Goodwill Date Night Scavenger Hunt

 

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A few years ago, my other-half and I celebrated Valentine’s Day with a #GoodwillDateNight! It was so fun for us to pick outfits for one another and find inexpensive, surprising activities for us to do after we shopped. This year, we thought we’d try another Goodwill date, but shake it up by adding a scavenger hunt! So, I whipped up a quick list of things for us to look for and we headed out to our local Goodwill.

When you shop at one of the more than 3,300 Goodwill stores, you help Goodwill create employment placement and job training programs as well as other community-based services, so we’d love for you and your partner to give our scavenger hunt a try this Valentine’s Day, too! But, before you step into the store, make a plan with your honey about the rules, time limit, and prize for the winner. That way, as soon as you get inside, you can jump right into the game! A few things to consider:

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TIME LIMIT

How long do you two want to hunt around for? The longer you’re there, of course, the more likely it is you’ll both find everything on the list. Plus, you won’t feel rushed to focus on the list and you can do a bit of browsing, too. But at the same time, some people do well under pressure and if you have plans for dinner or a movie after your scavenger hunt, then you’ll need to keep that in mind. Whatever you decide, make sure you’re both on the same page and that you set timers if necessary!

 

THE RULESPhoto3

Are you a viciously competitive team? If so, maybe make sure you’re not being spied on! Should one person start at the back of the store and work their way forward while the other starts on the right and works their way left to minimize the chances of running into each other? Or, do you welcome the idea of bumping into one another? You are doing this to spend time together, after all. And how will you keep track of the items you’ve found—is it just enough to check them off of your lists or do you require photographic evidence?

We know how hard our Goodwill associates work hard to keep stores tidy, so we wanted to make sure we weren’t putting everything on our checklists into a cart for them to have to put back. (Although, if we did find something we loved, then obviously it would be a fun memory of our Goodwill date and have a welcomed place in our home.) So we decided to text each other a photo of each item on the list as we found them. It was kind of exciting to see the progress the other person was making. Sort of like the feeling of watching a sports game and seeing the other team score—makes you want to up your game, right? And we decided that the first person to find an item gets the point for it. I can’t just walk over to something he’s already counted and use that, too. I’ve got to find something different for my list. Tricky!

Another thing to decide ahead of time; if you find an item that actually meets two of the conditions on the list, does that one thing qualify for both or do you have to find a different item for everything on the list? It’s up to you!

Now, what determines the winner? Is it the first person to find everything on the list? The person with the most items checked when your time limit is up? And what happens if there’s a tie? All are important things which you can discuss and decide upon on your way over to your local Goodwill.

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THE PRIZE

You could go a few different ways with a prize for the winner. One of the items on the list is to find a clothing piece for your Valentine. If you’re going by the traditional idea of a Goodwill Date Night (where you choose a statement outfit—sometimes they can be pretty wild—for your partner to wear on the rest of the date), the reward for the winner might play into that. But you could also say that the loser buys dinner or the winner picks what movie you see that night. Whatever works for you! Just make sure you decide beforehand so you know what’s at stake.

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THE GAME

Okay, ready to check in and see how we did? We printed off our checklists, swung by our favorite coffee shop for game fuel, and headed out to Goodwill. I found almost everything on the list (and even a few things that weren’t!). Here’s how mine came out…

THE CHECKLIST:

Something heart shaped
• A pink candle or candlestick
Red roses
A Valentine’s Date clothing item for your partner to wear
A movie with “Love” in the title
A romance novel
A product or item designed specifically for a wedding
A vinyl record made with crooner-style songs
A red dress
A red necktie
A flower vase
• Something with the word “Valentine” on it
• A picture frame with a photo/painting of a couple in it
A piece of diamond jewelry (faux is okay)
• A chocolate or candy tin
• A china set suitable for newlyweds
Cupid’s arrow
A board game that only works with two people (Examples: Battleship, Guess Who?)
• Something that says “Dear,” “Darling,” or another term of endearment
Two matching champagne flutes or wine glasses

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I can’t decide on my favorite find of the date. It was either this heart-shaped baking pan or the adorable cream and sugar containers on the shelf behind it (even though they’re not Valentine’s Day related, they may or may not have ended up in my cart…). I also have to admit that I cheated a little when I texted the dress below to my husband and just mentioned how well it would work as a Valentine’s Date clothing item for me to wear—ha! I mean, it does have little hearts on the label and the faux-leather detailing coupled with the silky bodice is just perfect! It also has a statement zipper in the back which is pretty much my style weakness. I didn’t mind helping his chances of winning if it meant that maybe I’d get to take the dress home!

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All in all, it was a really fun and different way to spend time together for Valentine’s Day. As adults, we rush around between work and our other life responsibilities without much time to play games. It was a nice return to our dating years for us to just set some time aside for the scavenger hunt. I’d rate the date: 10/10 would play again! I hope that whatever you do to celebrate the your loved one this Valentine’s Day, you have just as much fun.

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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.

FIVE TIPS TPO REORGANIZE AND LET IT GO

Declutter, Donate and Shop at Goodwill to Give a Fresh Start to Someone in Your Community
By Lorie Marrero

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Spring is a time to refresh and renew. With the change in seasons, why not make some changes around the house by decluttering your basement, attic, garage or closet?

When you’re organizing, it can sometimes be difficult to let go and get rid of the things you’ve been holding onto. Here are five tips to make it easier to say goodbye to some of your stuff.

1. Make room for new things by clearing out the old.
You can’t allow anything new and useful and beautiful to come into your life if you don’t have room for it. So, if your closet is stuffed full of clothes that you don’t wear, or you can’t even see, then you can’t make room for anything new and gorgeous and fun to come into your wardrobe. You have to get rid of the stagnant stuff: Have a flow in and out.

2. Memories of your possessions may no longer be serving you well.
Some of your possessions have memories associated with them, but perhaps they only remind you of things that are better left in the past. Maybe you have items belonging to your ex-partner that were left behind after a breakup or divorce. It can be very therapeutic to get rid of these items. Maybe you are hanging on to paperwork from an old job that you didn’t like. You may also have pleasant memories of a loved one who passed away and you want to honor that person. But what you don’t want is their belongings dominating your space, preventing you from moving on to a new chapter in your life. Whatever you keep, make sure the memories are serving you in the right way.

3. Don’t be a slave to possessions that take time and energy to maintain.
You might want to get rid of things that eat up your time. How much are you dusting and polishing these items? Replacing batteries and parts? Does any of your stuff require care when you go out of town? Time can be a factor to help you decide whether to get rid of something.

4. Fewer possessions simplify your choices and decision making.
Fewer choices mean easier decisions. So if you’re going to select a pair of shoes, it’s much easier to choose if your collection is smaller. It takes a lot more time to make that decision every morning if you have dozens of pairs. You want your possessions to represent who you are and who you want to be. You want your environment to support your goals moving forward. So if you’re debating about whether to keep certain things, and they’re not meeting those criteria, you should probably let them go.

5. “Perfectly useful” possessions may not be perfectly useful to YOU, today.
This is why I love donating my clothing and household goods to Goodwill. Because I know that, not only is the person purchasing that item going to enjoy it, but the revenue is going directly to create opportunities for someone in my community — my own neighbors. Goodwill provides job placement and training services for people facing challenges to finding employment. And that’s a compelling reason to let go of things that are not useful to me anymore, because I know they’re going to a good home and they’re going to do good in the world.
As you reorganize your closets and refresh your wardrobe this spring, give people in your local community a fresh start by shopping at and donating to Marion Goodwill.

Lorie Marrero is a home and lifestyle expert and media personality. She is the bestselling author of The Clutter Diet and The Home Office Handbook. She has served as a spokesperson for Goodwill Industries International, and for other companies, including Microsoft, Staples, Rubbermaid, ClosetMaid, Brother and Swingline.

Goodwill is Your Place to Make the Holidays Special

 

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Good finds and good gifts at Goodwill this holiday season

 

There’s no need to rush around town this holiday season trying to find gifts for everyone on your shopping list. That’s because Goodwill has everything you need to make the season something special — from good finds to good gifts and good times — all in one place. Goodwill is a great option whether you’re looking for top-notch, inexpensive gift ideas or for items you can use in making personalized, do-it-yourself gifts.

 

“When you buy holiday gifts and supplies from Goodwill, you’re actually giving twice,” said Bob Jordan, President & CEO of Marion Goodwill Industries. In addition to finding a wide variety of gifts, you can also feel good about helping to build brighter futures for people in Marion, Delaware, Union, Crawford and Morrow counties.”

 

By shopping at and donating to Goodwill, you help provide job placement and training opportunities for members of the community. Goodwill provides job preparation, skills training, education assistance and support services, not only here but also to millions of people each year who are facing challenges to finding employment.

 

For those who like to create their own holiday gifts, Goodwill can provide a treasure trove of usable goods — from vintage glassware, linens and utensils to our wide variety of holiday sweaters to all sorts of baskets, containers and bags.

 

In addition to finding great gifts when you shop at Goodwill, you can also reduce waste by giving used items a second life. When you consider the holidays are all about giving, shopping at one of our nine retail locations at Goodwill, you can make the season extra special this year!

 

Five Tips For Making The Perfect Cutoff Denim Shorts

Jean ShortsHave you ever ruined a pair of jeans trying to make the perfect cutoff shorts? You’re not alone. To never fail at this super simple DIY project, we are sharing five tips that are sure to guide you in the right “I-want-those-denim-shorts” direction.

  1. Buy a pair of jeans two sizes too big.

Next time you hit up your favorite Goodwill store, try looking for a pair of jeans that are around two sizes too big, the extra room will create the most flattering and loosely lived-in pair of cutoffs.

  1.  Measure the inseam.

It’s key to measure the inseam of your denim to determine your best length. You typically want to leave about 3” at the inseam, but you can go longer or shorter depending on what works on you. This is where most DIY disasters happen; you quickly chop your jeans without keeping in mind that the inseam needs to be a smidge longer to create a natural and appropriate angled look. So remember: determine the length of your inseam and then cut at angle to make the outer seams a bit shorter.

  1. Draw your desired hemline with chalk.

It may be tempting to just hack away, but once you’ve figured out your ideal length, use a piece of chalk to draw a guideline for a foolproof even and not-too-long-not-too-short hemline.

  1. Create the perfect fray.

Once you are happy with the length of your shorts, it’s time to focus on the fray. This process is simple; all you need to do is run a pair of pinking shears at the edge of your shorts. Voilà: you now have an effortless, perfectly unraveled frayed edge.

  1. Wash and dry before wearing.

Finally, you want to make sure to wash and dry your cool new cutoffs before wearing them. This last step will ensure that your shorts have that covetable vintage vibe.

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