Holiday Contest Partnership #30dollargoodwillchallenge

Goodwill SCWI is proud to partner with WISC-TV and local design team Elevate Events for a holiday shopping contest. Elevate Events appeared on the morning news to promote the #30dollargoodwillchallenge. The design team showcased how they took $30 and transformed purchases from Goodwill to decorate for the holidays. Shoppers are urged to do the same and enter their submissions on Goodwill’s Facebook or Instagram pages. Elevate Events and WISC-TV morning show host, Brittany Paris will select a winner and award them with a $100 Goodwill shopping spree. Check out the morning news segment!

See details here and enter to win!

“Miraculous” Find Returns Diamond Ring to Owner

Sharp eyes and a lot of luck returned a diamond ring to its owner today. The ring and a necklace were inadvertently donated to Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin’s (SCWI) Fitchburg store several weeks ago, mixed in with clothing.

The owner filed a Lost Donation Report on September 4. September is a busy month for donations, and the chances of locating the jewelry was slim. Nevertheless, Goodwill SCWI put all hands on deck to search for the valuables.

“Usually, two weeks after the fact, we don’t expect to recover missing items,” said Debbie Caraballo. Caraballo is the designated “jewelry lady” for shopgoodwillmadison.com, Goodwill SCWI’s online shopping site.

Caraballo examines the jewelry for markings and authenticity before pricing them for sale.

This morning, she spotted an unusual piece and checked it against the description of the lost ring. It was a match. As she read the lost donation report, she noted the mention of the necklace and remembered seeing a similar piece. That too was recovered.

The owner was immediately contacted and arrived a short while later to reclaim the items, shaken but ecstatic to have them back in her possession.

Retail stores and shopgoodwillmadison.com are economic drivers for the mission of Goodwill. The proceeds from the sale of gently-used donated goods funds 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. When someone donates to their local store, most times their donation gets resold in that location or within the Goodwill SCWI 14-county region. Each regional Goodwill is an independent 501(c)(3) organization.

Goodwill Northside Grand Opening

Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin (SCWI) celebrates the opening of a brand new retail store and donation center at 9:00 a.m. Friday, September 29. Located at 2901 North Sherman Avenue, the new development fills 22,000 square feet of space in the building that formerly housed a Kohl’s grocery store. This will be the tenth Goodwill Store in the 14-county region that Goodwill SCWI serves, bringing Goodwill’s signature combination of thrift, community partnership and new employment to the neighborhood.

The grand opening event will feature performances by the Northside’s Shabazz Fiddlers alumni, and the Sassy Steppers between 8:30 and 9:00. Early shoppers will be eligible for prize drawings and gift cards.

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

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 30‒35 people for everything from entry-level to professional management positions.

“Each of our retail stores is operated with the local community in mind,” said Goodwill SCWI president and CEO Vicki Holschuh. “So we believe our Northside location has a powerful part to play in the stated goals of the Northside Initiatives, particularly as they relate to stability in employment and community connection.”

Retail stores are the economic driver for the mission of Goodwill. The proceeds from the sale of gently-used donated goods funds 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. When someone donates to their local store, most times their donation gets resold in that location or within the Goodwill SCWI 14-county region. Each regional Goodwill is an independent 501(c)(3) organization.

Shop Local

One more reason to Shop Local

Shopping and buying locally has taken hold as a valuable trend for small businesses and family farms. Most often, the reasons given highlight the well-documented economic benefits. But more shoppers are finding that there are intangible benefits as well.

Locally-based businesses help to create community, as the commitment to customer service deepens when proprietors and shoppers are actually neighbors.  That commitment is expanded even further when these local businesses employ community members who might otherwise not be working at all.

Take James, for example. James is strong and healthy, personable and eager to please. James also has cognitive disabilities that mean he is largely non-verbal, easily distracted and sometimes difficult to direct – all of which pose significant barriers to employment. James, however, has successfully held jobs cleaning and servicing area workout facilities for more than 10 years, improving the experience for customers.

Chassity’s positive work ethic inspires her employers and customers. She excels at three jobs through Goodwill SCWI’s Supported Employment program.

James’ and Chassity’s employers are just two of the many local businesses who demonstrate the commitment to their entire community by partnering with Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin to employ supported staff. Primarily funded through Goodwill’s resale stores, the Goodwill Supported Employment program connects individuals and employers, and then provides job coaches to visit or stay with the participant as needed to ensure their success on the job. The individuals are fully-integrated employees of the area business – only the job coaches are Goodwill employees.

Each participant is carefully interviewed and assessed before being partnered with a local employer. The employer’s regular training and supervision is supplemented by Goodwill staff — at no cost to the employer — with ongoing support and coaching from certified staff.

So yes, shopping local means supporting local business, minimizing food miles… But it also means celebrating the growing number of businesses in the greater Madison area that embrace the notion that community means everyone, and the belief that everyone can work.

Learn more about Goodwill SCWI’s supported employment program here.

Traveling South Central Wisconsin

Tips for a family-friendly & budget-friendly Wisconsin vacation

Whether you’re visiting the Wisconsin Dells, heading to a cottage up north, touring the State Capitol in Madison, or heading west to the Mississippi river bluffs, Wisconsin remains a popular destination for visitors and natives alike.

But packing for a family road trip presents a unique set of challenges. When traveling by camper or car, there’s no need to cram everything into a single carry-on bag, as you would when flying. But even when you feel like you’ve overpacked your vehicle to cover every contingency, it’s inevitable that there will be forgotten and surprise items needed along the way.

Caught off guard by Wisconsin’s sometimes unpredictable weather?  Didn’t count on the kids zipping through the games and activities you planned? A few of the most commonly forgotten vacation items for road warriors include:

  • Jackets
  • Extra bedding
  • Phone chargers
  • Umbrellas
  • Books for summer reading
  • Binders and containers for prescriptions, make-up, or children’s art supplies
  • Camping cookware

Instead of storming the local big box or paying inflated tourist prices, many of these items can be easily found at local thrift stores.

Thrifting on vacation can keep the family budget in check and often lead to fun discoveries. It’s also a way to sample the local culture. You’ll get a better feel for the communities you visit when you experience local styles through thrifting.

When selecting a thrift store, you can add power to your power shopping by seeking out non-profit enterprises whose retail outlets fund local services. Many can be found right along your path through South Central Wisconsin, convenient to well-traveled routes. Give yourself the gift of thrift at home and on vacation!

August Moving Days

A Guide to August Moving Days – Getting Out, Getting In, Giving Back

 

The growing density of housing in and around the UW campus is having an impact on one of the university’s longstanding traditions.

While Moving Days are technically about lease turnover and tenant relocation, it’s the movement of stuff that captures most of the attention.

But amidst the flurry of activity, there are some constants that can help you navigate the process more smoothly.

Here are some tips directly related to managing the abundance of abandoned goods:

  1. Remove any property you aren’t taking with you. Landlords sometimes include moving fees in leases which require tenants to pay for the movement and disposal of items left on the property. 

The proliferation of high-rise student housing has complicated the collection of items that used to be pushed to the curb. To counteract that, many residences have partnered with nonprofits who manage the overflow with strategically located bins and carts. The bins are generally marked to help tenants sort items they are discarding (e.g. books, household, clothing). The partnership has worked well to keep the surplus from overwhelming lobbies, hallways, and street curbs.

  1. Donations that do good.

The gently-used items you no longer need may be a happy discovery for thrifters. And by donating to a reputable nonprofit, you become part of changing lives for the better. Look for carts and bins that let you know your donations are being used to fund local community services. Plus, by giving to a recognized nonprofit, you can be assured that your donation is tax-deductible!

Recycle what you can, but remember that items you may have difficulty recycling on your own can often be donated to organizations that responsibly recycle. Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin has a computer recycling program that accepts working or non-working computer equipment. Clothing and other fabric items that can’t be sold are used to make products such as carpet pads. The remaining items are sold through a salvage program. The end result is thousands of pounds diverted from area landfills.

 

Goodwill Madison – Northside

Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin (SCWI) is eagerly anticipating the opening of a new retail store and donation center on Madison’s Northside on September 29.

Renovations began earlier this year on 22,000 square feet of space in the building at 2901 N. Sherman Ave. This will be the tenth Goodwill Store in South Central Wisconsin and brings Goodwill’s signature combination of thrift, community partnership and new employment to the neighborhood.

As many as three dozen jobs will be created at the new location in the Northside TownCenter. Jobs at the new location will include management positions, receiving, sorting and pricing donated items, stocking the floor and working at the cash register. Both part time and full time positions are available.

Talent Acquisition Specialist Dan Zender heads up recruitment for Goodwill SCWI. Zender says Goodwill is committed to being an employer of choice, paying competitive wages, and offering the rewarding experience of supporting services that strengthen the community.
“Goodwill SCWI employees are part of an organization that positively impacts customers, participants, peers and the community,” said Zender. “Many employees speak about the family atmosphere and ability to connect with others who share a similar focus on community.”

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

“Each of our retail stores is operated with the local community in mind,” said Goodwill SCWI president and CEO Vicki Holschuh. “So we believe our Northside location has a powerful part to play in the stated goals of the Northside Initiatives, particularly as they relate to stability in employment and community connection.”

“Our stores are the economic driver for the mission of Goodwill,” said Holschuh. “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.”

Goodwill SCWI is a local nonprofit. Most donations get resold locally or within the Goodwill SCWI 14-county region. Each region is an independent 501(c)(3) organization.

Celebrating CJ

Staff from Goodwill SCWI joined in the fun at The Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company celebrating the 40th birthday of Goodwill participant and Great Dane employee Chris “CJ” Johnson. With support from his Goodwill SCWI job coaches and the generous staff at The Great Dane, CJ has thrived at his job for over 20 years! Happy Birthday, CJ!

The festivities included cake and party hats, along with some of Chris’s favorite activities: karaoke (Roll Out the Barrel is a favorite), the limbo dance, and plenty of hugs.

Goodwill SCWI Supported Employment participant Chris “CJ” Johnson celebrates his 40th birthday at The Great Dane.

The Great Dane also created special glasses in Chris’ honor, imprinting them with his image. Proceeds from sales of those glasses – more than $1,000 – were donated to Goodwill SCWI.

Goodwill SCWI partners with more than 100 local employers who share our belief that everyone can work!

Goodwill SCWI operates retail stores as the economic driver for the mission of Goodwill – a hand up to help people achieve their highest level of independence through the power of work.

Proceeds from the sale of gently-used donated goods funds Goodwill SCWI’s mission to provide career guidance, supported employment and residential services to people with disabilities, mental health concerns and other barriers to employment and independent living.

CARF

Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin is pleased to announce the renewal of 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.

It is evident that Goodwill Industries of South Central Wisconsin provides excellent supported employment and residential services and is well respected in the community.

A signature benefit of CARF Accreditation for consumers is the determination that a provider is committed to continuously improving service quality and focusing on the satisfaction of the persons served.

Goodwill’s Newly-Refreshed Monona Store has Shoppers Talking

Goodwill Monona – 2501 Royal Avenue

The store at 2501 Royal Ave. in Monona began its transformation in January of this year, and the changes have been embraced by customers and staff alike.

“We’re really pleased with the result,” said store manager Doug Rozak. “We’re better able to manage our inventory and make the store more shoppable.”

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,” Rozak said.

Rozak was previously a retail training manager for the South Central Wisconsin district and is enjoying the opportunity to make use of the concepts he taught to others in the Monona store. Most important he adds, is the opportunity to improve the customer experience.

“That’s really been our focus. We work hard to make our customers feel welcome, and the new look of the store adds to the welcoming atmosphere.”

The store never closed during its renovation, and Rozak says that’s largely due to lots of pre-planning and engaged staff.

“Our staff has been fantastic,” Rozak said. “Everyone worked hard to minimize inconvenience to the customers, and it really paid off.”

Goodwill Monona Manager, Doug Rozak

Rozak says customers have had very positive reactions to the changes.

Assistant Store Manager Lynn Olson-Desch adds that customers have remarked on the improved lighting and more convenient check-out.

Goodwill SCWI President and CEO Vicki Holschuh says the Monona location is a template for the stores in the South Central Wisconsin district which will be updated in the next few years.

The resale of donated goods through the stores is the economic engine for Goodwill SCWI’s community services, accounting for 81 percent of the organization’s revenue. This allows them to operate their mission program of supported employment serving adults with disabilities. When someone donates to their local store, most times, their donation gets resold in that location or within the South Central 14-county region. Each region is a 501 (c) (3).

“We owe it to the people we serve to create a sustainable funding source,” said Holschuh. “The new look of the store signals our intent to be successful in a competitive market.”

The Monona store is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.