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

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