that goal by creating an organization you may have heard of. Yep, it’s Goodwill Industries.

Today Goodwill has grown into a network of 165 autonomous community-based organizations throughout the United States and Canada. Each organization offers employment training, education, and placement programs for people with disabilities and disadvantages as they work toward a common goal of self-sufficiency.

Every year during the first full week of May, Goodwill organizations across the continent come together to celebrate the power of work and Helms’ philosophy of “a hand up, not a hand out.” This celebration is Goodwill Week, a time when we strive to educate our local communities about Goodwill’s mission, which extends beyond our retail stores and donation centers.

Our mission statement is to transform lives and communities through the power of education and work. We strive every day to continue Edgar Helm’s idea of giving the people we serve the chance to change their own lives forever by “teaching men to fish.”

Goodwill Omaha Is Here To Help

The COVID-19 pandemic has left an indelible impact on countless individuals in our communities. Those effects have been felt at personal and professional levels and are still being navigated by many who are trying to get back on their feet and on the road to recovery. Goodwill Omaha provides job training and placement services to people with disabilities and other disadvantages, or barriers, to employment, as well as to anyone in the community who wants help finding a job.

Goodwill Omaha’s employment programs include the following:

YouthBuild AmeriCorps

Funded in part by the U.S. Department of Labor, Goodwill’s YouthBuild AmeriCorps is a program where disadvantaged and at-risk youth ages 16 to 24 years old receive construction education and training, earn their GED, and receive ongoing support from our team.

Employment Solutions

Our Employment Solutions program helps anyone in the community get additional job training, certification and skills. We connect participants with local businesses to place them in jobs, and we provide ongoing support and retention services for both.

Work Experience

Goodwill’s Work Experience program offers special-education students nearing the completion high school the opportunity to gain exposure to work situations in supportive environments. Students are referred to the Work Experience program by their school districts and have the opportunity to train in a variety of jobs at Goodwill Omaha.


Goodwill’s AbilityOne program provides part-time job opportunities for individuals with disabilities in supportive, team-oriented work environments at several federal properties. All AbilityOne participants work with Goodwill Omaha’s team to help ensure successful placements.