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.