Jack-Bear Country USA

What I like about my job at Bear Country USA is the animals are very entertaining to watch. This job gives me the chance to hug a bear eventually. I will have more opportunities to interact with the animals when taking care of them during the winter.

Jack on the job at Bear Country USA
The bears Jack monitors at Bear Country USA
The tower Jack monitors the bears

DIY How to Create a Patriotic Red, White, and Blue T-shirt Wreath

Do you have a few old t-shirts you longer use? Give them a new life by creating an easy patriotic wreath perfect for the 4th of July. (Need some t-shirts? Stop by Goodwill and grab a few for this fun DIY. )

Materials needed:

  • 1 of each t-shirt color of red, white, and blue
  • Hot glue gun
  • Hot glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Patriotic garland
  • Patriotic bow

  1. Gather old red, white, and blue t-shirts (or old towels and linens can work also).

2. Cut the t-shirts into at least 8-10 strips approximately 17 inches (height) x 2 1/2 inches (width)

3. Fold the blue strips together accordion style.

4. Glue each section together using a hot glue gun.

6. Glue each strip together around the wreath ring.

7. Repeat steps 3-6 while alternating between the red and white strips.

8. Gather tinsel garland

9. Wrap garland around the wreath and glue together.

10. Grab a patriotic bow.

11. Glue the bow to the wreath and proudly place your finished wreath on your front door or in your living room.

Shane’s Kindhearted Spirit for Helping Others Shines at Goodwill

This picture demonstrates the change that happened for Shane from the beginning of the Work Adjustment Program until the end.

Sometimes in our life, there are moments causing us to pause and reflect on what’s next. Shane was struggling to figure out what work he was interested in when he came to Goodwill’s Work Adjustment Training Program. (The Work Adjustment Program is a 6-week program for individuals over 18 years of age teaching soft skill development and employment readiness. The program serves individuals with brain injury, physical injury, cognitive disabilities, and health challenges.)

Shane was mentored by Jill (Program Manager) who helped him throughout the program with his confidence. Self-confidence is an essential skill needed for any job. The Work Adjustment Program helps individuals learn skills such as self-confidence, communication, and being a team player through on-the-job experience.

During his training, he was able to help with the Shoe and Mitten Party, an event sponsored by Goodwill that ensures each child received new shoes, hat, gloves, and socks. This event touched Shane’s heart and fueled his desire to help improve the lives of others.

A boost of confidence happened for Shane in January when he had the opportunity to work in the Job Center.  Shane genuinely enjoyed helping people update resumes and apply to jobs. Jill explained, “Shane loved having the opportunity to help others as they were seeking employment in the Job Center. He approached it with a compassionate spirit. His confidence level definitely improved after his experience in the Job Center because he improved upon his clerical and customer service skills.”

The last week of Shane’s training, Stan, Rapid City Manager offered Shane a position in the store. Shane was excited to accept the offer and is currently working as a Retail Associate.

Reflecting on his experience Shane replies, “The Work Adjustment Training Program helped me gain confidence and assurance in myself. It gave me a purpose. I want to continue helping customers and program participants. I am looking forward to settling down, finding a home and enjoying my life”

Eating Healthier and Reducing Waste on Pack Your Lunch Day 2020 with Goodwill

Do you tend to splurge and eat out for lunch every day? Fast food and takeout purchases can add up over time and before you know can leave a large dent in your wallet. Start a healthy, money-saving habit by bringing your lunch on Pack Your Lunch Day on March 10th. Don’t know where to start? Continue reading for helpful tips for you to save money and eat healthier.

1) Invest in quality food storage- Igloos and Thermos are excellent ways to keep your food fresh and organized. Pyrex and Tupperware containers are essentials you should have on hand and can use every day to store your food in. At Goodwill, we have lunch coolers, thermos, and storage containers to keep your food fresh until lunch. Choose to use reusable food storage and lessen the waste of plastic and brown bags.

2) Meal plan- It’s hard enough to get up in the morning and have energy to prep for lunch. Start the night before and use leftovers from dinner or make food ahead of time for you to grab and go in the morning. Meal planning helps your waistline and budget. At the end of the week think about all the money you are saving because you are not wasting food. (Photo by Vegan Liftz)

3) Bring a Reusable Water Bottle- Water is an essential for keeping a healthy lifestyle. Drinking sugary or energy drinks can make you feel full sooner and are loaded with calories. Drinking water will help you eat healthier.  Buying a reusable water bottle from Goodwill will help to reduce plastic waste and live a healthy life.

Deb’s Milestone Achievement

Congratulations to Debra graduating from register training!  Debra was anxious about operating a cash register at first. Christine, Skills Trainer, helped Debra learn coping skills to ease her anxiety. After a few weeks, Debra became more comfortable and learned excellent customer service skills. “She has come out of her shell and built important relationships”, Christine commented about Debra’s progress. Debra works in the Sioux City retail store and continues working hard on her goal of obtaining a community job.