Find GOOD Gifts and Create GOOD Times at Goodwill

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The holidays are a time of giving, and at Goodwill, that rings especially true! When you do your holiday shopping at your local Goodwill store, you can find great gifts while building a brighter future for someone in your community.

Savvy shoppers understand that Goodwill is the best place to purchase holiday gifts and supplies at low prices. What some may not know is that with each purchase you make, you’re reducing waste and giving used items a second life as well as creating job opportunities for people in your community.

“Goodwill is your place for good finds, good gifts and good times,” said Bob Jordan, President and CEO of Marion Goodwill Industries. “With the great variety of items in Goodwill stores — from holiday knick-knacks and clothing to do-it-yourself inspiration — you can make your holidays something special with Goodwill.”

When it comes to holiday DIY projects, Goodwill helps you go for broke without going broke! Here are a few of the many great ideas to consider as you shop at your local Goodwill store this holiday season:

• Look for vintage glassware, utensils, serving items and linens to create a chic mix-and-match holiday tablespace.
• Use chalkboard paint to turn a serving tray into a seriously sophisticated holiday menu board.
• Get ready for your next seasonal sweater party, either by finding a ready-to-wear, holiday-themed pullover or by adding your own beading and holiday-themed appliques to a Goodwill sweater.
• For the world travelers on your gift list, find and frame vintage maps of destinations visited or yet-to-be explored.
• Create stylish and personalized kitchen organizers from baskets and canisters found at Goodwill.

Goodwill is also happy to accept donations of household items, clothing and other useful things to sell in our stores. Know that when you donate — and when you shop — at Goodwill, you’re helping someone on the path to a better job or a better life.

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3 DIY Holiday Gifts Made from Thrifted Knitwear

 

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Talk about thrifty gifts—I’ve got three ideas for you today that will turn out tons of cozy holiday presents for just about anyone on your list! As an entrepreneurial leader, environmental pioneer and social innovator in the “reduce, reuse, repurpose” practice, Goodwill is all about keeping things out of the landfill. So, we love to see shoppers work on projects like the ones we’ll share today which showcase a few of the many possible outcomes of repurposed knitwear. If you need to make a little bit go a long way this holiday season, this is the post for you…

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Image via tarynwhiteaker.com

Those who celebrate Christmas know that the stocking is an important piece of decor and tradition. Every season we hang our stockings by the chimney with care, so at some point it will be time for new ones. That’s where these stunningly simple drop cloth and sweater stockings from Taryn Whiteaker come into play. With such inexpensive supplies, she must have been able to stitch up this whole set for only a matter of dollars. Even if you can’t think of anyone who needs a new stocking, wouldn’t this be a beautiful substitute for a front door wreath if it were stuffed with greenery? Or, in a smaller size, the perfect topper for a gift? Or a napkin and silverware holder on a Christmas table setting? Just think about the people on your shopping list this year and how this project could work for them.

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Image via etsy.com

For a slightly more neutral holiday gift, we have these sweater ornaments shared by Goodwill Industries of Northwest Ohio, Inc. (Toledo) on their Pinterest page. They would look incredible on a green Christmas tree, but could also bring whimsy to a less Christmas-y display. I can see them piled high in a large hurricane jar for a wintery centerpiece or scattered across a frosty-looking entryway table display to mimic snowballs. They still have a snug holiday feel to them without appearing over-the-top Christmas-y. I bet in one weekend afternoon you could whip out a bunch of these! Just cover up any thrifted ornament and secure in place with glue. If you’re worried that your sweater will unravel when cut, you can draw the pieces you’ll need on the sweater first then use a zig-zag stitch all around those markings before you slice into it. This should keep the weave together so you can get its placement just right on the ornament before the glue sets.

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Image via bo-bedre.no

And here’s one last way to repurpose an old sweater: mug cozies! Even someone who doesn’t celebrate any holidays (but still made it on your to-gift list) would be able to use one of these. You could knit your own from thrifted yarn like the cozies in this picture shared by Goodwill Industries of South Central Wisconsin, Inc. (Madison) on their All Things Christmas Pinterest board. Or, you could use more sweater scraps to make them. If your knit isn’t felted, employ that same zig-zag stitch trick and fold ribbon or bias tape around the edges to further secure it. You could even add buttons to accommodate different-sized mugs if you feel like getting fancy!

So, basically, it IS possible for you to create custom gifts for everyone on your list even just from a knitted sweater or scarf! While you’re at it, any leftover threads of yarn could become tassels for the stockings. Let your imagination run wild and feel great that because your gifts are crafted from second-hand supplies, they’re making a positive impact on the Earth this holiday season.

National Thrift Shop Day

National Thrift Day

Shop Goodwill and Help People Earn Jobs!

Marion Goodwill is excited to celebrate and recognize National Thrift Shop Day on Friday, August 17! By shopping at one of 9 of Goodwill’s stores, you can find a vast array of clothing, accessories, furniture and home décor for a fraction of the price. But our affordable and vintage finds aren’t the only unique thing about us: when you donate and shop at Goodwill you do good for your community.

The revenue from the sale of goods at our retail stores is used to provide community programs and support services such as digital skills training, job readiness classes, and résumé reviews for people who are struggling to find employment. Marion Goodwill provides opportunities for youth, seniors, people with disabilities and people who are underrepresented in the labor market.

This special holiday, Marion Goodwill will be sharing unique assets and videos using the hashtags #BringGoodHome and #NationalThriftShopDay.

“National Thrift Shop Day is always a good time to share our story with our customers. Yes, we’re the store where you can score great deals on fashionable clothing and household items, but we’re also providing services to place people in our community into jobs or help them find new career paths”, said Kathy Wink, Director of Marketing.

So when you’re deciding which store to celebrate with remember that you can make a difference in your community when you grab unique finds at Goodwill!

Summer Youth Programs Keep Youth Busy as Bees!

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Our youth programs help guide youth on their way to becoming self-sufficient and productive adults in the communities we serve. We assist young adults, ages 14 to 24, in developing the skills, attitudes, and commitment necessary to succeed in today’s world of work.

Through our partnership with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, we are working with 37 individuals in our Work Experience Program and 17 individuals in our Career Exploration Program this summer.

Our Work Experience Program helps young people gain work skills, improve their communication skills and their ability to work with others. They are able to develop a work history, as well as gain experience to prepare them for long-term employment and independence. This program begins with one week of education and is followed up with four weeks of work experience.

Our Career Exploration Program is designed for young people who can benefit from learning more about careers that are available in their communities. The program participants have the opportunity to experience a variety of different community worksites and are transported and supported by Goodwill team members at all locations. A variety of work opportunities are explored including, landscaping, food service, day care, retail, warehousing and janitorial, just to name a few.

Through our partnerships with Marion County Job & Family Services, Morrow County Job & Family Services and Crawford County Job & Family Services, we are giving close to 200 young people the opportunity to gain valuable work experience this summer. These programs allow the youth to develop a work history and have a current reference from an employer. Goodwill is responsible for placing the youth at job-sites, as well as providing training, job coaching and mentoring. The programs continue to be strong employment programs for our youth, as well as a great opportunity for local businesses. Businesses receive additional summer help and they can evaluate and observe the youth before a potential job offer.
Overall, these programs are allowing Goodwill to work with close to 250 young people over the summer months. We have also added an additional 19 job coaches to our staff this summer to help with these programs.

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.

Photo 1                                                      Image via GoodwillEasterSeals.org 

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!

Photo 2                                                                                                                     Image via GoodwillFabulous.com

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?

Photo 3                                                                                                    Image via ItAllStartedWithPaint.com 

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.

Put Dad First This Father’s Day

By Julia Marchand
“Parenthood is the hardest job you’ll ever love.” This sentiment shared with me by my mom has been echoing in my head since she said it about a week ago. I know I’m not the only one to agree because my husband and I have had similar, perhaps less eloquent, conversations on the topic. The nights can sometimes feel never-ending, and the days, just as exhausting, so I know how lucky I am to have a partner with whom I share all of the diapers, giggles, tantrums, and snuggles. It’s because I, too, am experiencing all of these parental trials, that I am really excited to celebrate my husband (and my own dad) on June 17 for Father’s Day.

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Image via saltandpeppermoms.blogspot.com

Finding the right gift to show Dad that you care is a difficult thing to do and only gets harder as his super-Dad years stack up. Thinking back over my decades, it’s easy to feel like I’ve run out of ideas! As the blog Salt and Pepper Moms points out, you can only give him a new grill or tie so many times. That’s why I love their idea of curating a customized Father’s Day Favorites basket just for him. Grab a cute, but inexpensive, basket from Goodwill® and go to town filling it with all of his favorites. The basket can be reused around the house after for organization that fits into your décor scheme, but that’s just the cherry on top. The real gifts are the sweet printable cards that you can download and have family members fill out to be included in the basket. Kiddos can draw dad (or grandpa) and share their favorite things about him. More than the treats or usefulness of the basket, Dad will have these thoughtful mementos to hold forever.

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Image via facebook.com/cincigoodwill

If he isn’t a big snacker and you can’t find anything small to fill his basket, the best starting point is probably still to think about what the father in your life really loves. Is it gardening? Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries (Cincinnati) had some great ideas for Dads with green thumbs; thrift a book of gardening tips and some track down some seeds (or even saplings!) then spend the day together in the garden. This is such a wonderful idea partly because time is the best gift you can give and a day together is exactly that, but also because watching something grow that you planted together is like watching the relationship blossom over time, too.

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Image via goodwilleasterseals.org

And while we’re on the topic of investing time, now is the perfect opportunity to applaud Goodwill Easter Seals (St. Paul, MN) for their FATHER (Fostering Actions To Help Earnings and Responsibility) project. This is an ongoing effort through which Goodwill invests time working with fathers to overcome barriers that prevent them from supporting their children. Being jobless while needing to support a family would make an already trying role even more difficult so Goodwill generates opportunities for people to build brighter futures for themselves and their families through initiatives like this.
You can help support this mission simply by donating to and shopping at Goodwill this Father’s Day! A basket, a book, or even some new clothing, will all be appreciated next Sunday as long as they’re accompanied by a great big hug and two wonderful words: thank you. Even through the rough patches, Dad has always put his kids first; on Father’s Day it’s our turn to return the favor.

 

Unleash the Power of Age

Get Involved Volunteer

When was the last time you took a minute to thank the seniors in your community for all they have done?

Well, we have good news, because now you have a whole month to do it! May is Older Americans Month. and the theme is “Engage at Every Age.” At Marion Goodwill we are proud to take this time to celebrate America’s older workers and honor the positive impacts they have on making a difference in the community, especially, our workplaces.

More older Americans want and need to remain in the workplace past traditional retirement age, and those without jobs face a particularly tough time finding new positions. A stunning 33 percent of job seekers ages 55 and older are long-term unemployed, according to the AARP Public Policy Institute. These people looking for work are like Wanda. Wanda never had a strong support system of friends or family. After “couch surfing” for years, she was forced to live on the streets. In addition to not having a safe place to live, Wanda was an alcoholic and felt constantly crushed by depression. One year later, she was able to get her own apartment and make her bed at the shelter available for someone else who needed it. An employee at the shelter informed Wanda of Goodwill’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). Before she left the shelter, she applied to SCSEP. Wanda did not expect a call back because of her history of unemployment and alcoholism, but to her surprise, she got an interview and was accepted into the program. At age 57, it was time for a new start. With the help of SCSEP, she was able to get her driver’s license, a car, a new home and a job.

There are millions of other older Americans like Wanda who deserve a chance to reach their full potential through the power of work. Unfortunately, these individuals are too often overlooked for positions, despite their years of experience and service. At Goodwill®, our resolution for Older Americans Month is to make sure every individual in the communities we serve knows all about the diverse contributions older workers are making to our community and to our local economy. You’ll find many more of their success stories at http://www.mariongoodwill.org.

This Older Americans Month is a great time to show the world you’re never too old (or young) to enrich your life and community. You’re encouraged to share your own stories about what older Americans mean to you. Snap a selfie or have someone take your picture participating in activities that support your mental and physical well-being. Then, post your image and tag it #OAM18.

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