A Holiday Thank You Brought to You in Partnership with Lanier Islands

Thank You

Goodwill of North Georgia and Lanier Islands are partnering from December 5 – 18 to give a little back to the community this holiday season. For those two weeks, when your donate gently-used household goods at any Goodwill of North Georgia donation center you will receive a coupon for $5 off admission to LanierWorld’s Winter Adventure and Magical Lights as a thank you for your generous contribution.

Did you know your Goodwill donations support local jobs? Goodwill’s mission is to put people to work, and revenue generated by donated goods sold in their retail stores supports job training and placement services for tens of thousands of North Georgians each year. With 13 local career centers and hands-on training programs for people with barriers to employment, Goodwill will place 23,000 people into jobs this year thanks to support from the community. Learn more about the people Goodwill’s mission serves at http://goodwillng.org/Success.

There are many great causes to give to this holiday season. Our collaboration with Lanier Islands is a small token of thanks to those who choose to support the power of work for local job seekers and their families this year. For more information on the attractions available at LanierWorld’s Winter Adventure and Magical Lights, visit http://www.lanierislands.com/lanierworld.

5 Tips for a Seamless Year-End Giving Process

Year-end giving is almost here, which means it’s time to prepare your donations! Last year, we served more than 100,000 donors between December 26th and December 31st. As this busy time of the year approaches, keep these tips in mind when you donate

Don’t wait to donate – Due to an increase in donations during the end of the year, the earlier you make your donation, the better. Not only will you be able to get your charitable contribution in before the 2016 tax year cutoff, which is December 31, there’s a good chance you’ll avoid waiting in lines.

Goodwill shoot on location 8/15/13

Do your research – Before donating, know how your donations benefit the community. Not all thrift stores are charities, and some for-profit companies solicit donations under the name of charities while giving them little or none of the proceeds. At Goodwill of North Georgia, we proudly operate our own stores and donation centers, which directly fund job training programs and employment services right here in North Georgia. See how your donations make a difference in our community, here.

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Clear your clutter – One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to organize and declutter. Why not start completing that New Year’s resolution early by cleaning out the clutter? If you’ve ever wondered what to do with outgrown clothing, books you’ve read thousands of times, old CDs and DVDs, excess kitchen appliances, various household items and even computers, consider donating them to Goodwill. Not only will donating these items clear out your cluttered space, they will also impact your local community.

Goodwill shoot 7.26.16.

Double check – Before donating the items that once cluttered your space, double check for items you plan to keep! Pant pockets, drawers and even books can serve as holding places for things we don’t immediately need. It is the season of giving, but make sure you don’t donate something by mistake.

Remember your receipt – To receive a tax deduction, be sure to keep a record of what you donate and its value. It’s easier than you may think. Check out our donation tracker to keep track of donations you’ve made throughout the year. Once you’ve registered a donation in the system, you can access an electronic receipt at any time.

Goodwill shoot 7.26.16.

To find a donation center near you, visit goodwillng.org/locations. As always, thank you for donating in support of our mission to put people to work.

 

 

Make Goodwill a Holiday Resource This Season

With the sounds of holiday music playing all around and malls full of shoppers searching for something special, it’s evident the holidays have arrived. This time of year is often a joyous time, but can also take a toll on your wallet. The National Retail Federation estimates the average American spends over $900 on holiday gifts and goodies. Get the most out of this holiday season by making Goodwill of North Georgia your holiday resource.

Holiday style on a budget. Whether you are decorating your house to get in the holiday spirit or hunting for the perfect tacky Christmas sweater, Goodwill has you covered. Check out Goodwill of North Georgia’s Holidays & Occasions Pinterest board to spark your creativity for everything from decorations to DIY gift ideas!

Christmas decor

Found at one of our Goodwill of North Georgia stores, these holiday snowmen could fill any room with Christmas cheer.

Clean out clutter and donate as a family. The holiday season is a season of giving and companionship. Not only will cleaning out your house save room for any new holiday gifts, but it also supports your local community. What better way to make a difference than to donate with your loved ones in support of our mission to put people to work? Check out our Cutting the Clutter Pinterest board for tips on how to clear the clutter before the holiday season. Don’t dump the old stuff, donate it at a Goodwill near you!

Donate as a family

Donating as a family can be a fun way to give back to the community, together.

One stop shop. Goodwill’s wide selection of books, housewares, clothes, furniture, toys and more can suit the needs of even the pickiest recipient. Check out this blog by Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin for unique gift ideas using Goodwill finds. Not only can Goodwill serve as your one stop place to shop, but the money you spend also helps fund job training and career development programs for community members in need. You’re giving to more than just the ones on your list.

holiday candle gift

Candles make the perfect gift for anyone on your list. Try making your own this year to add a unique touch. Image via Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin.

Join the #GivingTuesday Movement

2016_EOY_Facebook-Wall_Giving-Tuesday

When the Thanksgiving turkey is eaten and the stuffing reduced to crumbs, conversations may turn to whether to go to the malls on Black Friday or opt to make holiday purchases online on Cyber Monday. 

The holidays spotlight the distinct contrasts within our communities. On one hand, there’s a great deal of consumerism and overindulgence that goes along with the activities and traditions, helping to distract us during an otherwise cold and dark season. The season starts with a day to feast and give thanks and two days to find bargains. On the other hand, there are many among us experiencing poverty.

Unlike any other time of the year, the stark contrast motivates many to give back. On November 29,  #GivingTuesday, charities, families, businesses, community centers and students around the world come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity.

There are many ways that people choose to give, such as making a financial contribution or volunteering their time at a local community-based organization. There are other ways to donate, too, like offering our time and skills to a food pantry or donating items to our local Goodwill®. For the latter of those options, gently-used household goods will generate revenue to support employment and job training programs for people in the community. 

No matter how you choose to give this holiday season, #GivingTuesday is simple. Just find the right way for your family, community, company or organization to come together to give something more, then share how you are giving and inspire others to also give.

– This entry was adapted from an entry by Seth Turner, Sr. Director of Public Policy for Goodwill Industries International 

I Got the Interview. Now What?

I got the interview. Now what?

– Submitted by Ben Pitts, Career Coach for Goodwill of North Georgia

Out of a stack of who knows how many résumés, yours was chosen as a potential fit for the job. You received the call. You remained calm while scheduling the date and time, and then did a little happy dance after you hung up. You know you are a good fit for the job. All you have to do is tell them why. Simple, right? But what will they ask? How should you respond? How should you dress? Job interviews involve a number of different choices, each sending a different message to the employer. Luckily, Career Connector – an online job search resource – is here with tips and information to help you enter the interview room prepared to impress.

When I was a Career Coach at the East Athens Career Center, interviews was the topic that seemed to stress job seekers the most. They had past interviews where they did not know how to prepare. So they entered the interview room unsure and unconfident. But a simple trick showed them how to prepare for the interview, which boosted their confidence and enthusiasm for the interview, which increased their chances for success. Several job seekers came back to tell me about their experience. So what is the trick?

The trick is that you already know what the interviewer is going to ask. No, I don’t have a cheat sheet for you. The company already gave you one. It’s right there in the job description. All of the qualities and experience the company needs is right there. All you need to do is go through the job description:

  1. Turn the desired skills/qualifications and responsibilities statements into questions.
  2. Practice how you will answer those questions.

For example, “Plan the production schedule for the build cycle” becomes “Are you familiar with or do you have experience in production scheduling?” Or, “Proficient Computer Skills” becomes “What computer systems and software are you familiar with?”

How you answer the questions will set you apart from other candidates. Simply answering that you have production scheduling experience is good, but telling a story about a time you overcame an obstacle while scheduling or how you improved scheduling procedures at your previous company is even better. For each question, try to recall an event where your actions demonstrate the answer.

Don’t worry if you are unable to do this for all of the questions or even answer all of the questions. Just like with other tests, you do not need to score 100% to make the grade or get the job.

For additional tips on interviews, check out Career Connector’s “Interviews” topic and “Interview Questions” article at www.careerconnector.org

Click the link below for a printable version of the latest blog post from Career Connector, powered by Goodwill®.

IGotTheInterview_Oct_2016

 

Kidz2leaders and Leadership Johns Creek on The Good Works Show

Mother Theresa once said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

This week, The Good Works Show features two organizations creating those ripples. First, Atlanta’s kidz2leaders works with children of imprisoned parents, teaching them leadership and life skills, and hoping to break the cycle of incarceration. Then, Leadership Johns Creek offers development opportunities for Atlanta’s emerging leaders. Creating a pipeline of effective professionals, the program also provides avenues to give back to the community.

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In the show’s first segment, Executive Director Nancy Staub talks about the 17-year-old kidz2leaders program.

“Kidz2leaders exists to change the direction of the lives of children of inmates,” she says.

The 501c3 was founded by Diane Parrish, who encountered three generations of women from the same family, all in prison.

Leadership Johns Creek board member Todd Burkhalter joins the show in its last segment to talk about the program, and the impact it has on its participants and the community at large.

“We are a series of structured learning environments,” he says. “It’s a pretty unique thing that we design ourselves to create leadership talent and mature our current talent in our community.”

The program selects 25 individuals to go through a nine-month leadership training. They are broken up into groups to also work on a project to help the community in some way.

To learn more about these “ripple effect” organizations, catch the show Saturday at noon on News Radio 106.7 FM or listen at your leisure to the podcast.

Check Out the AJC’s How-To Guide on Thrifting

Goodwill of North Georgia got a shout out from the AJC’s Access Atlanta section in “5 hacks for thrifting Atlanta’s consignment racks” by Sarah Buehrle. There are some great tips in the article, and we are honored to have made the cut!

An additional thrifting tip for our stores includes shopping the discount days. Every Tuesday is Senior Discount Day and we have Thank You Thursdays for service workers, including military personnel, firefighters, police officers and emergency medical services employees. Of course our Color of the Week rotation starts over every Sunday and is available to all shoppers.

Do you have any thrifting tips of your own? Share them in the comments section below! As always, happy hunting to all…

thrifted-items

Three Storage Tips That Will Help You Declutter

As the leaves start to fall and the holiday season rapidly approaches, it’s time for some fall cleaning and organization. Finding spaces for all of the excess stuff lying around the house may be easier than you think! Not only is your stuff truly someone else’s treasure, but there are various storage hacks that will revamp and organize your spaces.

Baskets make storage simple and attractive.
Baskets make storage simple and attractive.

Use baskets for organization and storage. The options for using baskets as storage containers are limitless. Baskets can be used to store items from utensils to toys. Baskets can also be placed anywhere in the house from tops of counters to under cabinets. Find your next basket at a Goodwill store near you.

After a year, donate the clothes hanging on hangers still facing the wrong way.
After a year, donate the clothes hanging on hangers still facing the wrong way.

One simple trick to decluttering your home is the reverse clothes-hanger method. To help identify pieces of clothing that haven’t been touched in months, hang all of your clothes in the reverse direction. Once you wear an item, return it to the closet facing the correct direction. After 6 months, you’ll clearly be able to visualize which clothes need to be donated. Decluttering your closet will provide more hidden storage space for all of the other miscellaneous items in your house.

Photo credit: @thriftdecor
Photo credit: @thriftdecor

Thrift a piece of furniture. Storage spaces don’t need to be dull or outrageously expensive. Up-cycle a piece of Goodwill furniture to add flare to your living space, while providing large amounts of hidden storage.

 

Leadership Tip from Usher’s New Look Alumna Kamera Cobb

Usher’s New Look alumna Kamera Cobb learned a thing or two from going through the four-year program. One of the many leadership tips she picked up while participating with the nonprofit? Networking, and how you present yourself, is key.

Usher
Usher

She emphasizes this with the current students of the program, with whom she advises. “It’s all about eye contact, a firm handshake, and speaking clearly,” she tells them.

These tips are also critical when interviewing for a job. First impressions are key, and even the littlest component of the initial meeting can contribute to the overall success of the interview. Beyond eye contact and confidence Cobb suggests, here are a few more ways to make your mark.

  1. Don’t be late. But don’t be too early. The potential employer might have a very busy schedule, so don’t show up too ahead of your interview, making them scramble to be available.
  2. Dress appropriately. This will likely be the first time you have met the employer face-to-face. Make sure you wear something that fits well, is ironed and clean, and is professional.
  3. Practice your elevator speech. All interviews are different, but it’s usually a given that you’ll be asked to tell the interviewer a little bit about yourself, and why you are a good fit for the job. Be prepared with this answer.
  4. Treat everyone with respect. You aren’t just trying to impress the interviewer. Make sure to be kind and appreciative to everyone from the secretary to the CEO.
  5. Send a handwritten thank-you note. Emails and quick communications are the norm. Stand out by taking the time to write, and mail, an appreciation for the time of your interviewers.

For more job and leadership tips tune in to The Good Works Show on Saturdays at noon on News Radio 106.7 FM or catch the podcasts at https://soundcloud.com/thegoodworksshow.

Back-to-School Style

Get your school gear with us - from lunchbox to file organizer.
Shoes in many sizes, colors and styles.
Shoes in many sizes, colors and styles.
Get your school gear with us - from lunchbox to file organizer.
Get your school gear with us – from lunchbox to file organizer.
If preppy is more your style, we've got you!
If preppy is more your style, we’ve got you!
Find statement pieces and classic staples for your back-to-school look.
Find statement pieces and classic staples for your back-to-school look.
Let it go... into the backpack :)
Let it go… into the backpack :)
No matter your team of choice, get the look for less at your local Goodwill.
No matter your team of choice, get the look for less at your local Goodwill.
Gear up for the school year for less.
Gear up for the school year for less.
Cover your bases for back-to-school season and football season at one place... your local Goodwill.
Cover your bases for back-to-school season and football season at one place… your local Goodwill.