Join Goodwill as we visit Don & Millie’s on 108th & Center for good times and great food, all while raising money for Employment Solutions!DonMillies-Fundraiser-9-19-2018
Donations Through Omaha Gives! Support
Goodwill Employment Services
On Wednesday, May 23, the Omaha metro came together to support local nonprofit agencies through Omaha Gives!—an event hosted by the Omaha Community Foundation. Omaha Gives! is a year-round, online giving campaign with the mission of growing community-based philanthropic efforts in Douglas, Sarpy, and Pottawattamie counties. Each May, a 24-hour online giving event is held to celebrate nonprofits. All nonprofits in the Omaha metro from small startups to seasoned organizations are given the opportunity to participate and receive donations.
This year marked the 6th annual Omaha Gives! philanthropy event. Just this year alone, our community came together to support 970 nonprofits and raised over $7.4 million. Goodwill Omaha has participated in Omaha Gives! since 2013 and has raised over $125,000 total for our mission programs. During the 2018 Omaha Gives! campaign, Goodwill had 36 supporters who who generously donated over $9,800. The funds raised in 2018 will directly support our Employment Ready and Business Solutions programs.
Through these programs, we can serve anyone in our community, regardless of qualifying criteria, and help them prepare for and find meaningful employment. Anyone in need of employment assistance in the Omaha Metro area can come to Goodwill and receive assistance.
Employment Ready staff provided nearly 17,000 services to program participants in the past year- ranging from practice interviews, to criminal history abatement, to employability skills before and after hire.
Business Solutions is the second program related to this initiative. Business Solutions takes the same approach as Employment Ready, but focuses those efforts on employers, rather than job seekers. Our Business Solutions staff specializes in identifying the hiring needs in our city, and matching those needs with the people we serve.
Employment Ready and Business Solutions staff work together seamlessly within Goodwill. Employment Ready values the job development efforts that Business Solutions maintains in the community, as it allows them to concentrate on job readiness. Business Solutions needs work-ready people to fill employer needs. We’ve designed these two programs so that they operate in a connected but independent way—providing the best services to people and businesses alike.
We are so thankful for the generosity of those in our community who stand behind our mission of changing lives and strengthening communities through education, training and work. As always, it is truly amazing to see Omaha come together and support all of it’s wonderful nonprofits!
Thank you to everyone who has and continues to support our mission. To find out more about our mission and programs, click here.
Save the date for next year’s giving day on May 22, 2019! Or click here to give year-round.
Omaha 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.
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 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 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.
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 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
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.
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.”
In 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.
- Be a zero waste campus by 2030
- Use net positive energy by 2030
- Revamp the schools lunch program
- Integrate sustainability into the schools curriculum
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.
At 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.
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.
Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist
Goodwill Industries Celebrates 115 Years of Changing Lives
During the week of May 6, 2018 we will be celebrating Goodwill Industries Week—along with 115 years of building better futures and changing lives. Goodwill Industries Week was first celebrated in May of 1951. It is a way to encourage local Goodwill organizations to educate their communities about their missions. At Goodwill Omaha our mission is to change lives through education, training, and work—by serving individuals and businesses in eastern Nebraska and southwestern Iowa.
Hand-Up Not a Hand Out
In 1902 Reverend Edgar J. Helms went from door to door in Boston asking not for money, but for clothing in need of repair. Helms employed people facing challenges by having them mend the clothes for a daily wage. By selling those clothes back to the community, Goodwill’s mission was born. Helms believed in giving people a chance, not charity. He also believed there is more dignity in receiving a hand-up, not a hand-out. When people learn the skills to earn their own pay checks they have the power to transform lives and communities. Goodwill has grown from humble origins into an international non-profit organization. We provide employment placement, job training services and other important services to millions of people.
Goodwill Omaha’s Programs and Services
While programs and services have changed over the years, our mission of changing lives through education, training, and work has stayed true. Below are programs and services Goodwill Omaha currently provides.
- Ability One – Provides part-time job opportunities for individuals with disabilities in a supportive and integrated work environment at several federal properties.
- Business Solutions – Meets the needs of local employers by connecting them with quality applicants and providing ongoing support.
- Employment Ready – Provides free one-on-one job readiness services to anyone who is unemployed or under-employed in the Omaha metro, Council Bluffs, or Fremont areas.
- Hire Nebraska – Puts Nebraskans to work as they transition from public assistance to life-changing employment.
- Work Experience – Offers high school special education students, who are nearing completion of high school education, an opportunity to gain exposure to a work situation in a supportive environment.
- Volunteer & Community Service – We thrive on the support of our community and those who volunteer their time. Providing the opportunity to complete approved court ordered hours of service is another way we support those in our community.
- YouthBuild Omaha – A national education, leadership, development, and occupational skill-training program for disadvantaged young adults. YouthBuild is a proud partner of the American Job Center Network.
In 2017, Goodwill Omaha served 1,797 people through our mission programs. Hosting a total of 35 hiring events—230 jobs were found by Goodwill participants. The average hourly wage of Goodwill participants placed in jobs was $12.16. Through our programs and services, we are able to continue our mission of changing lives through education, training, and work. We provide free tours to the public for a behind the scenes look at our organization, by appointment. For contact information and more details about our programs and services, click here.
Involved in Goodwill
Being involved in our community is a key component to what makes our mission programs and services so impactful. You can become involved with Goodwill Omaha through the various events we host and participate in. To find out more about our upcoming events, click here. You can also support our life-changing mission by shopping and donating at your local Goodwill retail location. When you purchase items from Goodwill, those dollars go directly to the support needs of our programs and services. Click here to view a listing of our locations.
Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist
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.
Most 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.
- Closets (clothing, linen, etc.)
- Junk Drawers
- Office Space
- Storage Rooms
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.
Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist
Join Goodwill as we host a blood drive with American Red Cross helping in the support of relief efforts to make a difference in our community.
Who: Everyone is invited
What: An opportunity to make a donation to the American Red Cross
When: Friday, May 4, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Where: 78th & Dodge Goodwill
Why: Helping communities come together—donating blood to save lives
How: Contact Ann at (402) 231-1919 or visit redcrossblood.org and enter: Goodwill to schedule an appointment
Click the images below to learn more about how your blood donation makes a difference to people in our community.
If you want to save some serious money when shopping, checking out the vast marketplace of second-hand items is the best place to start. It takes a bit more work than simply buying something new online or at the store, but you’d be amazed at what you can find in thrift stores and antique shops. Here’s a primer on why you’d want to buy used, how to do it, and what to buy.
The Benefits of Buying Used
One obvious benefit to buying used is price of the merchandise. You can guarantee used goods will almost always be cheaper than new goods, and in some cases you’ll find there is a drastic difference.
In terms of quality, used merchandise can actually be of more value than new products. With new merchandise, there’s a chance that what you’re getting isn’t high quality. If you find a used item that’s in good enough condition for resale, odds are it’s a quality product since it has passed the test of time thus far.
You’re not the only one to benefit when you buy used goods. Second hand goods are typically sold by local stores, private sellers, and local nonprofits that give back to the community, such as Goodwill Industries. You could consider yourself to be “going green” as most of these second hand stores keep used goods from going to the landfills and use little to no packaging on merchandise.
How to Score the Best Deals
The second hand marketplace is continuing to grow in demand. People are often finding the best deals are at thrift and consignment stores. Most communities have at least one or two second hand stores for donating and shopping.
You can also find used items on several websites and apps. The most well-known is eBay, but there are also more niche marketplaces available. For example, Shop Goodwill is an online selling platform where you can peruse through a wide array of antiques, jewelry, collectibles, and unique buys that are specially selected from Goodwill’s around the country.
One key to scoring deals when you’re buying used is being able to recognize quality items. You will want to do some research on the products you intend to buy used so that you know what to look for. Let’s say you’re interested in men’s clothing. If you are unsure how to determine the quality of such items, you can use online reviews of garments and the materials used.
Buying second-hand items is not only easier on your wallet—when you buy used goods from a local nonprofit, like Goodwill, you can also help support your community. Goodwill Omaha has various programs that help people with job barriers get into the workforce. You never know what you will find, enjoy the hunt!
A special thanks to Joe Humphries, who is a contributing writer and media specialist for Three Centuries Store. He regularly writes for antique and home improvement blogs. He frequents antique stores, flea markets and Goodwill on the weekends on the hunt for vinyl records and compasses.
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!
- Visit WCNEGives.org on Tuesday November 28, 2017
- Click “DONATE NOW”
- Select “Goodwill Industries Inc.” to support Goodwill’s Work Experience program in Blair!
Getting organized is one thing, but staying organized is quite another! Here are three of the biggest mistakes I see people making as they organize any space, whether it is a closet, kitchen, laundry room, garage or bedroom.
- NO STRATEGY: Approaching a project with a “hurry up, clean it up” mentality, you are not thinking through the systems needed to keep the space running smoothly. You can “clean up” a laundry room by just throwing everything in cabinets to get it off the floor, and it looks better. But to keep it organized and be able to find what you need, you must think through who is using the space and what functions are happening there. A laundry room needs to have clothes put through cycles of sorting, pre-treating, washing, drying, folding and ironing. You may need to manage recycling or pet care duties in this space as well. Set up zones for each function, and think through the tasks required to maintain each zone.
- NO OWNERSHIP: Even if you’ve identified the maintenance tasks, they still may not get done if you don’t know who is supposed to do them. We often hear, “I thought you were going to do that!” and “No, I thought you were supposed to do it.” When there isn’t clarity on ownership, everyone thinks someone else is going to do it, and the task simply doesn’t get done.
- NO OUTBOX: Your office desk and your email apps have inboxes and outboxes. Does your house have an outbox? In my house, we call it a Donation Station. A good Donation Station is located in a closet, a spot in the garage or an out-of-the-way corner — whatever works for you and your family so you can set aside items you’ve decided you no longer need. The purpose is to have a place to corral all of those decisions as soon as you make them, giving them less chance of getting mixed back into your stuff again. Keep some containers you don’t mind giving away there, like paper grocery or shopping bags or boxes. When the containers are full, put them in your car for your next trip to Goodwill®!
Establishing habits is key to maintaining your organized spaces. Systems and routines — like keeping the laundry, dishes, and cooking operations going on a daily basis — are the foundation of home organization. Create a strategy for having solid morning and evening routines each day and other specific jobs done weekly to give you the long-term results you want from your efforts!
Finally, don’t forget to revisit the systems you’ve created. Few things are perfect the first time. Most systems and spaces need a little tweaking here and there, particularly because life goes on and things do change. When your life changes, your systems must change with it. When that happens, it’s a great time to donate to Goodwill.
Kids growing up and leaving home, changing careers, moving to another house, divorces, breakups or weddings — all of these life changes mean new stuff, new priorities and new perspectives. When your old stuff no longer reflects your life, donating it to Goodwill means you are helping someone in your community receive services and opportunities like job training, job placement, financial literacy classes or résumé writing assistance so they can build a lifelong connection to work.