Out of Work Due to COVID-19? These Solutions Will Help If You’re Feeling a Financial Pinch

Out of Work Due to COVID-19? These Solutions Will Help If You’re Feeling a Financial Pinch

By Craig Brown

With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, it’s fair to say that all of our lives have been turned upside down. And while the health risk of COVID-19 is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, there’s also the economic fallout. The number of jobs lost in the U.S. due to the coronavirus has already topped 33 million, and even more people are worried about job security. If you fall in this group, the good news is that there are options out there to help you get by while you look for employment.

Alternative Job Opportunities

The obvious solution for making ends meet is to find a way to keep working, even if that means working part-time, short-term, or from home.

Remote Work

One of the most popular solutions for remote workers is to consider freelance solutions through sites like Upwork. All you have to do is create a profile, and then you can search for freelance jobs doing whatever fits your skill set, whether your talents are in web design, marketing, customer service, or any number of other professions.

Similar to freelance work, another option that’s ideal for this time is to look for remote jobs within your profession, such as telemedicine or remote legal work. Those with experience teaching could work as an online tutor, or someone with administrative skills could work as a virtual assistant or transcriptionist. Whatever type of remote work you do, just make sure you verify that you’ve found a legitimate opportunity and not a scam.

Short-Term Jobs

If your field doesn’t have as many remote options, consider branching out and trying something entirely new. Many short-term job opportunities are still in demand, especially in the type of roles that tend to be rewarding. For example, if you’re an animal lover, becoming a pet sitter is a perfect way to earn an income while enjoying the company of animals. You’ll need to get your home ready to become a pet sitter by taking safety precautions, such as locking cabinets, securing trash can lids, and getting rid of anything unsafe like items that are choking hazards or poisonous house plants.

Jobs in High Demand

While the coronavirus outbreak has put some jobs on hold, the pandemic has actually increased demand for other types of work. For example, many grocery stores are hiring as they try to keep shelves stocked. Delivery drivers are also in high demand since more people are ordering goods online to avoid making a trip to the store. And along with these jobs that meet immediate needs, some job sectors like IT are actually growing, so you may even want to consider making a move in this direction.

Other Jobs to Consider

Remote work or pet-sitting aren’t going to cut it for everyone, in which case you’ll have to think outside the box. This could mean finding a job at your local grocery store or big-box store, joining a cleaning service or finding warehouse work. You can also turn to community organizations like Goodwill where you’ll have an opportunity to give back and earn a paycheck at the same time.

Use Community Resources

Additionally, Goodwill has a Job Connection program that connects community members to resources and opportunities in their search for meaningful employment. Their remote services number is 402-477-0436.

The bottom line is that individuals and companies still have needs, which means there are job opportunities that meet those needs. It may take some creativity and a willingness to try something new. But for those who are up for the challenge, these ideas can help get you over the hump until the right long-term employment option comes along.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Father’s Day Finds That Won’t Fail

Father’s Day Finds That Won’t Fail

What do ties, golf clubs, and a six-pack all have in common? While they’re each nice (and surely appreciated) Father’s Day gifts, they’re also the type of present that you can really only give once. Giving the same type of gift every year will seem uninspired and won’t accurately reflect the way you feel about dear ol’ Dad. So, if you’re feeling stuck in a run-of-the-mill Father’s Day gift rut and are ready for some fresh ideas, we’ve got a whole slew of possibilities for you in this blog post—and at your closest Goodwill store! Goodwill understands that self-sufficiency is best achieved through family financial stability practices that allow households to better manage their money and save for the future. And when you shop for Father’s Day gifts at Goodwill stores then you’re saving money and supporting that mission, too.

Video via the Goodwill Gal on YouTube

Every dad would appreciate the gift of time. And while we can’t tell you how to add extra hours to the day, Goodwill Industries – Knoxville, Inc. does have some incredible ideas for making the most of those afternoon hours with a http://www.gwiktn.org/blog/2017/backyard-bbq-bash-on-a-budget. Since many dads pride themselves on their grilling skills, this would be the perfect excuse to spend some time doing what he wants next weekend. With tips on how to save money while you shop for meal ingredients and a recipe for easy homemade barbeque sauce, this list is a must read. Also check out these DIY solar mason jar lights which would extend the amount of time your family can stay outside after grilling. Hey, maybe we can add hours to the day after all!

Image via sadieseasongoods.com

Throwing out the word “sachet” probably won’t immediately make you think of your dad. But why should the fellas miss out on all the fun of these (literally) shirt pocket sachets: https://www.sadieseasongoods.com/shirt-pocket-sachets/. Blogger Sadie Seasongoods noticed that flannel shirts at Goodwill are always plentiful and low-priced especially in the warm-weather months. With Father’s Day right around the corner she decided now was the time to turn a few of them into simple scented sachets! They’re cute while they play peek-a-boo in a drawer, but could also make a pretty nifty car or office air freshener. And since the scent of cedar wards off moths, these would be a safer and more pleasant smelling alternative to moth balls in the closet. The part Dad might appreciate the most, though, is that you spent your time and energy on a thoughtful handmade gift for him. You must be his favorite, huh?

Video via Goodwill of Central Arizona on YouTube

If those ideas still don’t seem right for the Dad(s) you’re celebrating this year, take a peek at this video shared by Goodwill Industries of Central Arizona, Inc. for a fantastic list of the dos and don’ts of Father’s Day gift buying. Number one in their survey results of the worst Father’s Day gifts was novelty clothing. Those are the things that Dad might wear once for a laugh then never touch again. They also mention certain tech gadgets that become obsolete almost as soon as they’re brought home. Unless he’s a techie who likes to collect, you could steer clear of those pieces, too. Check out the video above for the other items you’ll want to avoid while you shop and some fantastic suggestions that are sure to please.

To all the fathers and father figures out there who might be reading this, you are awesome. Your hard work and reliable presence is helping to (or has helped) form a new generation and that is really something special. Happy Father’s Day!

Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska Reopens Three Retail Stores, One Furniture Store

Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska Reopens Three Retail Stores, One Furniture Store

LINCOLN – Eight weeks ago, Goodwill made the difficult decision to close their stores. During that time, the generous people of Lincoln continued to donate at contactless donation sites. As stores reopen, Goodwill is excited to offer a large inventory of unique furniture items.

On Monday, May 25, Goodwill will reopen the 3910 North 27th Street location as a temporary furniture store. Stop by for great furniture deals during this temporary change.

Additionally, Goodwill has reopened three retail locations at 6300 Apples Way, 4555 Vine Street and 1700 South 17th Street. Hours of operation at all locations are Monday through Saturday 10AM to 6PM and Sunday 11AM to 6PM.

Donations are accepted during hours of operation. Donations left outside of open hours are subject to hazardous weather and vandalism. 

Goodwill depends on the revenue from their stores to provide free career services to the community. Jobseekers are encouraged to visit www.lincolngoodwill.org for online learning or call (402) 477-0436 for one-on-one job search assistance.

All updates and information can be found at www.lincolngoodwill.org.

About Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska, Inc.

Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska, Inc.’s mission is “willing workers employed and community resources maximized.” Programming supports individuals with barriers to employment by providing services that equip them with the tools needed in order to obtain employment, working to lower unemployment rates and lessen reliance on government assistance within the Lincoln community. 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, volunteering and making tax-deductible financial donations. The sale of donated goods remains the greatest source of funding for programs Goodwill provides. Learn more at www.lincolngoodwill.org.

DIY T-Shirt Wall Art

In early March, the Garden of Giving opened at Gateway Mall, exhibiting repurposed clothing from Lincoln Goodwill to form a peaceful garden. At the opening event, guests were given the opportunity to make DIY t-shirt wall art.

If you didn’t get the chance to stop by, don’t worry! We are sharing a fun, simple tutorial that you can do in the comfort of your own home. This DIY is perfect for the t-shirt you rarely wear, but holds a special place in your heart. It could be from your first concert or your favorite high school memory. We chose a silly shirt to hang next to where the office cats sleep all day.

Here are the five easy steps to make a t-shirt canvas of your own.

What You’ll Need

-T-shirt

-Scissors

-Stapler

-Canvas

Instructions

1..Line the t-shirt up on the canvas.

Before cutting the t-shirt, put it over the canvas and be sure the design you want to display fits and looks the way you want. If not, try a new shirt or a different sized canvas.

Pro tip: Iron your shirt before placing it on the canvas to ensure it’s wrinkle free and lays smoothly. Cut the back out of the t-shirt out near the seam.

2. Leave enough space to stretch the shirt over the canvas while removing the back of the shirt and excess material. This is to get the t-shirt to a size that is easier to work with. Remember, you can always cut smaller, but it’s not easily made big again!

3. Stretch the t-shirt over the canvas.

Align the t-shirt with the front of the canvas how you the t-shirt to lay.

4. Staple the shirt to the canvas.

Start by stapling the sides of the canvas. The more staples, the better the hold. We suggest a minimum of 5 staples per side. Next, staple the top and bottom. While doing this, be sure to continually check that the t-shirt is still aligned with how you want it displayed.

5. Cut excess and DONE!

Cut the excess t-shirt from the canvas and add additional staples as needed. Then the t-shirt wall art is ready to be displayed!

Here are some other examples of inspiration for your t-shirt creation as well as photos from the exhibit.  Send your completed t-shirt art and any other DIY projects you complete to our social media accounts, we’d love to see what you create! 

Goodwill® Responds to COVID-19 Community Recommendations

Goodwill® Responds to COVID-19 Community Recommendations

LINCOLN – In following the recommendations provided by our state and local governments, Goodwill continues to accept donations and is making the following changes to store hours:

  • The Apples Way, Vine Street, and 17th and Sumner locations are open Monday-Saturday from 11AM – 7PM and Sunday from 11AM – 6PM. Donations are accepted during those hours.
  • The York location is open Monday-Saturday 11AM – 5PM and closed on Sunday.
  • The North 27th Street, Downtown are closed for maintenance and renovations until further notice. Donations can be dropped off from 11AM – 7PM at the 27th Street location and 11AM – 5PM at the Downtown location.
  • Job Connection is closed for maintenance and renovations until further notice. For job search assistance, call 402-447-0437 or visit lincolngoodwill.org for online learning.

Goodwill would like to reassure you that the health and well-being of the community are top priorities for us. As a mission-based nonprofit organization, Goodwill cares deeply for the program participants we serve and the many donors, shoppers, volunteers and team members that allow us to help others in our communities every day.

All retail location and donation site updates, changes to the sales calendar and programs, and other information can be found at www.lincolngoodwill.org.

About Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska, Inc.

Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska, Inc.’s mission is “willing workers employed and community resources maximized.” Programming supports individuals with barriers to employment by providing services that equip them with the tools needed in order to obtain employment, working to lower unemployment rates and lessen reliance on government assistance within the Lincoln community. 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, volunteering and making tax-deductible financial donations. The sale of donated goods remains the greatest source of funding for programs Goodwill provides. Learn more at www.lincolngoodwill.org.

Contact:

Anne-Marie Maher

Communications Coordinator

annie@lincolngoodwill.org

402-438-2022

Lincoln Goodwill Hosts 8th Annual Neighborhood Challenge

LINCOLN – Holding a garage sale requires gathering an assortment of unused items, pricing them, placing them, and bargaining with avid garage sale attendees all weekend. After the initial glee of a successful sale, a terrifying thought can occur, “After all this hard work, what am I going to do with what’s leftover?” The idea of re-cluttering the home after decluttering is unthinkable, but so is putting the items in the landfill. That’s where Goodwill can help. Donate leftover garage sale items to a centralized location in your neighborhood and have the chance to win a cash prize to strengthen your neighborhood.

Neighborhood associations across Lincoln compete in the Neighborhood Challenge by holding a neighborhood pick up after their garage sales. Participation is simple. Coordinate a date, time, and location with Goodwill and they will be there with a truck ready to load items. The top three neighborhoods that collect more than 2,000 pounds receive a cash prize to strengthen their neighborhood.

For eight years the Neighborhood Challenge has allowed neighborhood associations to complete community projects ranging from landscape improvement to neighborhood events. Thus far, Goodwill has worked with 20 neighborhood organizations across Lincoln, awarded $8,000 towards community improvement projects, and diverted 136,590 pounds of materials from the local landfill through this event.

Reserve a spot for your neighborhood by calling (402) 742-8456 or sending an email to donate@lincolngoodwill.org with the date you want to hold your pick up. Be sure to register early as only two pick ups can be held per day and summer spots fill quickly!

If you are holding a garage sale, but aren’t participating in the Neighborhood Challenge, schedule a free home pick up at https://lincolngoodwill.org/donate/schedule-donation-pickup/, or call (402) 438-2022.

Goodwill® Reopens 17th and Sumner Store as Neighborhood Retail Location

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 9, 2020

Goodwill® Reopens 17th and Sumner Store as Neighborhood Retail Location

LINCOLN – Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska, Inc. recently transitioned the Computer and Electronics Store at 17th and Sumner Streets into a traditional neighborhood retail location.

“Thank you for supporting our Computer and Electronics store since 2011. We believe the transition to a traditional retail location will provide more funding to Goodwill’s mission of providing employment programming to the Lincoln community,” said Anne-Marie Maher, Communications Coordinator for Goodwill.

Customers can now shop the store to find a variety of unique clothing items and home goods. The location offers monthly sale rotations, including 10 for $10 and $0.99 Clothing Sales. Electronic items can still be found at the Vine Street, Apples Way and 17th and Sumner locations in specific sections, with the largest selection at Vine Street. Electronic donations are accepted year round at any Goodwill location in Lincoln or York.

Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska, Inc. is currently looking for individuals to fill additional retail and management positions. Those interested in applying should visit lincolngoodwill.org or Goodwill’s Job Connection located at 1731 O Street to learn more.

About Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska, Inc.

Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska, Inc.’s mission is “willing workers employed and community resources maximized.” Programming supports individuals with barriers to employment by providing services that equip them with the tools needed in order to obtain employment, working to lower unemployment rates and lessen reliance on government assistance within the Lincoln community. 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, volunteering and making tax-deductible financial donations. The sale of donated goods remains the greatest source of funding for programs Goodwill provides. Learn more at www.lincolngoodwill.org.

Contact:

Anne-Marie Maher

Communications Coordinator

annie@lincolngoodwill.org

402-438-2022

Nickum wins $100 Goodwill gift card, donates clothing to Culler Clothing Closet

CULLER MIDDLE SCHOOL — Years of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Halloween costume creations set the foundation for Jessica Nickum to tackle her biggest challenge yet: Culler Middle School’s Ugliest Holiday Sweater Contest. The 6th-8th grade teacher was incentivized to compete by the grand prize of fancy coffee and bragging rights against her fellow coworkers.

“I had been dressed up as an elf on the shelf previously and everyone kept saying that there was no way that I would top that outfit,” Nickum said.

Nickum racked her brain to think of something creative, homemade and affordable. While looking at her kitchen Christmas tree made of tomato cage and garland, the idea came to make herself into a walking Christmas tree. Nickum bought the base of her costume, a green dress, online and small, unbreakable decorations at her local Dollar Tree.

“If I was going to wear it around students and perform my job, I would need to be fairly flexible while wearing it,” Nickum said.

Once all the materials were gathered, Nickum and her mother worked to glue the decorations on the dress while Nickum wore it.

She added, “This was the best way to know where to put things and see how it would actually look when we were done.”

The DIY masterpiece came to life, completed with red and gold garland, ornaments, bows and a candy cane headband to top it all off.

She wore the costume to school and impressed students and faculty with her creativity for the second year in a row and won Culler’s 2019 Ugliest Holiday Sweater Contest. Soon after, Nickum caught word of Goodwill’s 3rd Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest with the prize of a $100 gift card.

Some people might have thought to take the opportunity to pamper themselves with a day of shopping, but Nickum wanted to do something more with the gift card.

Nickum explained, “At Culler, we have a clothing closet that is open to all students for several different needs. Sometimes students can’t afford clothes, sometimes they have the unfortunate case of the split pants or shirt. This closet ensures that students’ basic needs for clothing are being met.”

The Junior League is the main support of the clothing closet, but staff often pitch in whenever they can. Unfortunately, at this time of year, the closet begins to go bare.

In order to win Goodwill’s contest, contestants needed to receive the most likes on their submission photo on Facebook. Voters appreciated both Nickum’s DIY skills and her generous spirit. She won the contest with a whopping 178 likes.

Nickum said, “I love what my students bring to me every day, and I sleep better knowing when their needs are being met. Giving the gift card to the clothing closet is a way to help support our kids in an economically feasible way.”

Nickum plans to buy clothing during Goodwill’s $0.99 Clothing Sale in order to get the best use out of the gift card.

She added, “We are hoping that it replenishes what we are in need of and that the closet once again looks full.”

The Start of the New Decade Is a Great Time to Get Organized and Help Others Do the Same

Perhaps you’ve heard someone quip in recent days that 2020 is the Year of the Optometrist. Get it? As in 20/20 vision, a measure of normal visual acuity. But 2020 represents more than good vision, it’s the start of a new decade! For you, that might mean a fresh set of New Year’s goals, as well as a round of resolutions for what you wish to accomplish for the next ten years. It’s certainly a great opportunity to think about the old, the now and the new.

It’s no coincidence that January is Get Organized Month, also known as GO Month. At Goodwill®, getting organized is a big deal. We know how important organization is when someone is looking for a new job, whether they are entering the job market for the first time, looking to advance their career, or perhaps reentering the job market after a period of absence.

Goodwill believes in the power of work to transform lives, families and communities. We work every day to help others get organized with the job skills, career direction and supportive services they need to get ahead. But even if you already have a good job, 2020 is still a great chance for you to get organized and help others in the process. By taking inventory of the things around your house, figuring out what you use and want to keep, and then donating those used items you no longer need, you’re assisting others as they seek to reach their full potential.

This month, why not rethink your own home organization with a long-term perspective? Here’s how:

1) Look back: Do you have a digital camera you haven’t touched in 10 years? A set of china that’s been gathering dust since early in the millennium? What about long-outgrown baby clothes? By letting go of what you no longer use, you can gain a clear outlook in your home and your life.

2) Look forward: Many people resolve to start a new hobby in a new year. Perhaps you’ve picked one that requires a bit of space now, and even more down the line. Make room for crafting, woodworking, pickling, home brewing — or whatever your new hobby might be — by reclaiming your underutilized basement or garage. Envision how you’ll use your hobby space in the years to come, so you can get organized for the future.

3) Stay present: As we move through the new year, take a clear-eyed look each day at those things around your house or apartment that you really use. When you allow yourself some time for reflection on what you need — or don’t need — right now, you’ll land on a clear vision for what you can let go of.

After you give your home a look with “2020 vision,” you’ll be in a perfect position to donate unwanted and unneeded clothing and household items to Goodwill. Those items can then be sold to help fund Goodwill’s skills, job and career services. Not only will your efforts help you be better organized, they’ll help someone else in your community do the same.

Here’s to a great year, a productive decade, and a new vision for being better organized.

With Goodwill’s Support, Lincoln Literacy Helps Refugee Parents Prepare for Jobs

Volunteer tutors help them acquire skills, know-how, and motivation crucial to finding and keeping a job while assisting their children in school.

With financial support from Goodwill Industries, Lincoln Literacy is helping the city’s refugee and immigrant parents acquire the gateway skills of English language literacy, setting them on the path to becoming self-sufficient breadwinners.
 
In partnership with Goodwill, Lincoln Public Schools, Bryan Health, Lincoln City Libraries, and others, Lincoln Literacy staff and volunteer tutors offer family literacy classes at a dozen locations, with the aim of helping refugee parents and children succeed on the job market and at school.
 
In addition to classroom instruction on speaking, comprehending, reading, and writing English, program participants have the opportunity to sign up for occupational skills classes. Lincoln Literacy debuted a CNA prep class just over a year ago, in partnership with the Bryan College of Health Sciences, to help refugees become certified nursing aides. Since then, such offerings have expanded to include a GED prep class and a teacher prep class. Goodwill, which has long supported Lincoln Literacy’s efforts, is also well known for developing workers’ skills.
 
Lincoln Literacy has been working to strengthen the community by teaching English and literacy skills to immigrants, refugees, and homegrown Americans since 1972. It started a family literacy program, known as FLAIR, 11 years ago. Since then, some 200 children a year, along with their parents, have benefited from the United Way-backed program. In all, Lincoln Literacy has served over 1,140 people this year.

Lincoln Literacy relies on more than 300 trained volunteers to provide more than 50 free English classes per week for people ranging in age from two to 78. The nonprofit provides helps businesses find and retain skilled and literate workers, and boosts children’s ability to succeed in school and adults’ ability to thrive on the job. (More at: https://www.lincolnliteracy.org/ ) Each year, Goodwill Industries Serving Southeast Nebraska Inc. provides financial support to Lincoln Literacy and other nonprofits whose activities align with Goodwill’s mission of helping willing workers find employment and maximizing community resources. Goodwill provides services – such as employment and soft skills training and a job matching program – to individuals who face barriers to finding jobs.

The sale of donated goods is Goodwill’s largest source of funding. Community members can support Goodwill by donating gently-used items, shopping at Goodwill Stores and making tax-deductible financial donations. Learn more at www.lincolngoodwill.org.