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!!!


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.


Written by: Josh Meyer • Marketing Specialist

#ThriftyThursday – Getting Spooky at Goodwill

Goodwill Costumes

The leaves are beginning to change colors.  The temperature is dropping (slowly), and that can only mean one thing: Halloween season has arrived!

Of course, there is no place better to shop for this spooky holiday than your neighborhood Goodwill. Whether you are browsing for a decoration to make your house the creepiest on the block or looking for the perfect costume for your little one, I guarantee you can find it at Goodwill.

There are nearly two whole aisles dedicated just to different assortments of costumes – and that doesn’t even include the multiple shelves full of pumpkins and other necessary decorations. In the short time I riffled through the collection I found a brand new Mario costume, an eerie witch costume and a detailed superman costume (it even comes with the muscles!).

Why look anywhere besides Goodwill for your Halloween essentials?



Goodwill Register






#ThriftyThursday – Gretna at a Glance

Gretna Employees Jane Aschtgen and Mary Kratochvil

Gretna Employees Jane Aschtgen and Mary Kratochvil

I recently had the chance to visit one of the newer stores in the Goodwill fleet, Gretna. Gretna Goodwill opened in October of 2013 and the set up went as smoothly as possible.   I had a chance to speak with Jane Aschtgen and Mary Kratochvil both of whom are employees, about the stores origins and the challenges and successes the store has faced. After the smooth setup customers didn’t flock to the store as fast as expected mainly because many people didn’t even know the store was there. After a little bit of time the word got out and people began to fill the store. Locals from Gretna are the most common customers but people from Lincoln even make the trip to find a good deal. Jane and Mary said sometimes the store even gets some customers traveling across the country that stop in to see what’s happening. I asked both of them what the most interesting thing sold at the store was and I got some pretty interesting answers. As I asked this question Helen Kneisel, one of the cashiers, quickly chirped in and said the most interesting thing she saw was a massage chair but she admitted that it might have been the most interesting because she was the one who bought it. They brought me over to the donations to show me a TOILET SEAT that someone had donated. The toilet seat probably won’t end up being put on the floor to be sold but you never know what is going to come through the donation door. They also both agreed the 1970’s polyester dresses that are donated are one of the cooler items. Brenda Powell, one of the donated goods processor said one of the best finds she had was a zither. I think she noticed the confused look on my face to what a zither is and she quickly explained that it is a musical instrument similar to a guitar but it is played like a piano. I next asked them what the best part of working at Goodwill is and they both looked at each other and agreed it has to be the people. You never know who is going to walk through the door and it is always so much fun to interact with such a diverse group. My last question for them was which day is the busiest? Neither of them worked weekends so during the week they both agreed Mondays are the busiest because the Color of the Week changes and a whole new possibility of savings open up. I visited the store on a pretty rainy day so I asked if people still came in on rainy days and to my disbelief the rainier days usually have the bigger crowds because shoppers want something to do because lying by the pool isn’t an option for the day.

Gretna 4 Wheeler

Gretna 4 Wheeler

After thanking the two for taking time out of their busy schedule it was then my time to look through the store to try and find some neat items and to no surprise I most certainly did. One of the items that really caught my eye was a child electric 4-wheeler. I thought of how much fun I would have had with that as a child.

4th of July Shelf at Gretna

4th of July Shelf at Gretna

The 4th of July is quickly approaching and you never know what cool decoration you might find on the 4th of July shelf. After an exciting trip to Gretna I can’t wait to go back and visit!