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.

 

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Random Acts of Kindness Week

 

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This year’s Random Acts of Kindness week is February 11th-17th. It is an annual opportunity to unite through kindness. This seven-day celebration demonstrates that kindness is contagious. It all starts with one act – one smile, one coffee for a stranger, one favor for a friend. It’s an opportunity for participants to leave the world better than they found it and inspire others to do the same. Let’s turn the world kind!

• Smile
• Call a family member
• Say “I love you” to someone who is special to you
• Hand out flowers
• Leave money in the parking meter
• Hand out blankets, gloves, beanies, etc. for the homeless
• Send someone a note telling them what they mean to you
• Volunteer for an organization you love – like Goodwill!
• Send a Valentine’s Day card to someone
• Donate unwanted items to a charity – like Goodwill!
• Bring your neighbor’s paper &/or trashcans up
• Leave a big tip

For other ideas, visit: www.actsofkindness.org

 

Find Good Gifts and Create Good Times at Goodwill

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Goodwill can help make the holidays special!

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 Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “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.

 

How to Age Books with Tea and Tights

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Yes, you read that title right! It turns out that it’s really easy to make thrifted tights into spooky spider webs and for tea to stain the pages of a secondhand book creating the perfect antique appearance. These two projects partnered with our tips for aging the outside of Goodwill books will give your library a complete facelift just in time for Halloween. One thing that I love about creating custom decor from Goodwill finds is that they look more authentic than the plastic props you’ll find in chain stores. The other benefit to updating thrifted purchases is that since Goodwill donations are the beginning of job creation, when you support our stores you’re helping people within your community find employment. So, without further ado, let’s jump into these projects, shall we?

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Project 1: Turning White Tights into a Spider Web

Materials
White tights or nylons
Scissors
A microplane or food grater (optional)

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This project is so incredibly easy that I don’t even think I need to write out the steps! All you need to do is use scissors and/or a microplane/kitchen grater to put runs into the tights. Then with your fingers, stretch the runs so the fabric separates into web-like threads. Keep snipping, grating, and pulling until you like the way your web looks. I found it helpful to have the books I was decorating right nearby as I made the web so I could stretch it into place as I went. Since there’s so much elasticity in tights, it’s really easy to stretch them around items so they stay in place without tape or tacks.

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Project 2: Tea-staining Book Pages

You may have tea-stained paper before, but the process of doing it for bound books is a little different because you can’t bake the pages to dry or completely cover them with tea (that would dampen the binding and make it hard to properly dry every page). Thankfully, the way that books age usually shows a darkening of the page edges while the inner portion stays lighter. This is easy to replicate with tea! Here’s how:

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Materials
A book to age
Two large stacks of books to stabilize the tea-stained book as it dries
A heat-safe dish that is longer than the height of the book
2 cups of boiling water
4 tea bags (not herbal—I used Earl Grey)
A fan
A paintbrush (optional)
A kettle

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Step 1: Put the kettle on to boil the water. While that heats, build two stacks of books with the dish between them. The stacks need to be tall enough that the book can hang from it to dry (scroll down to see the picture of drying if necessary). Set the fan up so it blows on the area between the two stacks.

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Step 2: Place the tea bags into your dish and pour the boiling water over it. Let that steep for ten minutes.

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Step 3: Carefully remove the tea bags and set aside. Open the book holding both covers in one hand so the pages hang down. Dip the long edge of the pages only (not the cover or binding) into the tea. You can dip it in several times or hold it in the tea for a few seconds. Then pull it out of the tea and hold it above the dish for a few moments to let the tea drip off.

Step 4: Turn the book upright over the container and use the paintbrush or a tea bag to brush tea onto the top edges of the pages. Start on the corner that is already tea-stained then brush softly in toward the binding so the tea stain will fade slightly as it gets closer to the spine. Avoid getting the binding and cover wet. Then turn the book again and do this same brushing technique on the bottom edges of the pages.

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Step 5: If your book is still dripping, set it up to dry by placing its front and back covers between the two stacks with the container still underneath. If it’s not dripping, feel free to move the container so the stacks can be moved closer together. Turn on the fan to help the book dry. As it dries, the tea stain will darken.

Step 6: Wait for an hour then turn the book around so the other short side of the pages is closer to the fan.

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Step 7: Wait for a half-hour while that side dries then you can remove your book from the piles and stand it upright with the pages fanned slightly to finish drying. At this point, the edges of every page should be perfectly browned just as an old book is! Each page will also gain a well-read crinkle/warp so they appear to have been leafed through again and again over the years.

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And that’s it! Your spell-binding aged books are ready for display this Halloween season. You could use these to decorate around your candy dish on All Hallows’ Eve or as a centerpiece on your October dining table. We’d love to see your creativity if you decide to try these projects yourself!

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Thank You!

Thank you for making our 27th annual Wheel-a-Thon a success! 

WAT Thank You MarionStar 2017

12 Ways You Can Help Your Community While Cleaning and Shopping This Spring

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As the weather warms and flowers bloom, thoughts turn to exchanging the drabness and darkness of winter for the bright freshness of spring. The annual ritual of spring cleaning has deep roots associated with various cultures and traditions. Today, the exercise of deep cleaning in springtime is practiced by 72 percent of Americans, and more than half (57 percent) of U.S. consumers say they shop for spring/summer apparel items during this time of year.

Whether you plan to rejuvenate your home or refresh your wardrobe (or both!), include Goodwill in your spring plans. You can help give people in the communities we serve a fresh start through job training and placement, which is supported by donating to and shopping at our Goodwill stores.

Through its social enterprise model, Goodwill sells donated items to create job opportunities and programs for job seekers, including youth, older workers, people with disabilities and disadvantages, and others with specialized needs. In 2015, local Goodwill organizations collectively placed 312,000 people in employment in the U.S. and Canada, and more than 35 million people accessed Goodwill education classes, mentoring services and training online to strengthen their skills.

By donating to Goodwill during this spring cleaning season, you can extend the lifecycle of your goods, which helps the environment while creating employment programs in our community. After you donate, why not also spend some time shopping at Goodwill, replenishing your wardrobe while helping even more?

Here are 12 great ways to spring into action!

  1. Head to your local Goodwill store and create a mix-and-match collection of glasses to use as a great centerpiece and guest giveaway at your next spring fling gathering.
  2. Put a spring in your step with the perfect spring soundtrack. At Goodwill, you’ll find a selection of vinyl records from artists old and new. What’s your pleasure?
  3. Explore. Breathe in that fresh spring air and get outside again! Visit the National Park Service and prepare for your spring camping trip with gear and equipment found at Goodwill.
  4. Design a statement wall in your home and show off your individual style with Goodwill’s selection of mirrors, frames, baskets, art, clocks, plates and other decorative items.
  5. Get moving! Spring cleaning isn’t just for your closet. Toss out unhealthy winter habits and shape up for spring with workout clothes and equipment from Goodwill.
  6. Donate the business attire you no longer wear. You’ll be helping your community and someone else can use it to rock their interview or first day at a new job.
  7. Did you resolve to stop looking at your smartphone to find out the time every five minutes? Spring forward while being fashion forward with a new watch from Goodwill.
  8. Play! Tis the season for spring sports — think, soccer, softball, lacrosse, golf — and you can save on sports equipment. Be a game changer for someone in your community by shopping at Goodwill for your gear.
  9. Power up and change your community. Donate your electronics for someone else to enjoy and be a sustainable shopper by picking up something for yourself!
  10. Shop for spring style. Warmer weather means time to shed those layers! Update your wardrobe with bright colors and patterns by shopping at Goodwill.
  11. Clean out the clutter and organize your space. Take your unwanted items to Goodwill and pick up some storage bins or creative storage items while you’re there.
  12. Grow opportunity and plant seeds of change in your community this spring by donating to and shopping at Goodwill. Get your gardening items and creative planting pots to create the perfect outdoor landscapes.

No matter how you celebrate the arrival of spring, by including Goodwill in your warm weather plans, you can make a significant and lasting impact in your community well past summer.

Happy spring from Marion Goodwill!

Donate Stuff. Create Jobs.

 

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For more than 22 years, Goodwill has partnered with The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., for the Goodwill Sale, during which time hundreds of thousands of pounds of stuff have been donated to fund job training programs to put people in your community back to work.

 

Donate March 15 to April 1 at any Bon-Ton, Boston Store, Bergners, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s or Younkers to receive a coupon up to 30% off at these locations, good for cosmetics, fragrance, handbags and more.  Donate Stuff. Create Jobs.

 

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It feels good to start fresh, and it feels great to make a positive difference in your community. That’s what happens when you donate to Goodwill this spring. Your stuff fuels job training programs for people in your neighborhood. You get a clean home and your neighbors get a fresh start. To find your nearest donation center go to www.mariongoodwill.org

 

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