Go Green, and Go Good: The KonMarie Method

Tidying used to be something you did before guests arrived – you know, when you run around the house to make sure everything is in order right before they walk in? That was before Marie Kondo came on to the scene, making “tidying” a lifestyle for a large portion of the world. Kondo shared her “KonMarie Method of Tidying”, and we jumped in head-first, cleaning out our closets and home (especially a year ago, when we discovered we would be spending much more time inside). The KonMarie Method is not about living with as little as possible, as many believe, but it is about living with the items that make you happy.

The largest difference between this method of tidying and others is that it encourages tidying by category, as opposed to by space, Marie Kondo also gives an order to which categories you should start with. It begins with clothes, then books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, lastly, sentimental items. As you make your way through the categories, deciding what to keep and throw away, Kondo says to “only keep the things that speak to your heart or spark joy in your life.” If it does neither of those things, then you know it’s time to thank the item for its service and discard it. When discarding items, donate anything still in good condition to your nearest Goodwill to help provide job training and jobs for those in your community.

Find Your Nearest Donation Center

 

Go Green, Go Good Challenge

We’re challenging you to Go Green, and “Go Good” by doing a little spring cleaning. Over the next month, we’ll remind you on our social pages by sharing weekly goals for tackling the KonMarie method. At the end of the challenge, you’ll have boxes full of items that no longer bring you the joy they once did. These items might spark joy in a new owner, and we’d love for you to donate to Goodwill. When you donate to Goodwill, you’re helping to create jobs and opportunities for those in our community who need it most. Follow our social pages to participate in our rendition of the KonMarie Method for spring cleaning!

Go Green, and Go Good Challenge:

Week 1: Introduction to KonMarie Method

If you’ve made it this far, you can check Week 1 off of your list! If you love Marie Kondo’s organization method and want to learn about the KonMarie Method, click the button below.

Learn More

Week 2: Cleaning Out the Closet: Winter Wears

We all have items that didn’t make it out of the closet this past winter and with the sun heating up, it’s time to ditch the dead weight! If the idea of an entire closet cleanse is a little too much, stick with your winter wears—what items still bring you joy? Keep those, discard and donate the rest.

Week 3: Attic Cleanse: Holiday Décor

Remember that little elf that your family friend gave you at the holiday party a few years back? The one with a smile that is a little too creepy for your taste, so it never makes its debut on the mantle? What you keep in the attic might be someone else’s centerpiece. This week, cleanse your attic! Specifically, the holiday items that never leave their boxes. Not only will it feel good to clear out, come the holiday season, decorating will be a breeze!

Week 4: Go Green, Go Good – Donate!

donate box

Now that you have all your boxes packed and ready, it’s time to Go Green, and Go Good by bringing your items to your local Goodwill. Don’t forget all the good you are doing by donating to Goodwill. Our retail stores help support our mission, and for every dollar spent at a Goodwill store, $0.86 supports are programs and services, which are offered to people in the Bid Bend region at no cost. You’ve made it this far, think of all of the joy your items will bring to someone new! We’ll make it even easier for you, find your closest donation center by clicking here.

We know you can do it, so Go Green, and Go Good with us! For updates on the challenge, connect with us on social media!

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Goodwill Overcome: Our 2021 Power of Work Awards Banquet

March 18, 2021, Goodwill Industries – Big Bend, Inc. (GIBB) held our Annual Meeting and Power of Work Awards Banquet, a time to gather (safely!) and celebrate the previous year, but also a look ahead to the next year.

In 2020, GIBB served almost 10,000 people through our programs and services, which would not have been possible without our strong community of donors, shoppers, employees, volunteers, and partners. At our Annual Meeting, we were pleased to give recognition to those who exemplify our mission. We recognize the following award winners for their success in 2020.

Graduate of the Year: Mary Strickland

After struggling with anxiety and depression throughout her post-high school life, Mary Strickland lost her father to the very demons she struggles with. A dark year followed where Mary lacked motivation and direction. In 2017, Mary learned about the Goodwill Career Campus and began training as a home health aide. Mary is now working towards her Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Achiever of the Year: Constantine “Gus” Galoosis

Constantine “Gus” Galoosis comes from a diverse military background growing up that consists of achievements like being a member of the Boy Scouts and playing first base until he was 19 to swimming the Bosphorus Strait, which connects Asia to Europe. After moving to Niceville to be with his parents, Gus came to Goodwill to take classes at our Career Center. He now is the Donation Attendant in the Valparaiso store, and customers and staff alike love him.

GIBB Employee of Distinction Award: Margaret Thomas

Margaret Thomas is a very long-term employee who deserves to be recognized for her hard work and dedication. Margaret goes the extra mile to help staff members, employees, and managers with their questions and problems. She is dedicated to always providing excellent training resources for all our team and can always be counted on to come through with outstanding service and attitude.

The Learning Pavilion Award: Emilie Fernandez

Emilie Fernandez has served at The Learning Pavilion for 5 years as Lead Teacher, Administrative Assistant, and mentor to other teachers in the school. She is well respected for her ability to provide a consistent and developmentally appropriate learning environment. She is also known for her extraordinary capacity to make connections with those students who some may find challenging to have in a classroom either because of a social-emotional delay or special need. Emilie Fernandez is a well-rounded professional whose potential for leadership in our community is superior.

Mission Partner of the Year: FSU’s Center for the Study and Promotion of Communities, Families, and Children

FSU’s Center for the Study and Promotion of Communities, Families, and Children began providing program services in two VPK classrooms at The Learning Pavilion. By strengthening the resiliency of pre-kindergarteners, the expected impact is to improve their ability to cope with, adapt to, and even prevent adversity and its negative outcomes on their lives, both short and long-term. Their capacity and expertise at providing high-quality services over time will raise community standards for future years of VPK students, naturally improving student learning outcomes. To learn more, visit FSU’s Center for the Study and Promotion of Communities, Families, and Children Website.

Mission Partner of the Year: BowStern


While almost every business was being impacted by COVID-19 and the shutdown, BowStern doubled up when we were struggling to help employees who were being impacted and deal with the shutdown. They continued full speed ahead au gratis when we were closed, committed to continuing for as long as it took, and worked tenaciously to get us up and running again. They love the Goodwill mission, their staff shops our stores, and they exhibit the Goodwill core values of respect, innovation, and stewardship.

Volunteer of the Year Award: Susan Zecchini


Susan Zecchini first came to Goodwill to take classes, while she was also considering going back into the workforce. Susan loved helping in the Career Training Center and helping others, so she began to volunteer. She joined the AmeriCorps program and has been volunteering for three years. She has given countless volunteer hours to training, proctoring, holding workshops, and attending outreach and job fairs to promote Goodwill services along with fostering many partnerships for our programs. She has done all this with a smile and no complaints.

None of this would be possible without our retail stores. These stores provide support our missions and services, and they give us the ability to create jobs for members of the community who are overcoming barriers to employment. This past year $0.86 of every dollar spent at our retail stores went to fund our mission-related programs. For this reason, we continue to celebrate strides made in our retail stores with awards in various categories:

Retail Store Awards

Largest Dollar Increase Over Prior Year – Crestview Team

$91,025 Increase

Largest Percent Increase Over Prior Year – Betton Bookstore

12.85% Increase

Sales Increase Over Prior Year – E-Commerce

27.06% or $339,637 Increase

How can you help support Goodwill’s mission? It begins with donating your gently used items. The items that you no longer need or use create jobs, learning opportunities, housing, and so much more for people all over the Big Bend region. If you don’t have any items to donate, you can shop at our retail stores, where 86 cents of every dollar sold is reinvested into our community through programs provided at no cost to participants in the Big Bend area.

To learn more about Goodwill’s mission, and what we accomplished in 2020, check out our Annual Report.

2020 Annual Report

Senior Spring Break

Senior Spring Break! Lynn Haven and 23rd Street Stores Only.

March 31 – April 7

Seniors 62+ | Discounts and Giveaways

Lynn Haven Store
1610 Ohio Avenue
Lynn Haven, FL 32444
(850) 308-1915

Twenty‐third Street Store
2520 W. 23rd Street
Panama City, FL 32405
(850) 257-7803

Come celebrate Spring Break with Goodwill! Senior shoppers 62+ will receive 20% off their purchase and be entered to win 1 or 4 prize baskets! We will be celebrating Senior Spring Break at Goodwill March 31 – April 7, 2021, in our Lynn Haven and 23rd Street stores.

5 Things You Should Know About Goodwill

One

Your local Goodwill Organization, Goodwill Industries – Big Bend, (GIBB) was founded in 1965 with its first location in Tallahassee. We serve communities from Crestview and Destin in the west all the way to Perry, east of Tallahassee, and part of South Georgia. Goodwill Industries – Big Bend is a 501-c3 non-profit organization and is locally autonomous. Volunteer board members govern this and every Goodwill organization, and they are responsible for the oversight and hiring of the CEO. Goodwill Industries – Big Bend’s President /CEO is Fred G. Shelfer, Jr. who has served as a leader in the Big Bend area for more than 40 years.

Goodwill Industries also has an International President and CEO, Steven C. Preston. There are more than 150 Goodwills in the United States and Canada, which are all members of the international organization headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Goodwill Industries – International. The international organization is governed by a 30-member board comprised of directors, 15 being CE’s and 15 private sector members. GIBB is privileged to have Board member, Steve Preston serve on the Goodwill Industries – International Board.

Two

Goodwill is not just a thrift store, nor are we “for-profit”. Goodwill Industries – Big Bend exists to help people overcome barriers to employment through training, job placement and education. In fact, $0.86 of every dollar spent in our retail stores is reinvested into our community through programs and services run by Goodwill. We offer programs that are free and available to anyone, ranging from CNA training, resume writing, interviewing, bookkeeping, Adobe and more. We are also very proud of our affordable living solutions. Goodwill Industries – Big Bend manages 12 accessible apartment buildings in North Florida and South Georgia. In 2010, we also purchased The Learning Pavilion, a child care service for everyone, but especially for children with disabilities, and we can care for more than 100 children in our community annually. You can check out all of the programs and services we provide to the Big Bend region here: What Services Do We Provide? – Goodwill Industries – Big Bend, Inc. (goodwillbigbend.org)

Three

Goodwill Industries – Big Bend is a proud employer of people of diverse abilities and backgrounds. We believe in giving a hand up, not a hand out by employing people with greater barriers to employment. Everyone deserves a second chance, and we believe work is the best solution to society’s problems. In 2020, we employed more than 1100 people in the Big Bend community and provided services to more than 9,000 individuals even during COVID by moving all our programs and services online.

Four

We are only able to do all of this with your help. When you donate and shop at Goodwill, you are helping to support our mission of changing lives through the power of work and helping them to obtain the tools and knowledge to be successful in the workplace. In 2020, Goodwill assisted more than 9,000 individuals with resources and support thanks to donations and purchases from our community. Chances are, you may know or have come in contact with someone whom we’ve helped because of your support!

Five

Goodwill Industries – Big Bend is a registered, reputable 501-C3 nonprofit organization and has been serving our community for over 50 years. We are accredited by the Better Business Bureau and meet all 20 standards for charity accountability. We operate over 25 retail stores in the Big Bend region of Florida, and we provide job training, placement, and employment services in over 22 counties.

Goodwill and TCC offering training and certification for those impacted by COVID-19

Tallahassee Community College and Goodwill are expanding their partnership to provide job training for workers forced to re-enter the job market due to the coronavirus pandemic.

TCC2WORK Be Essential is designed to retrain workers in Gadsden, Leon and Wakulla counties impacted by the COVID-19 crisis with training in an “essential” area of the workforce that is in demand.

All of the training offered will be in demand areas that include nursing, public service, truck driving, information technology and many other industries. The length of training will range from 8 weeks to a matter of months.

For more information on the Be Essential initiative and a full list of programs, visit www.tcc2work.com/beessential.

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Be Essential

Store Hours Extended!

After Goodwill’s stores officially reopened May 1st with reduced hours, we are pleased to announce on Friday, June 5th, our store operation hours returned normal!

Extended hours mean more time to shop the Best Brands and join the treasure hunt. Find items for the whole family, including NEW goods for Summer! 

Since we reopened in May, we would like to emphasize all the efforts made by our employees to follow CDC guidelines to keep both our employees and shoppers safe. Before opening, we did a deep, thorough cleaning of stores, trained employees in strict safety protocol outlined by the CDC, and since then we have, and will continue to implement, numerous safety precautions, including:

• All employees will wear personal protective equipment
• We will encourage and enforce social distancing in stores
• One-way shopping aisles
• Continue increased cleaning and disinfecting in all of our facilities
• Sanitation pumps will be provided at the front and back doors
• Sneeze guards will be in place at all cash registers
• Will be implementing options for no-touch payment options at our stores
• Limiting the number of customers allowed in each store at a given time
• Customers don’t have to get out of their car to donate their items at our drive-thrus
• All donation attendants will be wearing gloves and masks
• For customers who wish to get out of their cars, donation bins will be placed 6 feet from any of our attendants

We believe it is important to return to this new normal. By re-opening, we give our employees the opportunity to return to work and strive to reduce the number of unemployed individuals our community.

We are also happy to announce that along with our previous employees returning to work, we are NOW HIRING for multiple positions! If you’re interested in a career with flexible hours and lots of opportunity for growth, stop by your local Goodwill and ask an employee how to apply, or apply online at http://www.goodwillbigbend.org/careers/ today.

We appreciate your support of Goodwill Industries – Big Bend where training, equals jobs, equals community. Remember, Good WILL Overcome.

Join Us For Our Grand Re-Opening of the Springfield Goodwill Outlet Store!

When: Friday, May 22, 2020

Doors open at 10:00 a.m.

Where: 3219 E. Hwy 98, Panama City, FL 32401

We’re proud to announce the grand re-opening of our Springfield Goodwill Outlet Store on Friday, May 22. In October 2018, the Springfield Goodwill Outlet Store was destroyed by Hurricane Michael. Before the hurricane, Goodwill had been in the same location for nearly two decades. The return of the outlet is needed and welcomed by the Springfield community. We look forward to positively impacting the economic development of the area, not only by hiring employees but also by attracting shoppers.

#850Strong #PanhandleStrong 

New to Goodwill Outlet Stores?

Get ready for a fun treasure hunt for last-chance items at exclusive discounts. Our outlet concept allows shoppers to purchase clothing by-the-pound, as low as $1.79. Thanks to the generous people who donate and shop at our Goodwill stores, we’re able to expand our services and provide resources at low cost to our community, who need it most.

COVID-19 Safety Precautions

We’ll be following and enforcing strict CDC guidelines with safety for our employees and shoppers as a top priority. We will be social distancing, donations have been quarantined, and employees are trained in strict safety protocol outlined by the CDC. In addition, we would like to encourage shoppers to wear gloves as an extra precautionary measure.

Come join us at 10 a.m. and shop Goodwill’s lowest prices and last-chance items for as low as .79 cents a pound.

Thank you, Sheriff Miller!

Goodwill Industries – Big Bend is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors who choose to spend their free time helping to empower our community through the Power of Work. We recently honored Board Member Sheriff Jared Miller for nine years of loyal service and dedication to Goodwill’s mission.

As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Goodwill is locally autonomous. Volunteer board members like Sheriff Miller govern this and every Goodwill organization and are responsible for oversight and hiring of our CEO.

“Volunteering on Goodwill Industries – Big Bend’s Board of Directors has been a fulfilling experience,” said Sheriff Miller. “To work with people as passionate as I am about creating positive change in the community, and to see that change in action, makes every day worth it.”

Over the nine years that Sheriff Miller has been on the board he has worked diligently to maintain and improve our programs. His tireless work for the community embodies everything that Goodwill stands for, and we are so grateful to have him!

 

Goodwill Will Reopen All Stores on May 1, 2020.

Goodwill Industries – Big Bend stores will be re-opening all retail stores starting Friday, May 1st, following strict CDC guidelines with safety for our employees and shoppers as a top priority. Please check back for most up-to-date information regarding openings.

We invite you to also shop online at shopgoodwill.com/tallahassee

We are taking important precautions to ensure our employees and customers’ protection. We have done a deep, thorough cleaning of stores, trained employees in strict safety protocol outlined by the CDC, and are taking numerous safety precautions, including:

  • All employees will wear personal protective equipment
  • We will encourage and enforce social distancing in stores
  • One-way shopping aisles
  • Continue increased cleaning and disinfecting in all of our facilities
  • Sanitation pumps will be provided at the front and back doors
  • Sneeze guards will be in placed at all cash registers
  • Will be implementing options for no touch payment options at our stores
  • Limiting the number of customers allowed in each store at a given time
  • Customers don’t have to get out of their car to donate their items at our drive-thrus
  • All donation attendants will be wearing gloves and masks
  • For customers who wish to get out of their cars, donation bins will be placed 6 feet from any of our attendants
  • We are continuing to hold donations for safe periods before processing

As a self-funding nonprofit, the revenue generated from our retail stores directly supports our vision of ending poverty through the power of work. We do this by offering no-cost career development, training and education services to anyone in need of a job.

Now, more than ever, these services are critical to help Floridians get back to work.

Goodwill’s mission services team is on the front lines to help people with unemployment applications and other critical job services. Our stores will re-open May 1st to help these services and provide value shopping options for our community.

We appreciate your support of Goodwill Industries – Big Bend where training, equals jobs, equals community.

Remember, Good WILL Overcome.

Goodwill’s Annual Power of Work Awards Banquet and Luncheon

As we look to highlight positivity and share positive news, we are highlighting our Annual Power of Work Awards Banquest and Luncheon, which took place on March 11th, 2020. Our Annual Meeting is a time for Goodwill to celebrate achievements from the previous year and set new intentions for the coming year. Individuals, team members, and retired board members were recognized for the positive impact they’ve had on the community.

Fred Shelfer, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries – Big Bend acknowledged the many changes Goodwill endured over the previous year and embraces the changes yet to come. “We talk about the value of change, which is essential to the well-being of our Goodwill”, he said. Goodwill Industries – Big Bend continues to evolve and meet the needs of members in our community.

2020 Power of Work Award Recipients

“It’s been remarkable to not only see the value of what we do but the commitment of the people that are doing it” said Steve Preston, CEO of Goodwill Industries International. Goodwill recognizes the life-changing influence Goodwill participants have on the community through various awards. The following features our 2020 Power of Work award recipients:

Carvin Jay, Volunteer of the Year

Carvin Jay Johnson – Jay has been volunteering with the Valparaiso Goodwill Career Campus for three years. He makes a difference just walking through the door to work with our clients. He offers assistance twice a week at GIBB and does what is needed while never missing a beat! Thank you so much for your service, Carvin.

Jonathan Millner, Graduate of the Year

Jonathan is a full-time college student, Career Campus Training Center participant, and recent graduate of the Google IT Professional Certificate Program. Due to medical issues, he was unable to obtain employment. Once we determined that Jonathan was a very quick learner and had advanced computer skills, there was no doubt that he was qualified for the IT program. GIBB was able to help him obtain an entry-level position and now he has an interview for a cyber security position and will soon be moving up in his career path.

Ira Jones, Achiever of the Year

Ira is one of longest tenured employees of Goodwill Industries – Big Bend, Inc. He started working for GIBB in high school and first trained in upholsteries. After becoming skilled in this trade, he went on to teach others. As Goodwill has changed, Ira has adapted and changed with the times as well. GIBB discontinued re- upholstery and related services, so Ira moved on to Transportation. After working here, he then moved to Maintenance all along just learning new jobs and never complaining. When his supervisor asked him to move to the mowing department he agreed without hesitation. No matter what he is asked to do, he has always jumped in and given 100%. He has served GIBB for 44 years and we are very glad to have him!

Angela Smitherman, GIBB Employee of Distinction Award

Angela Smitherman is so much more than an HR Generalist. She is a great listener, always available for our staff and always exhibits a compassionate and caring attitude. She is a great representative of Goodwill Industries – Big Bend, Inc.

Tania Himes, The Learning Pavilion Award

Tania Himes is being honored as the 2019 Learning Pavilion Teacher of the Year. Ms. Himes treats each and every child with great dignity and respect. She is dedicated and compassionate and the children love her!