Storm Lake Job Center Spotlight

There are many reasons that Arely works passionately in the Job Center. Being able to help different cultures is one of those reasons. Arely has learned that patience is important in the Job Center because some individuals have language barriers. Arely appreciates the different opportunities that we offer people in the Job Center and how Goodwill can connect individuals to jobs in the community.

If you need assistance with resumes, cover letters, or finding a job, stop into our Storm Lake Job center, and Arely would be happy to help you reach your employment goals. Our Storm Lake Job Center is located in our Storm Lake store at 229 West Milwaukee Avenue Storm Lake, IA. Our Job Center hours are Monday-Thursday from 9:00am to 5:00pm and Friday from 9:00am to 12:00pm.

Channel Your Goodwill® Wanderlust

By Julia Marchand

What’s the first thing you do when you visit a new city? For me, after I’ve settled into my hotel and refueled at a café, I have to track down the closest Goodwill® retail store! Since each and every one is stocked with items donated by those who live nearby, individual locations become completely distinct and allow visitors to get a taste for that specific region’s lifestyle. One thing that all branches of Goodwill have in common, though, is their mission to help build healthy communities. Since Goodwill has earned the trust and support of more than 86 million donors in the United States and Canada, there’s a good chance that if you’re traveling in North America you will stumble upon a store or two.

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This summer, loads of families are packing into their cars and making the trek out of state. Technology is an easy answer for keeping kids calm while passing the time, but I’ve always been a fan of family fun and good old-fashioned travel games instead. If you have kids then you know how truly short attention spans can be. For this reason, I highly recommend preparing several in-car activities like these shared by Goodwill Industries of Michiana, Inc. Putting games together yourself will save money and earn you some bragging rights. The tactile exercises will also help kids gain new skills and satisfy sensory instincts when they’re buckled in and unable to exert their plentiful energy!

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Now, if you’re not able to travel at this time, you can still get your fix by inviting the whole planet inside your home (What!? How!?). Globes pop up at Goodwill all the time! I found a fantastic standing globe once at my local store and I’m considering this celestial makeover for it created by a blogger named Kirsten. Her dream décor was well above her budget so she took matters into her own hands. You can find the instructions to make one of these beauties yourself on her blog, Sunnies and Chardonnay.

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Of all the places I’ve visited, London was by far my favorite. I found the city to be clean, fun, and friendly, so this display from Goodwill Industries of Kansas made me want to hop on the next plane across the pond. Allowing your home to capture the spirit of places you’ve loved visiting is the perfect way to create a space that inspires you. Plus, it’s great conversation for when you have guests and it will very likely segue into a viewing of your vacation pictures – a great excuse to relive the memories.

Are you off to anywhere special this summer or will you instead be reliving past trips? If there’s one thing I’ve learned while on my journey through life, it’s that you can recreate almost anything – travel activities, home décor, memories, and more – for less than half the price if you are willing to put some time into it. I’ve also learned that most successful projects start at the thrift store. Hey, where there’s a (Good)will, there’s a way!

Celebrate The Americans With Disabilities Act

By Laura Walling, GII senior director of government affairs, advocacy & legislative affairs

This week marks the 29th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, education and public accommodations.

Goodwill® has been dedicated to supporting employment opportunities for people with disabilities, among others, since its founding in 1902. Our collective aspirations for people with significant disabilities include: opportunities for choice, to earn wages, to reach potential, to experience improved quality of life, and to achieve social acceptance and integration. Services are customized for the individual, including his or her support system. Services also leverage community resources and are delivered while recognizing that the individual is both the leader of his or her service plan and a customer of Goodwill.

In 2018, more than 310,000 people who self-identified as having disabilities engaged in career services from local Goodwill organizations. Goodwill’s commitment to supporting the aspirations of people with disabilities are grounded in choice and the ability to earn wages. Goodwill aspires for all individuals, including people with disabilities, to reach their full potential and enhance their quality of life. Robert Frank, Goodwill Industries International’s Achiever of the Year is one of those individuals. Robert suffered physical abuse as a child, including blows to the head that left him with a cognitive disability. With support from Goodwill, he learned to read and write. At age 65, he read a book for the first time, giving him new confidence and a more positive outlook on life.

Goodwill believes everyone should have the opportunity to live independently, earn wages and achieve their dreams. Despite the great advances that have been made since the passage of the ADA, particularly in public policy and technology, more can be done to eliminate barriers faced by people with disabilities, especially those with significant disabilities. While disability employment rates are improving as an increasing number of people with disabilities are on the job, struggles still exist when compared to the workforce as a whole. Nearly 80% of people with disabilities are not a part of the labor force. Furthermore, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is nearly double than those without a disability.

As disability advocates and service providers take this time to reflect on the past and celebrate this milestone in our country’s history, let us not forget the future. How can we continue to challenge ourselves to be innovative, more inclusive, and change policies that can help improve the lives of people with disabilities and their families for the next 29 years and beyond?

Thrifty and Unique Goodwill Finds

This week we are featuring Barb who is a frequent Goodwill shopper at our Sioux Falls stores, specifically our Kiwanis store. She enjoys shopping in our stores for DIY projects and gifts for family and friends. One of the reasons Barb loves shopping in our stores is with her purchase she is helping people in her community with employment and education.

All items were found at Goodwill of the Great Plains stores by Barb who crafted them into unique pieces.

Lovely old chair with elegant formal dresses
Plastic tablecloth with elegant statuary and artificial flowers

Vintage rose plates in a plant stand
Painted coffee table and sofa covered in chenille bedspread and various pillows
Painted bookcase and dresser with new knobs

Meet the Staff of Integrated Day Services

Vickie, Program Manager

Vickie heard about Goodwill by browsing through the employment section in the local newspaper. Goodwill was hiring for a Respite Provider and Vickie was needing a position with more solid hours. Vickie interviewed and accepted the job offer.

Vickie has a variety of different responsibilities that include: overseeing the Integrated Day Services program, helping with participants goals, taking attendance for billing and resolving staff issues. The participants make the job fulfilling for Vickie. “I like seeing their smiles. You make their day by stopping and talking to them. I like helping turn their bad day into a good day,” Vickie grinned.

  • Who is your hero?
    • My mom. From the time I was in high school she had medical issues, but she always pushed on and persevered.
  • What is your dream vacation?
    • Germany. I spent 3 years when my husband was in the military. I loved it. I would love to go back to Germany during Christmas time.
  • What are a couple of interesting facts about you?
    • I have 12 grandchildren.
    • I love race car driving and NASCAR.