Monthly Archives: March 2019

Report to the Community Breakfast

The Report to the Community Breakfast, now in its 17th year, is a showcase to the community of the accomplishments of the past year for their local Goodwill, and a peek into the future. This year, the vision for the future was clear….GROW.

“The theme of our breakfast really sets the tone for the rest of the year in how we communicate with the public and our staff,” commented Vice President of Marketing and Fund Development Maureen Ater. “Last year’s theme of ‘rise’ was appropriate as Goodwill was truly rising from a difficult time. Our CEO at the time, Ken Weber, had passed away. We had experienced a devastating warehouse fire. And, our store sales were struggling. Now, we are poised and focused on growth as an organization.”

Looking back at 2018, it was certainly full of growth for Goodwill, specifically, when looking at the number of people served through mission programming… a nearly 15% growth, year over year.

Bright colors and a cheery spring feel welcomed a record crowd of more than 380 guests to the event.

Another theme that was introduced through the décor was that of recycling. This past year alone, Goodwill had 586,235 material donors and were able to divert 12.8 million pounds from area landfills. For the event, glass vases sourced from local Goodwill stores were used as the centerpieces for the event. Guests were given the opportunity to purchase the recycled centerpieces.

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Did You Know: Americans throw away enough glass every week to fill a 1,350-foot building? 

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Speaking of growth, our first award winner Alexzandria Nelson has accomplished so many goals while working with her Dream to Achieve Coordinator Matt Phiney. “When she first started the program she felt stagnant in her position and was unsure of what she may be able to do. At the time, Alex needed encouragement to let her know that she has the skills, experience, and drive to accomplish her goals”

Our Dream to Achieve Program was established to not only help people find employment but to help people move towards sustainable living. This program is more intensive working with individuals one on one to meet their goals as well as a monthly peer support group.  

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Watch Alexzandria’s Journey!

Goodwill Industries support also helped Sydnie Kitson, the 2018 Graduate of the Year award winner, explore new opportunities and find her passion. She was first introduced to Goodwill services through our Summer Youth Work experience program which allows students to explore a variety of career and job opportunities.  Our Summer Youth Program is a part of our Comprehensive Case Management Employment Program (CCMEP) for people ages 16-24 who may have barriers to employment.

Sydnie then moved into our Job Development program where she learned job skills and soft skills that helped her to gain employment. With assistance from her program specialist, Crystal Page, she has developed her passion for helping children and grown in her confidence.  Today Sydnie works as a Child Watch Attendant at a local YMCA.

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Watch Sydnie’s Journey!

The Edgar J. Helms Award was given to Daniel Baltzly because of his determination to work hard while always maintain his positive outlook. Daniel was apart of Goodwill’s Job Development Program working closely with Susan Gardner his Goodwill Job Coach. He worked in a Goodwill store learning in a controlled environment and gaining job skills and confidence. Later, he was hired as a Parking Lot Attendant for Giant Eagle, becoming one of the hardest working and well-known employees.

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Watch Daniels Journey!

If you’re interested in learning more about Goodwill’s employment services click here.  You can also watch all our award winner’s journeys on our YouTube channel.  

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Event photos by Terry Horner Photography

Award winner video and photographs by Mosher Media

Spring Break: Packing on a Thrifters Budget!

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Hello again! The sun is finally out for more than a few hours a day, the weather is warming up to a not so miserable temperature, and the desire to leave hibernation is stronger than ever. With all the mini-vacations my husband and I take throughout the year I have become an expert on packing smart without sacrificing my style.

This spring my husband and I plan on flying down to Florida to see my cousin and her family, to cut some of the cost of checking luggage onto the plane we both bring a small carry-on bag with everything we’ll need for the week. Now, to be completely honest, before being married and having a husband to scoff at my excess packing I could easily fill a full-sized suitcase with just shoes so it’s taken a lot of trial and error to realize what I actually need on a vacation.

For this trip I’ll need about eight outfits to be on the safe side and while every girl knows they don’t really need to go shopping, it just always feels good to wear something different when you know you’ll be out and seeing people. I gave myself a strict budget of spending only $20 to freshen up my existing wardrobe of some of my favorite thrifted and non-thrifted finds.

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I went into Goodwill with the idea that I wanted some tops and at least one sundress to accent with my existing shoes and bottoms. The color of the week was green and while I searched forever to find a good steal, I simply fell in love with other pieces. That being said I still stayed under budget!!

I walked away with one tank-top, a plain white T, a blouse with flutter sleeves, and my favorite, a denim black sleeveless dress. I spent almost $16 but with just these four items I was able to create 8 different looks using four other items already in my closet.

The first outfits I put together were using the plain white t-shirt with pocket detail. I feel like having solid colored T’s in your wardrobe is the easiest way to create day to night outfits without any real effort or thought.  I paired my shirt with a pair of high wasted brown shorts and a small cross body bag and tie-up sandals for a day we might spend out shopping, walking, and/or exploring. It’s cute and comfortable!

Another way I paired the shirt was with a high waist black button up skirt, a pastel purse, and white sandals that I found on a thrifting trip a few months back. I plan on wearing this outfit for a casual dinner, brunch or to grab some drinks at night. Again, it’s simple but I feel confident in it and it allows me to make bold earring choices if I choose.

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The next item I dressed up was the baby doll Love Stitch tank-top. It’s another very neutral and easy to style item that can basically be paired with anything in your closet. I wanted a few more casual outfits in my suitcase that I would feel comfortable wearing all day long.

I bring a jean jacket with me on every single trip I take. The main reason is that I am a freeze baby and even air conditioning can sometimes be too cold for me, the other being that they bring a whole new element to each outfit you wear it with. Somehow the magic of a good jean jacket can change an outfit from simple to edgy, and in the outfit shown, I feel like it just added more color contrast and depth.

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For as many exploring and casual outfits I need equal parts going out outfits as well. The black dress is absolutely going to become a staple in my closet. Every single thing I paired with it looked better than the next! Eventually I settled on going bold with hot pink everything, because why not? I have a reputation for dressing quirky and this dress allows me to be as creative as I want!

The next nighttime outfit I’m bringing with me is with the flutter sleeve blouse. I’m not sure if it’s just me but add a bell sleeve or flutter sleeve to any top and it suddenly becomes far more eye catching. This top in particular has a great back detail of silver buttons running down the length of the spine. I could not believe I was able to snag this up for less than $3! I paired it with the same black skirt as shown with my white t-shirt and for some added spunk I plan on wearing my thrifted flamingo dangle earrings.

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Last, but certainly not least, I couldn’t possibly go on vacation without wearing at least one fully thrifted outfit! The fact that I was able to pair all of my favorite thrifted finds into one adorable outfit makes my heart sing with quirky joy. I feel like this outfit can be worn any season and would still be stylish. As a whole this outfit cost me less than $15 from head to toe and I can’t wait to brag about it.

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So the million dollar question remains… Will all of this fit in a carry-on suitcase with room to spare for pajamas, cosmetics, and some swimsuit goodies? The answer to that question is.. ABSOLUTELY!! To recap what went into all these outfits I have packed away:  3 different tops, 1 dress, 2 pairs of shorts, 1 skirt, 3 pairs of shoes, and 2 purses.  On the plane I will wear a pair of jeans with a layered shirt and jacket combination to bring yet another outfit if needed (because you know you want to squeeze just one more in).

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I hope everyone has a great spring break filled with fun, family, friends, and of course some great thrifted finds from your local Goodwill. With a little bit of creativity and a clear idea of what you’re looking for, spicing up your wardrobe with new pieces doesn’t need to break your bank for you to feel good about what you are wearing.