Author Archives: amandah

Goodwill® Announces Recognition of 2014 National Volunteer Week


Goodwill® Announces Recognition of 2014 National Volunteer Week

Local volunteers encouraged to celebrate power of volunteerism


Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska, Inc. announced plans to celebrate National Volunteer Week, a time dedicated to demonstrating to the nation that by working together, we have the fortitude to meet our challenges and accomplish our goals.


National Volunteer Week, April 6-12, 2014, is about taking action and encouraging individuals and their respective communities to be at the center of social change – discovering and demonstrating their collective power to make a difference.


Goodwill understands the value of volunteering and encourages and offers incentives to its employees who donate their time to other organizations in the community. During this week, Goodwill will be offering appreciation to all of its volunteers.


Goodwill also plans to begin the celebration of National Volunteer Week by participating in the UNL Big Event. "This event helps bring awareness to community service and shows Lincoln how simple it is to start volunteering" says Amanda Herndon, Communications Director for Goodwill. At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln more than 2,500 students, faculty, and staff will volunteer and give thanks to Lincoln this spring as part of The Big Event. The organization is entirely student-run and funded by donations from the community. As described in The Big Event’s core values, community is not simply viewed as a place to live but an opportunity to create meaningful relationships and give to something greater.


If you would like to volunteer at Goodwill individually or with a group please see for volunteer information. If interested in a group project please contact Amanda at (402) 438-2022 ext. 118 to assist in your project planning.


About National Volunteer Week


National Volunteer Week, a program of Points of Light, was established in 1974 and has grown exponentially each year, with thousands of volunteer projects and special events scheduled throughout the week. This year Advil®, as part of the Advil® Relief in Action program, is the lead sponsor of National Volunteer Week. The Relief in Action campaign celebrates and enables active volunteers who don’t let pain stop them from helping others in need. During National Volunteer Week Advil® will be celebrating volunteers' dedication to helping others, relieving the aches and pains that come with giving back, and encouraging others to join the movement.


This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the celebration, demonstrating the enduring importance of recognizing our country’s volunteers. With the fifth anniversary of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, the creation of the Volunteer Generation Fund and President Obama’s resonant call to serve this year will be even more inspiring.


For more information regarding the Advil® Relief in Action campaign visit, follow @ReliefinAction on Twitter and Instagram or like Advil® on Facebook.

Goodwill to Host Donation Drives in Surrounding Communities

Goodwill® Industries to Host Donation Drives in Surrounding Communities Just in Time for Spring


Just in time for spring cleaning, Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska, Inc. will be hosting donation drives in surrounding communities. Bring your gently used clothes, house wares, electronics, and furniture to the Goodwill truck and receive a tax receipt for your donations.  All of the drives will take place in the corresponding cities’ Wal-Mart parking lot from 9 am to 4 pm. Beatrice – April 5th and Seward – April 19th. Items that Goodwill cannot accept on these days include large appliances, exercise equipment, pianos/organs, mattresses, and desks. “This is an excellent opportunity for people who do not have a Goodwill store in their community to donate their used items after they complete their spring cleaning,” says Amanda Herndon, Communications Director for Goodwill. For more information about the donation drives, call (402) 438-2022.


Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska Inc.’s mission is willing workers employed and community resources maximized. Our programs support individuals with barriers to employment by providing services which equip them with the tools needed in order to obtain employment, thus adding to lower unemployment rates and less reliance on government assistance within the southeast Nebraska area. Additionally, Goodwill contributes to ecological balance through massive recycling efforts of unsalable textiles and other products.


The community can support Goodwill all year long by donating their gently-used items, shopping at Goodwill Stores and making tax-deductible financial donations. The sale of donated goods remains the greatest source of funding for programs Goodwill provides. Learn more at

Goodwill Supports Heartland Big Brothers Big Sisters

Goodwill supports Heartland Big Brothers Big Sister's mentoring program


Lincoln Journal Star

Sunday, March 21, 2014

Goodwill® Introduces New Program

Goodwill® Introduces New Program with Lancaster County Corrections


In February, 2014, Goodwill® Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska, Inc. launched a new program titled Renewed Employment Success with Education and Training, or RESET. In cooperation with the Lancaster County work release program, Goodwill provides support to individuals who have been approved to take part in the work release program. These individuals are willing and able workers who face obstacles in finding appropriate employment due to their past lifestyles and current incarceration barriers.


Once an inmate has been approved by a Judge for the work release program, they may then be referred to Goodwill’s RESET program by their corrections caseworker. The program is aimed at providing hands-on work experience paired with employment programming. In addition to learning Goodwill’s production methods and performing such tasks, RESET participants also complete modules focused on employment and life skills, such as resume writing and money management.


“One of the greatest challenges individuals face once they are released from jail is finding stable employment” said Sarah Murtagh, Employment Services Director for Goodwill. “The RESET program will not only provide work experience while participants are still incarcerated, but teach them the skills necessary to find employment once they are released or maybe even sooner.”


This program “gives me a chance to better myself and prepares me for answering the tough questions when applying for jobs” said program participant Joey.


“This experience will affect me in a great way. I have good resources and new abilities to [help me] succeed in my life” said Dylan, another RESET participant. “This is a great opportunity for inmates to excel and change.” 


For more information about RESET or other services provided by Goodwill, visit

Younkers Goodwill Sale


"Donate Stuff. Create Jobs" at Goodwill® and the Bon-Ton Stores this Spring

Donations at Local Bon-Ton Younkers Stores Support Goodwill’s Mission of Helping People Find and Keep Good Jobs in Communities Across the United States


 As you clean out your closets this spring, set aside the clothing and household textiles you no longer need. Then donate them to Goodwill at your local Younkers store. For each item donated, customers will receive a coupon to purchase the latest spring fashions up to 25 percent off regular and sale prices. The spring Goodwill Sale takes place from March 13 to 29. Coupons may be redeemed at any Younkers.


Donations will then be sold at Goodwill stores within the communities in which they are collected. The revenue from the donation sales will fund job training programs and other community-based services that help people find jobs and care for their families. Just one bag of clothes creates one hour of on-the-job training for someone who needs employment assistance. To date, parent company Bon-Ton customers company-wide have donated more than 95 million items during the semi-annual Goodwill Sale equating to 8.9 million hours of job services to help local members of the community get back to work.


Every year, Goodwill provides employment training, job placement, financial education, youth mentoring and more to millions of people throughout the United States and Canada. The Younkers Goodwill Sale is Goodwill’s largest and longest standing cause partnership and department store donation drive. The sale takes place twice a year, in the spring and fall. The Goodwill Sale has been turning donors into job creators since 1994, helping thousands of people in the Lincoln community.


"Spring is the perfect time to clean out your home and donate the things you no longer need to Goodwill. Donations to Goodwill provide individuals with a fresh start and an opportunity to work in their community," said Joanne Pickrel, CEO of Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska, Inc. "When you support the Younkers Goodwill Sale, you’re helping to create jobs and employment opportunities in your community."


Customers are also invited to visit to learn more about the event and to play the Closet Clean-Out Giveaway for a chance to win a $100 gift card instantly and be entered for the grand prize to win a $1,000 Bon-Ton shopping spree.


"The Bon-Ton family of stores has made a commitment to strengthen our communities and this program exemplifies that mission" said Brendan Hoffman, president and chief executive officer of The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. "We are pleased to kick off our 20th year of supporting Goodwill Industries® through our signature Goodwill Sale event."


During the Goodwill Sale, customers can help spread the word about their donations and new purchases using the hashtag #GoodwillSale. Goodwill Industries (@GoodwillIntl) and Bon-Ton Stores (@bonton) will highlight their favorite tweets throughout the campaign.


In September 2013 Goodwill partnered with the Ad Council on its first national multimedia public service announcement (PSA) campaign to encourage Americans to help create jobs in their communities. As millions of people continue to struggle with unemployment, the campaign aims to educate and inspire Americans to help create jobs in their communities by donating clothing and household items to Goodwill. To view the PSAs, visit

Seven Days of Spring Cleaning

Seven Days of Spring Cleaning
Goodwill’s One-Week Guide to Clearing Out the Clutter by Donating


More than 70 percent of Americans engage in the annual tradition of spring cleaning, according to a 2013 survey by the American Cleaning Institute. But one of the most common dilemmas for spring cleaners is what to do with all that stuff. As the green movement grows, consumers are increasingly concerned about reusing and recycling. At Goodwill®, we collect used items and put the revenues from their sales toward job training programs and community-based services that can lead to fresh starts for people who are unemployed or underemployed. To get this year’s spring cleaning season off to a fresh start, we’ve compiled the Seven Days of Spring Cleaning Guide, making it easier than ever to clean out your home and make a difference here in Lincoln by donating used goods.


For each day of the week leading up to the first day of spring (March 20), commit to cleaning out just one part of your house and finding something you can donate. At the end of the week, visit the Donate Movement website to calculate just how much of an impact your donations will have. Use the #7DaysofSpringCleaning hashtag to share your spring cleaning adventures with Goodwill and friends.


Day 1: In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, before you put on that green sweater, go through your closet and remove any clothing you no longer wear. Donate it to Goodwill. Here’s a good rule: if you haven’t worn it in the last 365 days, you probably don’t need it!


Day 2: As you’re cooking dinner, take 15 minutes to go through your kitchen cabinets and find things you don’t use. Goodwill accepts used kitchenware items and household goods.


Day 3: Go through your seasonal holiday décor and donate what you no longer use. That Halloween ghost statue you haven’t displayed since the late 90’s? It’s time to let it go. While you’re going through seasonal items, don’t forget to look through your family’s old Halloween costumes and donate those to Goodwill too.


Day 4: Technology changes fast and many people have tech toys, used computers and computer accessories lying around the house. Goodwill accepts working e-readers, tablets and other electronic items as donations, and our Reconnect partnership with Dell gives you a way to recycle of non-working computers.


Day 5: If you have a home office, see if you have any office supplies that you don’t need. Clear your desk of unneeded backpacks, notebooks or binders—all can be donated to Goodwill.


Day 6: The seven days are almost done! But before you congratulate your decluttering efforts, take a minute to investigate the rest and relaxation or entertainment area in your home. How many DVDs do you own that you’ll probably never watch again? CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, video games—they’re all donate-able.


Day 7: Finally, take one last look at your bookshelf. If your paperbacks have gone the way of the printing press, never fear, you can’t donate your books to Goodwill too.


See…that wasn’t so bad, was it? When we take the right approach, spring cleaning can actually be fun. But more importantly, know that by donating your used items, you’re helping neighbors here in Lincoln set out on a path toward employment. Visit to find the Goodwill donation center nearest you.

Goodwill® Announces Dates for Neighborhood Challenge


Goodwill® Announces Dates for Second Annual Neighborhood Challenge


Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska, Inc. has announced intentions for second annual Neighborhood Challenge. This year the event has been extended and will take place between May 1st and September 20th, 2014.


The Neighborhood Challenge is a friendly competition to promote community involvement among the neighborhood associations and organizations of Lincoln. Last year the winning neighborhoods each expressed how they planned to strengthen their community with the prize money which included the revitalization of Sunburst Park, located in the 40th and A area, a new walking path and updated playground equipment at Eastridge Elementary School, and a community event to celebrate the history and diversity of the NW 48th Street neighborhoods. "This event helped bring our neighborhood together and revitalize our association. Winning third place was an unexpected, pleasant surprise!" said Dayna Krannawitter of the Arnold Heights/Arnold School-Neighborhood Advisory Committee.


"We are very excited to kick off this event again and to work with neighborhoods in ways that connect neighborhood members to each other and to Goodwill." said Amanda Herndon, Communications Director for Goodwill. "The Neighborhood Challenge not only promotes and furthers our mission of serving those who struggle to find work, but also give the neighborhood communities a chance to strengthen their own neighborhoods."


Donations to Goodwill fund employment programs for individuals who face barriers to employment as well as help fund other organizations’ employment programs, including Heartland Big Brothers Big Sisters, Lincoln Literacy, Community Justice Center, The Arc of Lincoln, and YWCA Job Outfitters. For more information about Goodwill’s Neighborhood Challenge, visit

With Help from Goodwill Industries, Lincoln Literacy Helps Refugees Get Jobs

With Help from Goodwill Industries, Lincoln Literacy Helps Refugees Get Jobs


Bari Akbar is one of many Kurds who, having suffered terrible persecution under the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein and travails in the aftermath of the regime’s collapse, found a new life as a refugee in America.


Bari and her husband were resettled in Illinois, but they moved to Lincoln to seek better opportunities. Bari came to learn English last September in Lincoln Literacy’s class at RoperElementary School, where her son Rashid is enrolled. Her English at that time was minimal, but she made one thing clear: “I need a job,” she told the staff.


Just before Thanksgiving, she got one. Bari is now working at Wal-Mart on South 27th. She says, “I learned a lot from Lincoln Literacy classes, like how to fill out an application form.”


Bari is continuing to study English in the meantime. Her instructor at Roper says she is is making definite progress. “She practices at home with her kids,” notes volunteer tutor Kelleen Browning. Bari has gone on to enroll in a second Lincoln Literacy class, on Thursday mornings at GraceLutheranChurch.


Financial support from Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska helps to make these and more than 20 other classes available at no charge to refugees like Bari. Goodwill recently announced that it will continue to provide support throughout 2014.


“Lincoln Literacy is proud to have partnered with Goodwill over many years to help those in our community facing the greatest difficulties to become employed,” said Lincoln Literacy Executive Director Clayton Naff. “It is with immense gratitude that we accept this support.”


With help from Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska, Lincoln Literacy assists not only refugees and immigrants but also homegrown Americans to gain skills they need to get jobs. Its volunteer tutors provide personalized instruction six days a week at locations across the city, weekdays, evenings and weekends. Staff provides training and materials, operates free van transportation, and offers free on-site childcare as well as literacy instruction for children of adult learners.


Lincoln Literacy is a community-based, volunteer-driven nonprofit organization. Contributions of viable items to Goodwill are tax-deductible and not only support Goodwill’s employment programs, but several other organizations such as Lincoln Literacy that complement Goodwill programs throughout the city.  

Goodwill Funds Peer Agencies’ Programs


Goodwill® Funds Peer Agencies' Employment Programs


Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska, Inc. will continue to provide funding for 2014 to agencies for existing employment services and readiness programs in the Lincoln community. A donation to Goodwill is tax deductable and will not only support Goodwill’s employment programs, but several other programs that complement Goodwill programs throughout the city.


"Goodwill recognizes that services provided by peer agencies prepare people served by Goodwill to better succeed in Goodwill’s employment programs" said Joanne Pickrel, CEO for Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska, Inc. "Great community support from Goodwill donors and shoppers makes this possible," Pickrel concluded.


Goodwill continuously strives to expand its services to meet the needs of those who face barriers to employment. "Duplicate programming can become an issue and make it more difficult for individuals to navigate through services available to them," explains Sarah Murtagh, Goodwill's Director of Employment Services. "By supporting agencies already providing services that align with Goodwill's mission we do a better job for the people we mutually serve." said Murtagh. Beginning in 2012, Lincoln Literacy and Community Justice Center were offered funding by Goodwill. In 2013, Goodwill expanded that support to include Heartland Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Arc of Lincoln and YWCA Lincoln’s Job Outfitters program. These same organizations will be offered funding for 2014.


For more information about services provided by Goodwill and these other agencies, visit

Green Halloween



As Halloween approaches, families will be looking for creative costumes and decorations. At Goodwill, they can find unique, gently used items to create a memorable Halloween experience. The added benefit to shopping at Goodwill is that buying secondhand Halloween costumes and decorations gives them a second life, diverting them from landfills.


By shopping at Goodwill this Halloween, individuals will be purchasing high-quality, affordable items. Reusing and repurposing items is good for people and the planet. The 7 Goodwill stores in southeast Nebraska sell items donated by 106,431 donors. With a little creativity, anyone can be transformed into a ghost, cowboy, zombie or other character of choice with Goodwill finds.


Shoppers can find fresh items at Goodwill every day, including clothing in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, as well as accessories from different decades to transform an ordinary look into a fantastic costume.


"Purchasing items from Goodwill stores is not only a sustainable practice, but is a fun way to save and create a unique Halloween costume on a budget," said Joanne Pickrel, CEO of Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska, Inc. "Revenues from Goodwill stores in Lincoln are used to fund job training and career programs that help local people."


Revenues from Goodwill stores fund job training programs and community-based services for people with disabilities, those who lack education or work experience, and others facing challenges to finding employment. Every purchase helps people learn the essential skills they need to succeed in the workplace.

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