Donations Through Omaha Gives! Support Goodwill Employment Services

Donations Through Omaha Gives! Support

Goodwill Employment Services

Omaha Gives Combined Images From LIV lounge

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.

Combined Image 2 LIV lounge

Programs Supported

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.

Thank You!

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.

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Support Your Family, Friends, and Neighbors with Omaha Gives!

Omaha Gives! 2018Omaha 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.

ABILITYONE
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
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
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.

WORK EXPERIENCE
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
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
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Goodwill Industries Celebrates 115 Years of Changing Lives

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.


JoshMeyer-MarketingSpecialist

Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist
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Clean Sweep – Living with Less Mess

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.

Clean Slate

Cleaning SuppliesMost 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.

Spring Clean

  • Closets (clothing, linen, etc.)
  • Junk Drawers
  • Office Space
  • Pantries
  • Storage Rooms
  • Garage

 

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.


JoshMeyer-MarketingSpecialist

Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist
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Find Your Creative Style With Goodwill Omaha’s Look Book

Find Your Creative Style With Goodwill Omaha’s Look Book

Inner Creativity.

Do you ever find yourself seeking a creative nudge for your wardrobe? First of all, it can be difficult to find your inner creative self—especially in today’s saturated clothing industry. It can also be tiresome and costly to keep up with the status quo. Personally styling your look is a common way for you to express yourself. However, most of us need guidelines, tips, or advice when creating looks and expanding our wardrobes. In the blog post 9 Steps to Defining Your Personal Style, Kat Collings nails down steps for developing your personal style. 

Look to be Inspired.

All you need is a little imagination and maybe some images to inspire you. We have a fun new way to share creative looks that you can achieve by shopping at your local Goodwill. Click here to follow our Look Book for fun and creative new ways to expand your wardrobe and shop for upcoming seasons. The possibilities are endless when you shop at Goodwill. Did you know that each time you shop at our retail stores, the revenue generated is used to support our employment and training programs for individuals with disabilities and other disadvantages?

Eleventh Hour.

As we move into April, Prom season is in full swing. Maybe you have had a tough time finding the right dress at the right price. If so, we have some amazing dresses for you to choose from at our retail locations. We visited our Benson Park location and found designer prom dresses from Rachel Allen, Blush Prom, Sherri Hill, Blondie Nites by Stacey Sklar, and more. We also found some pumps and heels that will knock your socks off, pun intended. Regardless of the look you are going for, we’ve got some gorgeous designer dresses that will remedy your last minute prom night wardrobe crisis.  


Rachel Allen Dress - Mermaid - Prom Look BookBlush Prom Dress - Violet - Prom Look Book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to learn more about the programs you are supporting while
perfecting your last minute prom needs.


Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist
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Penny-Pinching for the Perfect DIY Prom Dress

Penny-Pinching for the Perfect DIY Prom Dress

Finding the perfect dress for prom has become taxing. With so many fits, colors, and styles to choose from—it can be difficult to know where to start looking. Oh yeah, lets not forget about that price tag either. As a result, you may not always be satisfied with the hunt of that perfect prom dress. So why not create your own? Learn how to re-purpose a dress into a DIY creation and restore the fun in your prom experience.

What’s in this prom season?

After doing some research, we have put together a list of what you might find to be in style this prom season.

  • Lace Detail and Overlay
  • Pastel Colors
  • Ultra Violet
  • Off the Shoulder
  • High Slits
  • Plunging Necklines
  • Two-Piece Dresses
  • Halter Tops
  • Chiffon

While these may be great suggestions for this season. Don’t be afraid to express yourself and get creative. Think outside the box.

Where to find your dress.

Try Goodwill, no seriously, you would be amazed at the selection of dresses most Goodwill stores have. Frequently visiting your favorite Goodwill retail location will give you an advantage as new product comes in daily. If you have never shopped at a Goodwill before, you’ll probably want to start. You can save your pretty pennies and score some awesome finds. While there are DIY-ers that create their own prom dresses, we suggest repurposing instead of starting from scratch. This will give you a head start in creating your masterpiece. Need some inspiration? Click here to find a gallery of DIY prom dress ideas.

Creating your perfect prom dress.

You may find a dress you like, but may not be quite head over heels for. There’s a solution for that! Do you have sewing skills? If not, try finding a friend who can help you in that area. Adding different materials such as lace and chiffon can create layers and add to the wow factor of your dress. It’s a great way to get the look you are going for without too much work. Not a lover of lace or chiffon? It can be just as easy to remove. You can also use crystals to create a dress that captures and reflects light in all the right places.

You’ll be able to find those supplies at your local fabric or craft store such as: Hobby Lobby or Michael’s. If you are up for a challenge, Wendy gives you a great tutorial on making a custom chiffon dress. You may also want to check out her blog, With Wendy, for more amazing DIY ideas.

Finding the right fit.

If you fall in love with a dress that isn’t your size and needs some updating, don’t fret. Be open to the idea of having your dress tailored. You can expand your selection by doing so. Finding a good tailor may seem tough, but there are plenty of tailors out there who specialize in custom fits. Scheduling a fitting with your tailor before the work begins is also important. Your fitting will give you the opportunity to communicate your vision and build a relationship with your tailor of choice.

Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. You might be surprised at what your tailor can do. Communication is key. You want to give your tailor as much direction as possible. As a result of having a custom fit, you can make a statement with your now one-of-a-kind dress that looks and feels custom made just for you. In the blog post What Every Woman Should Know About Looking Better in Clothes Zac Posen says “The right tailoring can make any garment work for any body”. You can follow Zac on twitter for more inspiration.

Share your creation.

We encourage you to share your creations with us! Use the hashtag #PromAtGoodwill if you found your dress, or any part of your ensemble at one our Goodwill Omaha locations. Be sure to tag us at @goodwillomaha for a chance to be featured on our social media pages. At Goodwill, our mission is to change lives and strengthen communities through education, training, and work. When you shop with Goodwill Omaha you are directly supporting our programs and employment services here in our community.


Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist
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Second Hand Items: When it is Best to Buy

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.

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