Goodwill SCWI Holiday Contest

It’s the most wonderful time of the year to take the #30dollargoodwillchallenge! Shoppers are urged to decorate their home for the holidays with unique finds from their local Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin and enter their submissions on Goodwill’s Facebook or Instagram pages. Simply use the hashtag #30dollargoodwillchallenge All submissions must be under $30 and the photo with the most likes  wins a $100 Goodwill shopping spree. Voting ends December 27th. Must be 18 years or older to enter. Please note Goodwill SCWI employees not eligible to enter.

And download a free holiday print to personalize your holiday style!

Check out past submissions for inspiration! #goodwillshoppersarethebest

Angela’s Trip to San Francisco

Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin participant Angela Campbell received news that her dream of seeing the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco will come true in January, thanks to friends who heard of this wish earlier this year.

In April, Angela received the Self Advocate Award, presented by The Arc – Dane County. While accepting her award and giving her speech, Angela described her dream to see the Golden Gate Bridge in her lifetime.

What she didn’t realize at the time was that there were people in the audience that could help to make that dream come true – pilots with Delta Airlines.

In November, the week before Thanksgiving, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, Airport Director Kim Jones, The Arc-Dane County Executive Director Anne Stephens, and Delta Air Lines surprised Angela with a round-trip experience to visit the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California.

With support from these agencies as well as Visit San Francisco, Angela will now be able to realize her dream.

Angela’s reaction? “I think I’m going to faint!”

As the news sank in, Angela shared her long-time interest in the bridge.

“I liked it for probably a long, long time, ever since I actually saw it on the Internet or on TV.”

Angela carries a miniature of the bridge with her most days so she can share her interest. But she didn’t really believe she would ever see it in person.

“It’s a really, really long way away, and I believe it’s a lot of money,” she said.

With the help of those who have seen so much promise in Angela, those obstacles have now fallen away.

Angela works with the support of her Goodwill job coach and case manager Kathy Walters at Fields Auto Madison.

“It’s a rare treat to share the experience of someone realizing a dream come true” Walters said.

How to Find Top Fall Fashion Trends at Goodwill -Katrina Simyab @inspoandco

As a stylist, I like to mix a lot of trends into my wardrobe. Every time I post an outfit picture on Instagram, I get messages from women who want to find similar items for themselves. People are always shocked when I say that I get most of my clothing from Goodwill! There’s a misconception that thrift stores only carry old or out-of-style clothing, or that it will take hours to find anything “good.” In order to squash those rumors, I partnered with Goodwill to show how easy it can be to thrift a trendy look at a fraction of a high-fashion price!

I recently visited my local Goodwill Middleton location and challenged myself to style five “High Fashion, Low Prices” looks featuring the latest fall trends in an hour or less.

This fall some of the biggest trends are going to be:

1) Tiny Purses

2) Pistachio and Shades of Green

3) Winter Floral – or Dark Floral Patterns

4) Animal Prints

5) Workwear including Blazers

6) Leather on Leather

7) Long Coats

Armed with a fashion wishlist and my trusty phone stopwatch, I set out to explore the store and see what I could find. I was able to put together seven full fall trend outfits in an hour and ten minutes, but for the sake of the challenge here are my top five.

Look One – Featuring Leather on Leather, Animal Print and the Tiny Purse Trend

This look would be perfect to transition from work to a night out! Fashion forward leather boots say “hello fall” when paired with a vintage leather skirt. I was shocked to find a BCBGMAXAZRIA camel workwear blazer for only $15 when it originally retailed for $228! Finally, I added a tiny purse in an animal print to add in two more solid trends!

 

 

Look Two – Featuring a Long Coat, Animal Print, Pleather/Leather and Green

This was one of my favorite looks of the challenge! The long vintage coat was such a trendy shade of green and when paired with a vintage leopard-print nightgown it really POPPED! You could either wear the nighty as a dress or, since it was so lightweight, tuck it into some fashion forward high-waisted pleather pants for an extra dose of trendiness. The ones that I found were from Who, What, Wear for $10 with the original tags still on them. I threw in some classic black wedge heels and a pretty small bag to complete the outfit.

 

Look Three – Featuring Workwear, A Long Coat and A Tiny Purse

There were so many cute coats at Goodwill Middleton. This vintage, long purple one really pulled the look together when paired with some workwear pants and a neutral turtleneck. The tonal Steve Madden loafers were only $10, with a regular retail of $80! To keep the trend hits coming, I included a fun tasseled bag and the look was complete.

 

 

Look Four – Featuring Workwear, Winter Florals, Animal Print and Pistachio

Muted tones were the star of this outfit that could take you from your morning coffee run to an afternoon board meeting with ease. I loved the simple combo of the vintage pistachio blazer with a basic button up. They served as a backdrop for some fun winter floral pants. Add in a Universal Thread bag that looked brand new, and a pair of killer booties with some animal print details, and we were good to go!

 

 

Look Five – Featuring Pistachio, A Long Coat, Winter Floral, Workwear and A Tiny Purse

This was my second favorite look that I found during my visit. With pieces that would work well on almost every body, this classic trench was complemented by a palette of trendy pistachio – bonus points for some extra winter floral on the top too! I really lucked out finding a pair of buttery Nine West heels for only $7, and finally, the perfect shiny green purse to pull everything together.

These looks came together in no time at all and each outfit only cost…..drumroll please….. $40! That’s right! One full trendy look, including shoes and a handbag, only came to 40 bucks. That’s some high fashion at low prices! So the next time you want to work fresh style into your own closet – why not give Goodwill a try? Secondhand is sustainable, gives back to your local community, is extremely affordable, has fashion-forward options and takes the same amount of time to shop as going to a typical retail store.

For more secondhand inspo, follow me on Instagram @inspoandco to see my next #HighFashionLowPrices adventure! Which look was your favorite??!

 

Thank you to our guest style blogger Katrina Simyab @inspoandco

 

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), celebrating the contributions of workers with disabilities and the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.

Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin (SCWI) proudly practices these values every day through its Supported Employment program. Goodwill SCWI believes in the power of work to transform lives and create greater independence for individuals with barriers to employment.

Goodwill SCWI’s employment program supports more than 130 individuals with developmental disabilities, who are hired by local employers and assisted by Goodwill SCWI job coaches at no cost to the employers.

Dane County has recognized the performance of the supported employment program as the best in the state, adding “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.”

Employers agree, with Madison chef Evan Dannells describing his experience with supported employee David Brann, a 2017 Wisconsin Job Honors awardee.

“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.”

With unemployment at historic lows, more employers are finding that the enthusiastic and reliable workers they hire through Goodwill SCWI’s Supported Employment program fill much-needed roles in their businesses, becoming valued members of their respective work teams.

Goodwill SCWI is a local nonprofit operating 12 stores in the South Central region. The stores exist as the economic engine 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.

2019 Goodwill SCWI Halloween Costume Contest

Q: What’s more fun than creating a one-of-a-kind Halloween costume on a budget?

A: Winning prizes for doing it!

Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin (SCWI) has long been a destination for Halloween lovers.

Whether purchasing costumes at a great value or designing your own unique look, Goodwill is a Halloween fan’s paradise.

Goodwill SCWI is rewarding those ingenious and inventive shoppers with the annual Goodwill Halloween Costume Contest October 1st thru November 1st. #goodwillhalloween

Your spooktacular look could earn you a Goodwill gift card worth up to $100!  Second place will with a $50 gift card.

Entering is easy! Submit a photo of your Goodwill Halloween look to Goodwill SCWI’s Facebook page or tag @goodwillscwi on Instagram. The photo with the most likes wins!

Fire up your imagination at any one of 12 locations in the Goodwill SCWI region.

Goodwill SCWI Halloween Shops Open Friday, August 30

Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin (SCWI) opens its in-store Halloween shops at all of its 12 locations at 9:00 a.m., Friday, August 30.

Halloween fans have long identified Goodwill as a great place to create unique costumes, complete with props. As this holiday has grown in popularity, Goodwill has remained a top pick, stocking both DIY and commercial costumes and accessories. The store-within-a-store concept has been in place for several years, though many customers shop the entire store to find inspiration. Shoppers can also get support from in-store merchandisers who are available to help create the desired look.

Recognizing its place in preparing for Halloween, Goodwill International last year ran an online poll that showcases some of the trends driving costume choices. Among the findings:

  • More than half of people who plan to dress up say they’ll coordinate their costume with another individual or group.
  • Ten percent say they will dress up their pet for Halloween, a trend that’s particularly popular among millennials.
  • The most popular costume style among respondents who plan to dress up is a unique, one-of-a-kind costume.
  • Costumes based on pop culture trends and characters from movies, TV shows and books are more popular than classic costumes such as witches and werewolves.
  • Fifty-three percent of respondents say they will decorate their home for Halloween.

Want to win big for your creative costume? Enter Goodwill SCWI’s annual Halloween Costume Contest for a chance to win a $100 or $50 Goodwill SCWI gift card.

Goodwill SCWI’s retail stores and donation centers are the economic engine that fund Goodwill SCWI’s mission services. Through those services Goodwill SCWI supports and trains people with barriers to work, providing job coaches for more than 130 people in partnership with 100+ local employers.

Students Get On-the-Job Training at Goodwill Middleton

When Goodwill Middleton opened in February, amidst eager shoppers was another group looking for something quite different. Students from Middleton High School were on a field trip with their transition coordinators, Nancy Whitinger and Christine Savides.

A key feature of these field trips is the ongoing search for meaningful workplace experience for students with barriers to employment.

As they walked the store with their students, Whitinger and Savides began to think it had serious partnership potential. And they were right.

The two women approached store staff to begin a conversation about whether Goodwill Middleton could take on some of their students with special needs as part-time employees. The answer was a solid yes, and since April, four of those students have been working 10 hours a week at the store.

Whitinger says the open spaces and quiet environment has been perfect for her students, and they are all finding their way to parts of the job they enjoy most.

For Eva, it’s all about organization. As she outlines her process, she never stops moving, emptying a cart of new merchandise in minutes and creating a display made for shopping.

“I love organizing things,” she says, explaining that the purses she’s stocking are sorted by size and color.

“I try to think how the customer will look at things. It makes me really, really happy when a customer picks out something I’ve organized.”

Whitinger and Savides say they are always looking for places that hire their students, but sometimes the hardest part is finding an employer who understands.

“It’s about the attitude,” the two agree. “When we approached Jenni (Johnston, store manager), she was so receptive to the idea. And when we started explaining our process, she said: ‘Don’t worry. We get it.’ We were hoping for them to be welcoming, and they were.”

Johnston says it was an easy decision.

“Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin (SCWI) is committed to creating truly inclusive workplaces. We partner with employers throughout our region, and we strive for the same environment in our stores.”

Assistant Manager Andrea Debs adds, “The core mission of Goodwill SCWI is ‘Independence Through the Power of Work.’ We are seeing these student employees develop new skills and taking more initiative when they come into work.”

The experiment has worked out so well, all four plan to continue working through the summer and into what will be their last year at Middleton High School. The students hope to continue their employment at Goodwill after they exit the transition program next year.

Today’s Q106 Wisconsin Dells Card Stop Event

Today’s Q106 is hosting a Wisconsin Dells Card Stop event to kick-off  summer at your Goodwill Stoughton!

Grab your FREE Wisconsin Dells Season Opener Cards with Steph Peters from Today’s Q106 Morning Show at Goodwill Stoughton (1780 US-51, Stoughton, WI 53589) starting at NOON while supplies last. Visit Q106’s website for more details: https://bit.ly/2GIvAO5

These popular coupon books go fast, so plan your visit now to Goodwill Stoughton, 1780 US-51 (next to Pick ‘n’ Save). The fun begins at noon and continues while supplies last.

2019 Goodwill SCWI Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

With just days to go before the tax deadline, Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin’s (SCWI) 2019 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is kicking into overdrive. While Goodwill SCWI has offered this free tax preparation for many years now, more taxpayers are flocking to take advantage of the service. VITA coordinators estimate more than 600 returns will be completed through the program by April 15.

Goodwill SCWI is unique among many community-based VITA services because clients can schedule an appointment in advance instead of being served on a first-come, first-served basis.

Goodwill also added a new service this year called Valet VITA. Valet VITA is a drop-off service that allows taxpayers to schedule a time to drop off tax documents, and a time to pick them up after completion.

VITA Program Coordinator Joe Byrnes says VITA volunteers are prepared to handle the many changes made in 2018, including the increased Standard Deduction and Child Tax Credit. Goodwill’s VITA program has grown in recent years in both volunteer tax preparers and taxpayers served.

Dan Roe, Goodwill SCWI VITA Volunteer

One volunteer, Dan Roe of Madison, says volunteering for VITA is rewarding for him both personally and professionally.

Roe is an accountant by trade, though accounting isn’t a big part of his work at his day job.

“Volunteering with Goodwill’s VITA program keeps me current on tax laws, and just adds to my overall knowledge base,” Roe said. “I see a lot of things I haven’t run across previously.

“Doing your taxes is a nerve-wracking burden for so many people,” he added. “It’s nice to help them alleviate that, to take it off their plate. It’s especially nice when you can help people get a tax fund they weren’t expecting”

Roe says he had an opportunity with one client that had paid too much in a previous year, and helped to recover a sizeable refund.

“People are really grateful for our time,” says Roe.

The program has proven so popular this year that new dates have been added leading up to the deadline. As a result, no more appointments are being accepted. Those with an interest in volunteering for the 2020 tax season may inquire by calling 608-246-3140, x155. This year, 30 volunteers contributed their time.

Tales With Teresa Reimagines Story Time At Madison Children’s Museum

Story time fans have a new option at Madison Children’s Museum. The museum has added Tales with Teresa to its calendar, featuring Goodwill of South Central Wisconsin (SCWI) client Teresa, who is supported in her work at a local preschool by a Goodwill SCWI job coach.

During her story time event, Teresa reads children’s books with the assistance of an electronic device. Teresa is non-verbal and uses the speech generating device to communicate. Prior to each session, Teresa programs the device, allowing it to read aloud the words she’s entered.

Teresa has been supported by Goodwill SCWI in her employment for almost 30 years, with 15 years at her current job.

Goodwill SCWI believes in the power of work to create greater independence for people with barriers to employment. Goodwill SCWI matches clients to local employers. Once hired, clients are accompanied by job coaches who assist with training and direction at no additional cost to the employer.

But Goodwill SCWI Employment Specialist Doug Rozak says being a fully-engaged member of the community goes beyond the workplace.

That premise means Goodwill SCWI also works with participants to develop other outlets for social interaction. Given the strong sense of volunteerism that exists in south central Wisconsin, the option for volunteering in the community is an important aspect of Goodwill SCWI’s support for its clients who choose to increase their level of activity.

“Teresa was already doing story time at her job with the preschool,” Rozak said. “She was interested in doing more, so we began working with our other partners to see what options might be available.”

In January, Teresa began volunteering for story time at Madison Children’s Museum.

 

Children’s Museum Volunteer Coordinator Allie Dunham says the response from parents and children has been positive and enlightening.

“Seeing Teresa sharing her positivity and humor with families has been such a rewarding experience.  Kids have come up with incredibly thoughtful questions in response to her story time, and we hope that this gives parents the opportunity to teach their children about differences, and how disabilities don’t define our potential.” said Dunham.

Teresa’s favorite part about being at the museum? “Working with the children,” she says.

Goodwill SCWI is a local, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, with more than 300 employees in a 14-county region. The retail stores and donation centers are the economic engine that fund Goodwill SCWI’s mission services. Goodwill SCWI supports and trains people with barriers to employment, providing job coaches for more than 120 people in partnership with 100+ local employers.