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.

OMAHA, Neb., Nov. 20, 2019 — 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.


About Goodwill Industries, Inc.

Goodwill Industries, Inc., Serving Eastern Nebraska and Southwest Iowa, has been a leader in helping people fulfill their dreams through work since 1933. Our mission is to train and employ people with disabilities and others who may be at a competitive disadvantage in the job market. We do this by selling value-priced merchandise at 17 convenient locations in Omaha, Bellevue, Papillion, Fremont, Blair, Gretna and Council Bluffs.

Although many people know Goodwill as a place to donate used clothing and household items, they may not realize that their donations sold in our retail stores fund programs that give thousands of formerly unemployed individuals the opportunity to earn a living and the chance to succeed in life. Goodwill provides opportunities for individuals with barriers to self-sufficiency through a variety of job opportunities and employment programs, including AbilityOne, YouthBuild AmeriCorps, Employment Solutions and Work Experience.

Goodwill is a private, not-for-profit 501(c)3 agency governed by a local board of trustees. We are a member agency of Goodwill Industries International of Gaithersburg, Maryland. Goodwill is also affiliated with the federal Ability One program, which provides jobs for people with severe disabilities at federal facilities. Goodwill is accredited by CARF, the Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission. Learn more at


For Information, Contact:
Amy Goldyn, Marketing Manager
Goodwill Industries, Inc. Serving Eastern Nebraska & Southwest Iowa
[email protected]



Story Behind the Store – A Gender Reveal Party


It is not every day that Goodwill hosts a gender reveal party for an expectant mother. On March 7, 2019, that is exactly what happened at Goodwill’s WearHouse store on 72nd & F where long-term customer Arelys Sandoval revealed the gender of her next child to her family, friends and fellow shoppers.

Shantel Featherson, Goodwill’s WearHouse Manager, was honored to be part of the special occasion. “We were so excited to be part of this special moment for one of our long-time customers. We were able to help celebrate with great people, good food and games,” said Shantel. Shantel took time out of her busy day to plan the party and purchase decorations to make this day extra special for Arelys.

Shantel Featherson and Arelys Sandoval embracing during the party

Arelys’ brother, Rodrigo, introduced her to the WearHouse store over eight years ago and she has been a regular shopper ever since. The WearHouse store is a different kind of shopping experience. Items not sold at the traditional retail stores are sent to the WearHouse and most items are sold by the pound.

Arelys is a stay at home mom and sees her daily trips to Goodwill as a way to make new friends who enjoy shopping at the WearHouse as she does. Arelys says the friendly and helpful employees at Goodwill make her daily shopping there a memorable experience. “I really appreciate the environment at Goodwill, everyone is so nice!” said Arelys.

The Goodwill staff, shoppers and family members

Sandoval’s favorite things to shop for are clothes and toys for her son Ivan. A budding entrepreneur, she enjoys shopping for books that she resells on eBay and Amazon. “I always find great stuff!” said Arelys.

When asked what advice she would give people shopping at the WearHouse, she stressed the need for patience. You must dig for hidden treasures in the bins.  Arelys said, “I prefer Goodwill because of the prices. You can buy by the pound and it’s cheaper so you can get more.”

Arelys getting ready to find out the gender of her next baby

Arelys said her gender reveal party is by far the fondest memory she has of all her trips to Goodwill. The WearHouse staff looks forward to her bright, cheery and pleasant demeanor every day!
Goodwill is grateful for Arelys sharing her special day with us.

We appreciate her loyalty to Goodwill and cannot wait to meet the newest addition to her family.
Goodwill supports community needs and provides a unique shopping experience for customers like Arelys who has become a member of Goodwill’s extended family!

And the gender was… A BOY!!!


#ThriftyThursday – Go Big Red!


It may still be summer, but it’s never too early to start getting ready for Husker season! Goodwill at Benson Park currently has a classic Fisher Price ESPN electronic table top football game for just $14.99. The game has controls that let you move the electronic player back and forth.

The interesting twist is that to go faster you have to actually run on the mat and your steps are aligned with the gameplay. This is a great way to play a video game while still being active.

Electronic football game at Goodwill BPP

Electronic football game at Goodwill Benson Park

The game is being sold on amazon by a few vendors for very high prices up to $275, what a deal at Goodwill!

The best part about the game is that the two joysticks resemble football players, one is in a jersey similar to the Iowa Hawkeyes and the other looks similar to the Cornhuskers jerseys. Go Big Red!