Shelby’s Place to Belong

At first, Shelby was shy and hesitant to talk to people when she started Goodwill. Jennifer, Store Manager commented, “Our goal for Shelby was for her to overcome her shyness and we worked with her on a day-to-day basis by doing role play. We worked on her being more comfortable in the store and talking to team members and customers.”

Shelby credits the entire store at Worthington for helping her come out of her shell and be open to asking questions and talking to people. She feels more comfortable now being herself.

Shelby has been with Goodwill for 5 years and has continued to grow and challenge herself. She started out as General Retail Associate, progressed to Team Lead, and is now a Store Operations Leader.

Meeting new people and the variety of the day is what Shelby likes most about working at Goodwill. She likes meeting and talking to the customers that come in and how every day is different. Shelby appreciates at Goodwill there is a learning experience with every situation. Shelby has come a long way since she started and is thankful that Goodwill has helped her grow. Her goals are to become more confident in making decisions and creating a daily routine for each day.

Festive Designs for Your Independence Day Celebration

By Julia Marchand

With Independence Day right around the corner, you may be looking for new and exciting ways to celebrate. Of course, a parade and fireworks are basically mandatory, but don’t forget to dress up yourself and your home! These are two of my favorite ways to enjoy holidays since they really set the tone for whatever merriment is approaching.

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The first thing I like to do to prepare for an upcoming event is to pull together at least one themed display at home. Just setting something up on a tabletop or bookshelf doesn’t take long, but can make a great statement. You don’t even need to have guests over to appreciate it! I find that changing up my surroundings even just a little at a time keeps my home feeling fresh and inspiring. This quick and patriotic display made by Sarah for Goodwill Easter Seals (Saint Paul) is exactly what I’m talking about. It’s bright, bold, and brilliantly priced since she found everything at Goodwill!

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Be a firework this fourth by decking yourself out head-to-toe in red, white, and blue like Molly and Penny, the sisters behind the blog Goodwill Fabulous. Can you believe that the dress Molly scored for $4.99 from her local Goodwill originally retailed for $138? That’s about 96% off! I’d say the hunt is well worth it for a price like that. What do you think?

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Another aspect of Independence Day that I truly adore is how social the holiday is. This is not one of those intimate family days like Easter nor is it a one-on-one type evening like Valentine’s Day. It’s an all-you-can-eat, everyone’s invited, break out the sparklers kind of jubilation! As such, it might be a good idea for you to have some snacks and activities on hand. Here are some fantastic ideas for themed décor and pastimes from Marion Goodwill Industries (OH) including the super simple silverware stash above!

But perhaps the most patriotic thing about celebrating the Fourth of July by shopping at your Goodwill is that every dollar you spend is going back into your own community. Eighty-three percent of collective revenues raised through the sale of donated goods support and grow Goodwill’s critical community-based programs and services. Thrifting at Goodwill is such an easy and effective way to help keep your unique community strong to ensure that we can continue to applaud it every July 4th for a very long time

Questions to Ask During Interviews (pt 3 of 3)

By Randy Wooden

Today I wrap up my three-part blog series on questions you may want to ask an employer during your interview. We have already covered questions dealing with areas like your job duties, why they are hiring, and your training.

This time, we will look at a few other areas, starting with advancement. After all, the position for which you are interviewing might not be your final job. You might want to move up in pay and responsibility at this company or some other employer.

When speaking about advancement, demonstrate your interest in the job at hand while exploring what the future holds. Sometimes the employer will start that dialogue by asking about your goals. If they do not bring it up, it is fine for you to ask.

“I’m excited about this position because (you should be prepared to talk about two to three reasons). And as I learn and achieve, I’d like to continue to be challenged. For someone who does a great job, what are possible future opportunities within the organization?”

While my wording may not suit your style, these ideas can help you get started. Play around with the phrasing so it matches your style. You want them to know you are committed to the present job and will perform it well.

As your interview wraps up, make sure you understand their timeline for the next step in the hiring process. Will it be an offer or perhaps another interview?  If the employer does not volunteer that information, restate your interest in the job and ask them about what happens next. When they give you an approximate timeline, ask whether it is ok to call them if you have not heard from them by then. This helps remove the guesswork about when to follow up.

While the next questions are not critical to knowing whether you can do or want the job, they may have value.

If you have done your homework on the company and see something noteworthy about them in a news story, tell them what you found and ask a question about it.

If you feel comfortable doing so, try asking the interviewer what attracted him or her to the company or what they think gives their company a competitive edge. You could ask about the company’s or the department’s goals. Save the compensation discussion for later.

Be prepared to ask questions; avoid questions that can easily answered with a quick web search.

Asking questions allows you to know more about the position while demonstrating you have researched the company and given thought to the position.  It allows you to catch your breath from answering questions.

Good luck!

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 top 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!

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.

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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.

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.