Celebrate #NationalThriftStoreDay

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…it’s #NationalThriftStoreDay on Friday, August 17th! This national holiday celebrates all things thrift from value to sustainable shopping, keeping it local and the thrill of the hunt. Celebrate big this year and head on a Goodwill adventure. Download your free Goodwill Passport and track your travels. Goodwill SCWI has 11 shopping locations throughout south central Wisconsin. Grab your favorite shopping partner and see just how many treasures await you.

And join your thrifting community online by sharing your travels on Facebook and Instagram. You just might be named “Goodwill SCWI’s Shopper of the Week”. Also, local Instagrammer and shopper extraordinaire Melissa Imbach will be doing a special InstaTakeover and sharing her Goodwill adventures throughout the day. You won’t want to miss her expert styling. Follow along and be inspired!

Download Your Free Goodwill Passport

Goodwill Korea Visits Goodwill SCWI

Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin (SCWI) hosted members of a delegation from Seoul, South Korea on Monday, August 13. The delegation from Goodwill Korea (GIK) spent a day in Madison visiting with Goodwill SCWI’s leadership team and observing work sites in Goodwill SCWI stores and on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

GIK is an international nonprofit in Seoul that helps prepare people to secure and retain employment and build successful, independent lives. GIK is looking to Goodwill SCWI for operational expertise as it relates to the local nonprofit’s dual focus of both running retail stores and integrating people with disabilities to work in the larger community.

In addition to touring two local stores, part of the day was spent on campus, visiting Goodwill SCWI’s supported employment participants who work at Memorial Union.
Goodwill SCWI partners with more than 100 local employers to find meaningful work for people with barriers to employment. Before an employee is placed in a job, Goodwill SCWI’s team conducts a thorough skills assessment with each job-seeker to determine appropriate professional placement. The employee is accompanied at the worksite by Goodwill job coaches and employment specialists who supplement the employer’s regular training and supervision at no cost to the employer. 

The information gathered by the delegation is expected to be shared on MBC, a Korean network that will produce and air a television series intended to raise awareness about disability rights in South Korea

Fire Dept. Receives Donation from Goodwill

Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin (SCWI) is pleased to announce the donation of $870 to the Chester Sroka Fire Prevention Fund at the Portage Fire Department.

(Left to Right) Fire Chief Clayton Simonson, Jr., Fire Inspector Craig Ratz, Regional Director of Stores Brian Schroeder

The funds were collected through Goodwill Portage’s round-up donation program. Round-up donations are normally designated for Goodwill SCWI’s community services, but in the wake of the devastating Ram Hotel fire that left one child dead, Goodwill Portage was glad to divert a portion of those funds to the community it calls home in hopes of preventing future tragedies. On Thursday, August 2, Goodwill SCWI Regional Manager presented the check to PFD Fire Inspector Craig Ratz and Fire Chief Clayton Simonson, Jr.

In accepting the donation, Ratz noted the importance of prevention in creating a “brighter, better place to live.”

“The fire service tends to be more reactive than proactive regarding fire safety,” Ratz said. “Smoke alarms, evacuation planning – those are things that are necessary when a fire occurs. The best fire is the one that never starts, and that’s what we’re working on to create a safer community.”

Ratz says the prevention fund is almost completely dependent on donations.

“Donations have slowed in recent years, so this is a real boost for our work.”

The Sroka Fund purchases fire safety materials and supports prevention education for all ages in the Portage Fire District.

“Goodwill Portage is one of 11 stores in the South Central region. The stores exist as the economic driver for Goodwill’s mission services, providing career guidance, supported employment and residential services to people with disabilities, mental health concerns and other barriers to employment and independent living.

 

Light Up Wisconsin

Goodwill SCWI is proud to partner with Light Up Wisconsin to supply our Sandra Hall Apartments with LED light bulbs on an annual basis. This will brighten the inside of the apartment complex for residents at no cost, while also reducing its carbon footprint and utility bills.

Light Up Wisconsin is a non-profit organization founded by 15-year old high school student, Nika, from Madison, Wisconsin. The organization sells stickers to the community to gather funds for buying LED light bulbs, which are then provided to community members who lack the resources to obtain them.

Thank you, Light Up Wisconsin!

Northside Goodwill Store Community Room stays busy six months in

Goodwill Northside opened its doors to hundreds of eager shoppers on September 29, 2017. Neighbors have enjoyed the signature value that Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin (SCWI) is known for. But almost as busy as the retail store and donation center, the Northside store’s community room has been warmly embraced by the neighborhood.

“The room is booked consistently through the rest of the year, with several groups using it on a recurring basis,” said store manager Billy Suppes.

The community room was included in the new store at the request of local elected officials. It accommodates up to 30 people and may be reserved for community meetings and activities.

In January the Goodwill Northside Community Room was designated a polling place for Ward 32, hosting its first election for the Feb. 20 spring primary. The store extended its operating hours to coincide with polling hours, choosing to open the store early for shopping as well. Voters also received a special one-day coupon as a “thank you” for voting.

Goodwill SCWI is currently working with art students at Malcolm Shabazz City High School to create a mural for the community room that reflects the cultural heritage of the neighborhood and Goodwill’s guiding principles. At the suggestion of Shabazz art teacher Rachel Schramm, Goodwill SCWI is also reserving space to showcase local art from neighborhood schools, community centers and the like.

Goodwill Northside is the tenth store in the South Central region. The stores exist as the economic driver for Goodwill’s mission services, providing career guidance, supported employment and residential services to people with disabilities, mental health concerns and other barriers to employment and independent living.

Goodwill SCWI is a local nonprofit serving residents within a 14-county region. Each region is an independent 501(c)(3) organization.

Goodwill Stoughton to Open Mid-March

Goodwill SCWI is pleased to announce the opening of a new retail store and donation center in Stoughton, WI on Friday, March 16. The store at 1780 US-51 fills 17,961square feet of space in the building that formerly housed Walmart, with 11,246 of that dedicated to the retail floor. This will be the eleventh Goodwill Store in the 14-county region that Goodwill SCWI serves, bringing Goodwill’s signature combination of thrift, community partnership and new employment.

 

While Goodwill is well-known to bargain hunters, each new Goodwill store and donation center also presents employment opportunities for the community. The new location will have a staff of 25‒30 people for everything from entry-level to professional management positions. Jobs at the new location include receiving, sorting and pricing donated items, stocking the floor and cashiering.

 

“We are thrilled to be joining the vibrant community that is Stoughton,” said Goodwill SCWI president and CEO Vicki Holschuh. “Residents of Stoughton are justifiably proud of their beautiful city, and we are proud to become a part of it.

“Our stores are the economic driver for the mission of Goodwill,” she added. “With these proceeds, we provide career guidance, supported employment and residential services to people with disabilities, mental health concerns and other barriers to employment and independent living. So when we open a new store, we create additional capacity for those services.”

 

Goodwill SCWI is a local nonprofit. When someone donates to their local store, their donation typically gets resold in that location or within the Goodwill SCWI 14-county region. Each region is an independent 501(c)(3) organization.

Your Valentine’s Day Shopping Checklist

Take the pressure off this Valentine’s Day with a foolproof downloadable shopping checklist. You won’t disappoint and you won’t break the bank. With just a little creativity and some classic Valentine charm, you’re sure to be a hit this year. We’ll focus on three shopping categories and supply you with an easy checklist!

Let’s start with the basics. In order to have a romantic dinner at home, you’ll need to create an inviting table:

– Wineglasses

– Place settings

– Tablecloth

– Candle holders

– Vase for flowers

– Dessert dishes

Don’t get overwhelmed. These common household items are more than affordable at your Goodwill SCWI locations. THRIFT TIP: find one piece that speaks to you and keep the rest of the items in that same design. Let’s say you’ve found a crystal flower vase – keep adding to the glass theme with glass candle holders, glass sundae bowls. A matching or monochromatic look will help you cross things off your shopping list quickly.

You’ve got your table looking top notch. Now it’s your turn to tune up your wardrobe. Let’s face it – its winter in Wisconsin. You might be feeling pale or just needing a dose of spring time. A new outfit that fits you right and makes you feel great is just what you need. Here are two timeless looks to give you confidence and boost your spirits.

Women, keep your eyes peeled for a classic Wrap Dress. This simple style is flattering on so many body types. It’s designed to accentuate your best features with a cinched in natural waist in a soft, flowing fabric. You can also recreate this silhouette by tucking a V-neck or buttoned blouse in a high-waisted skirt. Again, no need to feel panic! Look for fabrics and colors that speak to you. When something stands out, keep the rest of your wardrobe connected to that same theme. Once you’ve established that, find the shoes and accessories to match. You can do it!

Men, I believe the famous line by Plato reads “everybody’s crazy ‘bout a sharp dressed man”. OK, maybe it wasn’t Plato…but you get the point. You need to feel elevated in your look too! And you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Keep the lines simple with a well-fitted blazer, oxford shirt and slimming pants. Check out these easy inspiration looks. Another THRIFT TIP: consider tailoring. You might find a really high quality blazer that is just a hair too large. With Goodwill’s affordable pricing, you can use the money you’ve saved to get the look custom tailored to you.

Don’t overlook this last mood setting must-have. How surprised would your loved one be by the smooth sounds of a romantic record? Go old school and check out the record section at your Goodwill SCWI. Whether it makes you feel nostalgic, trendy or unique, you can’t go wrong with music! And a little romantic comedy never hurt anyone either. Really cut the cord and go straight for the DVDS. Spring for some romantic comedies and have your sweetheart choose their favorite. They’ll feel honored to pick the film.

– Vintage Record

– DVD’s

Now that’s what we call a #GoodwillDateNight. Don’t break the bank, be creative! Now you are officially armed with the foolproof Valentine’s Day shopping checklist. Get everything you need to throw a romantic night in at your Gooodwill SCWI.

Goodwill SCWI Celebrates Growth and Good News in 2017

Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin (SCWI) enjoyed significant successes in 2017 with the opening of a new store and a statewide honor for a participant in Goodwill’s Supported Employment (SE) program.

The year began with a complete refresh of the Monona location at 2501 Royal Avenue. The store and donation center stayed open throughout the renovation, which was completed in May.

Aside from the fresh look of the store, the makeover includes operational improvements as well.

“This was a great opportunity to break down the walls – literally and figuratively – between our retail and donation processes,” said store manager Doug Rozak. “We’re also very pleased with the positive impact on the customer experience.”

June brought the news that Goodwill SCWI was renewed for accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) International, an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services providers.

This three-year accreditation for Goodwill’s community housing, employment supports and job development services cements more than 40 years of exceptional service to individuals with disabilities. Goodwill SCWI operates the only CARF-accredited group homes in Madison.

CARF was complimentary of Goodwill SCWI’s exceptional service and reputation:

The supported employment program is led by a team of experienced professionals who have been successful in building relationships with local businesses [leading to] employment opportunities for clients formerly thought of as unlikely candidates for competitive employment.

In September, Goodwill opened is 10th new retail store and donation center at 2901 North Sherman Avenue on Madison’s Northside. More than 300 people waited in line for the doors to open.

In assessing neighborhood needs, the decision was made to incorporate a community room at this location. The space accommodates up to 30 people and has become a busy spot for community meetings and activities.

Goodwill SCWI is scheduled to open its 11th store in Stoughton in the spring of 2018.

As 2017 wound down, Goodwill SCWI was delighted to join in the celebration of David Brann, one of the many amazing people served by the local nonprofit. David received the Wisconsin Job Honor Award on November 29. The award celebrates Wisconsinites who have overcome barriers to employment, and the employers who hire them.

The Wisconsin Job Honor Awards were presented during the Future Wisconsin Summit hosted by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) and sponsored by Milwaukee-based ManpowerGroup.

Goodwill SCWI is a local nonprofit serving communities within a 14-county region. Each region is an independent 501(c)(3) organization.

Madison Goodwill Program Participant Receives Wisconsin Job Honor Award

David Brann, one of the many amazing people served by Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin received the Wisconsin Job Honor Award on November 29. The award celebrates Wisconsinites who have overcome barriers to employment, and the employers who hire them. Launched in Iowa in 2014, the awards are expanding nationally under the banner of America’s Job Honor Awards.

David (right) with his boss Chef Evan Dannells.

David has autism, and communication can be challenging for him. He was quiet when he first started working, but has since found his fit as pre-cook at Lucille, a Madison-based restaurant. David enjoys his job saying, “From the first day, I just started loving it more and more.”

“We’ve watched him come out of his shell, and that really felt good,” said executive chef Evan Dannells, “He has improved everyone’s life around here.” Evan partners with Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin to recruit workers with disabilities into the restaurant industry, which is short on talent. “This is actually just an alternative labor force,” said Evan, “I can’t stress enough that it isn’t a free ride. David’s an actual employee who has actual expectations, and he’s productive.”

The Wisconsin Job Honor Awards were presented during the Future Wisconsin Summit hosted by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) and sponsored by Milwaukee-based ManpowerGroup. Several hundred Wisconsin business leaders assembled at Monona Terrace to witness the ceremony and watch biographical videos of the honoree efforts to win life-changing jobs. The video of David and Evan does a wonderful job of not only showcasing David’s achievements, but noting how Goodwill® works with employers to support a diverse and inclusive workforce. You can watch the video here.

Goodwill SCWI is a local nonprofit serving communities within a 14-county region. Each region is an independent 501(c)(3) organization.