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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Work Experience Students Support Goodwill’s Retail Stores

Goodwill’s Work Experience program provides young adults with disabilities the opportunity to gain exposure to a work situation in a supportive environment. Eight Goodwill locations host students for a few hours a day during the school year. Most students work in one of Goodwill’s retail stores, but some students are able to get a behind-the-scenes look at Goodwill’s Retail Operations Center.

The Retail Operations Center at 72nd and F Street houses Goodwill’s logistics operations to help the retail stores operate smoothly. The Retail Operations Center services all of Goodwill’s 15 retail stores, donation pods, Attended Donation Centers and community donation drives.

My'Kel tagging donated clothesNew this year, Work Experience students utilize five new hanging and sorting stations. When Goodwill receives donated goods through community donation drives, donation pods, and Attended Donation Centers, those goods need to be sorted, tagged and hung up. However, the Retail Operations Center is not a retail store and therefore does not always have staff to complete these tasks. That’s where Work Experience students are able to step in and help out.

 

Work Experience students are trained to follow the same procedures for hanging and sorting as employees in Goodwill’s retail stores. Clothes arrive in gaylords (large cardboard boxes). Then the students sort the clothes, hang them on the rack and follow guidelines to determine the appropriate tag to attach.

Zach selecting price tags

Once the clothes are tagged and hung, they are either sent out to a Goodwill retail store or stored for later use. The extra help of Work Experience students at the Retail Operations Center allows Goodwill’s retail stores to remain fully stocked even if donations slow at that location. Their support allows Goodwill’s retail operations to keep running smoothly.

Work Experience students Zach, Mikeala and My’Kel enjoy working in the hanging and sorting stations because it keeps them busy and helps the day move fast. Work Experience trainer Patty explains, “This is a terrific job for our students. They are learning skills that are directly applicable to any retail job as well as basic employment skills like following guidelines and procedures.”

Goodwill’s Work Experience program is proud to support the work of Goodwill’s retail stores while providing students exposure to a work environment. Next time you shop at Goodwill, remember that the clothing you purchase may have been sorted and tagged by a Work Experience student.

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National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.

According to Department of Labor statistics, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is twice that of the general population, and they are also nearly three times more likely to live in poverty than those without disabilities. These are issues Goodwill is working hard to eliminate everyday through our programs and services.  In 2016, Goodwill employed 151 individuals who identified as having a disability and trained 249 high school students who received special education services.

If you are looking for ideas on promoting a disability-friendly workplace, here are seven ways to carry out the spirit of National Disability Employment Awareness Month all year long.

# 1: Host a Disability Mentoring Day

# 2: Sponsor a “Lunch and Learn” Series About Disability Issues

# 3: Provide Volunteer Opportunities to Your Employees

# 4: Display Posters Promoting Disability Inclusion

# 5: Offer American Sign Language Training Classes to Your Employees

# 6: Host a Disability 101 Event for Employees

# 7: Incorporate Disability Into Your Onboarding Processes

To see the full list of ideas, visit https://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/YearRound.htm

 

Don’t forget to check out our webpage with more tips and activities.

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Mission In Action : Ahassan

 

Ahassan’s journey to Goodwill began nine months ago on the other side of the world. He arrived in Omaha in December 2016 with his family after fleeing persecution in his native country. His family was excited to reach Omaha but Ahassan knew that finding employment was an important first step while adjusting to their new home.

Ahassan shares his path to success with Goodwill Employment Specialists Sherri Kallon and Katy Young in Goodwill’s computer lab.

When Ahassan arrived in Omaha, he was assigned to an employment agency. Ahassan brings years of experience as a communications expert, is fluent in multiple languages and has several degrees and certifications. He needed an advocate to refer him to employers, provide a positive reference and help him navigate the Omaha labor market. Weeks and months passed and Ahassan was only offered positions outside his field and underutilizing his proven skills. He began to feel disheartened and unsure what the future would hold if he was not able to find a job.

The employment agency referred Ahassan to Goodwill’s Employment Ready Program to complete community service and gain exposure to the American working environment. The Employment Ready Program provides job readiness skills to anyone seeking employment assistance. Goodwill Employment Ready Specialist, Sherri Kallon explains, “When Ahassan first came to us. It was clear that he was struggling and had been let down many times. But it was also obvious that he is very intelligent and just needed someone to advocate for him.”

Sherri knew Ahassan was the perfect fit to intern in Goodwill’s computer lab. Immediately, he jumped at the opportunity to help other job seekers improve their computer skills while also researching education and job opportunities.

To enhance Ahassan’s employment search, Sherri engaged her colleague Katy Young from Goodwill’s Business Solutions Program. Business Solutions works directly with area companies to help fill their open positions. Sherri and Katy began sending Ahassan multiple job opportunities in his field. While Ahassan completed applications, Sherri and Katy worked their magic behind-the-scenes. Once Ahassan submitted his resume, Katy was quick to follow up with the company’s hiring manager to provide a positive reference. Their extra attention made the difference for Ahassan. After just two weeks at Goodwill, Ahassan interviewed and was offered the perfect position in his field.

Ahassan has been astounded by the personalized attention he received at Goodwill, saying, “Sherri and Katy are wonderful assets to Goodwill. They helped me find the perfect job and I am very grateful. Goodwill is doing amazing things in the community every day!” Join Goodwill as we wish Ahassan good luck in his new position. We know that he too will be doing amazing things in our community!

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Out & About Storytime is Coming to 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 October 27, & Friday December 22.

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 >>>

October Storytime at Goodwill

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10 Things You Should Never, Ever Pass Up If You See Them at Goodwill

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All Bark and No Bite: Goodwill® Deals for Dog-Lovers

Since pets are members of the family, too, it only makes sense that we want to pour as much effort into their needs as we do into our own. That means that we’re often tempted to customize their accessories to suit their furry little personalities. So, today we’ll be sharing some drool-worthy doggy decor and dressings made from Goodwill finds!

Photo 1

Image via landeeseelandeedo.com

Big ugly dog beds can be such an eye-sore, but owners often cringe to think that their darlings have to curl up on the hard floor. What’s a person to do? Well, make a place for Rover to sleep that looks as cute as it does cozy. For inspiration, check out this round-up put together by blogger Landeelu. I can’t decide which one is my favorite, but I’ve narrowed it down to either the Goodwill dresser that has been hollowed out into a nook for bigger dogs or the bed for small dogs that’s made from a thrifted sweater. Which one would your doggo dig the most?

Photo2

Image via petfinder.com

There are plenty of options for dog collars out there, but they all mostly follow the same bland design—nylon webbing with a plastic buckle. If the color and pattern variation of that sort of collar have never been stylish enough for your best friend, why not dress up their dog tags with a fancy DIY collar? Make your mutt her his or her own quirky collar by shopping the kids’ section of Goodwill in search of a button-down shirt in a pattern you like. Snip out the collar of the shirt, attach tags, and button it around your pup’s neck! Thanks to Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Louisiana (New Orleans) for sharing this great idea on their DIY Goodwill Finds Pinboard. Click through for even more easy thrift-craft ideas like this one.

Photo 3

Image via facebook.com/GoodwillSouthernAZ

Doggy decor is a fun way to capture our love of our best friends within the context of our homes. These little ceramic pups shared by Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona (Tucson) on their Facebook page would make perfect paperweights or decorative accents. As you browse Goodwill’s shelves on your next visit, keep a look out for figurines of your favorite breed. And don’t let a terrible paint job stop you! Thrifted finds can be quickly covered up with a fresh color for customized decor. (Psst! If you’re in the Tucson area, make sure you click through to your local Goodwill’s Facebook page to get the details for the Dress Your Pet Contest which runs through August 31st!)

Hopefully these ideas will send you and your hound off into the weekend with tails wagging. While you shop for project supplies, don’t forget that your support helps Goodwill organizations change lives by training unemployed or underemployed people for careers in fields such as automotive services, construction, health care, information technology, manufacturing, hospitality and retail as well as in other high-demand industries. So, have fun with your dog-themed DIYs as you and your pup benefit your local community.

This blog shared from Goodwill Industries International. See original blog here.

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The Inside Scoop from a Regular Goodwill WearHouse Shopper

If you’ve never been to the Goodwill WearHouse store, you’re in for a truly unique experience! The WearHouse features a wide variety of items found in traditional thrift stores but it’s all priced by the pound. And the more you purchase the cheaper the price – a thrift shopper’s dream! New merchandise is brought out regularly in large bins so grab a cart and dive in.

Regular Goodwill WearHouse customer Kathe first discovered the WearHouse while thrift shopping with her daughter in South Omaha. Kathe’s daughter enjoyed shopping at thrift stores off 36th and Q Street but Kathe was looking for a new place to shop. She noticed the Goodwill WearHouse on the same block and was immediately hooked.

Kathe loves the thrill of the hunt and there is no place like the Goodwill WearHouse to discover the unexpected. Kathe keeps a keen eye on the merchandise bins as they are rolled out onto the sales floor brimming with potential treasures. She doesn’t hesitate to dive in and hunt for the next big find. Many of the items that Kathe purchases at the WearHouse become listings on her eBay page. She’s sold everything from sewing patterns and craft supplies to Christmas ornaments and Halloween costumes. Every item starts with a 99¢ opening bid and she enjoys watching bidders try to outbid each other. The most unique item she has sold on eBay from the WearHouse was a simple plastic cookie cutter that said “Jesus loves me” – it sold for over $80! Kathe isn’t sure what made that specific cookie cutter so desirable but she hopes to find the next hidden gem at the WearHouse.

Kathe - regular shopper at Goodwill WearHouse

Kathe – regular shopper at Goodwill WearHouse

From the time Kathe became a regular shopper at the original South Omaha location, she has enjoyed getting to know WearHouse Manager Shantel. When it was announced that the WearHouse would be relocated to 72nd and F Street, Shantel was adamant that Kathe needed to visit the new location and continue to shop at the WearHouse. Kathe appreciates that Shantel is very conscious of every shopper’s safety while in the store. There are often dozens of shoppers hoping to get the first look at items in a new bin and Shantel makes sure that everyone stays safe. Kathe especially enjoys shopping at Goodwill to support the mission of eliminating unemployment for those that want to work. She appreciates the people that work hard every day to operate Goodwill.

Kathe’s advice for a first time shopper at the WearHouse is to keep an open mind – you never know what you’re going to find! She recognizes that first time shoppers might be confused by the per-pound pricing structure that decreases the more you buy, but the staff at the WearHouse are always there to help. If you’re looking for a thrilling shopping experience visit the WearHouse!

Click here to visit the WearHouse webpage >>>

 

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All Goodwill Card Holders to Receive 15% Off Every Time They Shop!

Join Goodwill Omaha on July 8th as we introduce a brand new Goodwill Card Discount! Beginning July 8th, all Goodwill Cardholders will receive a whopping 15% off all purchases. And that’s just the beginning.  Starting on the 8th all customers with a Goodwill Card will receive 15% off  – all day, every day! You heard it right… Every Goodwill cardholder will receive 15% off any purchase anytime they shop. No need to be a student, teacher, senior or military member. Every one with a Goodwill Card will receive this discount every time they shop!

Stop into any Goodwill Omaha store to get signed up for the Goodwill Card and start shopping and saving today.

And don’t forget, when you shop or donate with Goodwill Omaha, you support our Employment & Training programs that help friends, family, neighbors right here in our community! To learn more, visit goodwillomaha.org. See you July 8! Happy shopping!

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