The Story Behind the Stores – Idd

Idd came to Goodwill as a participant. He completed his program and was extended for another 6 weeks to get more work history established. He worked in general retail at Kiwanis and was a major asset to the team while he was there. He showed up with a smile every day. He showed up on time and never complained. He was eager to learn new tasks especially with his barrier.

A little back story to Idd, he immigrated here from Somalia a few years ago. While he was there he was subjected to terrible violence and was the victim of a terrible explosion. In the explosion his hands became mingled. This is his barrier. He needed to learn how to become a productive member of society in America. Idd is a fighter. He is a learner also. He adjusted and adapted to his new situation and has overcome many obstacles put in his way. Every obstacle he faces he does so with determination and a big smile.

Idd was my first client as an employment specialist. We hit the ground running hard. He was determined to get a job and I was determined to find one for him that he could excel in. We successfully found that job at JCPenneys. They took him on and accommodated his barrier so that he could remain successful there. Idd has found his work family! The way the embraced him and his barrier is rather inspiring. They saw what a great asset he was and they have taken the time to really train him. Idd is very happy at his work and it shows when you see him working. He constantly has a big smile on his face! He is a true success story.

The Store Behind the Stores – Delilah

Delilah has been in the Project Skills program since the first part of the year.

Carrie from Project Skills reached out to Goodwill to provide a work setting for Delilah. She learned her tasks very quickly, and has become a model and mentor to others while they learn their responsibilities. Delilah works very hard to ensure new people either working in the store or coming in for a program feel comfortable and welcome.

Delilah states she has always been confident and happy but became nervous in new situations. Coming to work at Goodwill was her first work experience. When Delilah started her program she was very shy and rarely spoke to people. As she became more confident and got to know people through talking to them and asking them how their day was, their life was, and opening up a bit herself, she has become more confident in her work and around people.

Delilah is happier and enjoys getting to know and help out other people. Delilah feels good about the organization and our mission, and is proud to be able to contribute to the mission and helping others. Delilah talks to her family and friends about how her opportunity with Goodwill has helped build her confidence both in and out of the work setting. Goodwill’s teams have no doubt that in the future Delilah will enter an employment situation where she can be happy and successful.

Goodwill programs work to encourage and prepare participants to move on to greater successes and independent futures. Delilah is looking forward to the next steps in her life to help her meet her goals, and stated she will always be thankful for her time at Goodwill.

Quote from Delilah:
“Goodwill has provided me a place where I can learn and feel confident.”

Celebrate Independence Day with Goodwill®

By Julia Marchand

When I think of the 4th of July, I envision our glorious flag (and what it represents), booming fireworks and a laid back happy vibe. No matter where you are celebrating or how many people are involved, those are the to  p three things, I think, on everyone’s Independence Day celebration checklist. The problem with party planning for an event like this, though, is that when you’re the host sometimes the details can overtake your ability to actually enjoy the free-spirited mood of the day. We don’t want you to miss out on the fun, so here are a few tips to help you capture the atmosphere of the holiday without missing out on the good parts.

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Let’s start off with one décor tip that will go a long way: Making your food pull double duty! Every event needs food. Whether you’re hosting a huge gathering or just preparing enough for your family, it’s easy to color code your foods to fit the theme. Arrange a red, white, and blue dessert in a clear glass bowl (browse a wide variety of shapes and sizes at Goodwill for a great price!) and use it as a centerpiece. This great idea comes from the Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia (Richmond) blog. It’s a roundup post so check it out for even more décor ideas!

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Marion Goodwill Industries (OH) has some easy 4th of July ideas, too, on their patriotic Pinboard. I especially love this idea to organize silverware into mason jars with red, white, and blue bandanas! Every piece of this easy-to-assemble display can be thrifted and the best part is that you’ll be able to use them all after the event, too! There’s a secret satisfaction I get when I can assimilate seasonal décor into off-season functionality. It’s just so convenient! I’ll definitely be trying this one.

Since your very festive table is now set, and we’ve decided that our décor this year must be functional, let’s talk about attire! Having the clothing you wear contribute to the color scheme is a simple yet effective way to create a cohesive look without having to put a lot of time into party prep. Start by looking through your closet to see what you already have. I’m big on whites and blues, so finding something to wear with those two colors wouldn’t be a problem for me. Red, however, is a hue I very rarely buy. That’s why I’ll browse Goodwill first.

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Sure, it’s lovely to find some really fun an on-trend pieces at the mall or online, but the thrift store secret is that the item you’re considering buying brand new might actually be waiting for you at Goodwill for only a fraction of the price. Plus, when you buy second-hand items you’re helping the earth! A lot of the pieces in the display above were collected by Sophie of the blog The Endless Diary of a Sorority Girl at her local Goodwill and they’re all super stylish! What’s hiding out and waiting for you at yours?

While I really enjoy celebrating our nation’s independence on July 4th, I also want to mention my year-round independence inspiration: Goodwill. You may be a fan of thrift shopping because it’s less expensive and better for the environment, but did you also know that when you shop at and donate to Goodwill you are helping to fund Goodwill’s employment programs? These programs promote independence and dignity for people within your own community who need support to provide for themselves and their families and that’s only possible with your help. I can’t think of a better way to honor our nation’s birthday than to assist my neighbors in their efforts toward achieving the American Dream.

Light, Bright and Airy: Gorgeous Goodwill® Style

By Julia Marchand

These days I’m in love with all things light, bright and airy. Maybe it’s this spring/summer season, maybe it’s the latest décor and fashion trends, but I’ve noticed that I feel the most inspired and motivated when my surroundings and apparel feel clean and luminous. Let me show you what I mean…

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Shedding a little light on the subject, I’ll start with this lantern that Salvage Sister and Misterrevamped for their pantry makeover. Have you ever thought about how important lighting is to set a mood? No matter what you’re trying to achieve in your home (or workplace!), there’s a certain type and degree of lighting that will best compliment your needs. A dining space, for example, does well when it’s aglow with candles, but a workspace is best when it’s bathed in brilliant light. As it turns out, a thrifted lantern is just perfect for the pantry! Don’t take my word for it, though – you’ll definitely want to check out the full post because there are some other great tips waiting for you there (like how to get that gooey price sticker gunk off of your new favorite finds)!

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When it comes to fashion, I tend to keep my attire pretty neutral. However, I’m always drawn to sunny bright pieces like this jacket purchased by Rockie at a Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey (Astoria) store. Pairing a beaming statement jacket (or cardigan) from Goodwill with shorts and wedge booties is a flawless way to create a brilliant and breezy look for less. This aura is exactly what I aim for in my home, too, which is why I was lured into the following image!

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Keeping a space airy like in the pictures above makes it appear effortlessly chic (even if you’ve spent an entire weekend sanding, priming, and painting your thrift finds). I discovered this image on Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region (Tacoma)’s “Finding Goodwill Treasures” Pinboard, and loved the look as well as the ten tips. One simple piece of advice given by this avid thrifter was that investing your time and a little paint can make a huge difference in the look of an object. After studying her images, I realized that she very often chooses white paint, which creates this perfectly polished atmosphere and keeps things just as I like them – light, bright, and airy!

Ready for my new thrifting mantra? “When in doubt, paint it white or add some light.” I’ll be repeating this over and over as I poke through my local Goodwill this weekend looking for buried treasures. I love shopping at Goodwill because I get to revive old home décor and clothing, plus I’m giving back to my community since Goodwill creates 25 jobs per brick and mortar store and generates essential revenue for mission services. I hope to see you browsing the racks!