Jon’s Support System Found in His Goodwill Family

Can you imagine being misunderstood most of your life? Jon had been in group homes as a teenager and never had someone who believed in him and what he was capable of until he came to Goodwill.

Jon’s family believed he wouldn’t amount to much of anything. He would never get out on his own and be completely dependent on them for everything. Because of this mindset that was instilled in him throughout his life, Jon struggled to find his place.

Several dead-end jobs later, Jon was referred to Goodwill’s Employment Skills Training Program. A 6-week program teaching individuals the hard and soft skills needed to be successful in the workplace. Participants learn essential job skills that they will be able to transfer to a job. Jon’s life changed forever when he found a mentor and friend in Chasity (Employment Specialist).

Jon did various janitorial duties while he learned transferable job skills such as being professional and communicating with co-workers and managers. Chasity saw Jon’s potential because he came to work with a positive attitude and took pride in his job.  After Jon’s completion of the program, Chasity helped him get a job at Shopko as a Hardlines Team Associate. At first, it was hard for Jon to fit in with his co-workers and managers. With Chasity’s encouragement, Jon continued to work hard and managed to gain their trust. Jon replies, “These people became my work family and I still keep in contact with them today despite Shopko closing.”

On the last day of work at ShopKo, Jon was presented by Christine, Assistant Manager at Shopko with the Star Service Champion Award. Cynthia told Jon, “We are presenting the Star Service Champion Award to you because you went above and beyond our expectations. You truly went the extra mile for the customers.” At that moment, Jon was in tears. He had never been complimented in his entire life for anything he had done. This was a defining moment for Jon and when he learned, “People in the community see me for who I am.”

One of the goals Jon had when he first started at Goodwill was to move out on his own. Today, Jon has found his own apartment and is becoming independent. “Moving out on his own was a big step for Jon,” explained Chasity about Jon’s progress.

Today, Jon works as a gatekeeper at 1st Class Security. Chasity continues to work with Jon and according to Jon is “a light in his life.” Jon credits Chasity for the support and encouragement she has given him to be the best version of himself.  

Exciting Announcement about Camp Goodwill

As you may know, the board and our leadership team made a strategic decision a few short years ago to transition camp to a higher purpose and market it for sale. As the saying rings true, everything has its time and purpose. I am pleased to announce that we have found the perfect fit to hand off the virtual “camp baton”. Salvation Army of the Western Division has purchased the camp property. Their leadership team is quite enthused to carry on the legacy of youth services and camping. They have much experience operating youth programming and summer camping. They had a similar camp property in Nebraska until it was devastated by the flooding in 2019.  Countless more adventures will be had at camp, and they will continue to rent spaces out for events and gatherings as we have done. Our rich history will live on through the Salvation Army, and youth services will continue under their management and ownership for years to come.

  • John Hantla, President and CEO, Goodwill of the Great Plains

New Year, New You!

What is your New Year’s resolution this year? Is it to lose weight or get fit? Are you wanting to save money and reduce waste? Do you want to relax with a good book? If your resolution includes one or all of these, Goodwill can help!

Fitness and Wellness


If you are planning to work out this year and need some activewear on a budget. Look no further than Goodwill! Sweatpants, sports bras, capris and shorts are a few of the activewear pieces you can find at Goodwill.

Healthy Eating

Meal planning is an excellent way to eat healthier. You are not only planning what you are eating but you are saving money by not eating out. This helps to prevent cravings, curve impulse eating, and eliminating food waste.

A reusable water bottle you can fill up during the day can help you get healthier. Water refreshes and cleanses the toxins in your body. A reusable water bottle can help you save money because you are not filling your body with caffeinated, sugary beverages throughout the day helping you slim down. At Goodwill you can find reusable water bottles in several colors and styles.


Midwest weather can be brutal during the long, winter months. This is a perfect excuse to cozy up with a good book. If you love mysteries and cracking the case or the thrill of learning about the history behind the famous figures in US history excites you or you want to learn more about improving your wellbeing, we have books for everyone.  

Do you tend to forget to read? (Helpful hint: Set aside time in the morning or at night and set reminders on your phone to remind yourself to relax with a good book.)

Save Money

Every time you make the choice to shop in our stores you are saving money because we have high quality items at amazing prices, plus for every 87 cents you spend in our stores you are helping individuals in your community find job training and employment.