Category Archives: News Feed

Celebrating Special Events with the Help of Goodwill

One of the great things about shopping at Goodwill is you always know what to expect: Great finds, excellent customer service, and best of all… Knowing that your purchase helps our community for good. But have you thought of celebrating life’s milestones with a little help from Goodwill? Keep reading to see what we mean.

Bo’s Thrifty Birthday

This summer, one of our customers, Bo, turned his 30th birthday into a one-of-a-kind thrift game! Before his group went out to celebrate, they all gathered at Goodwill to curate the perfect combinations for a memorable birthday that had everyone in on the fun.

Why Celebrate at Goodwill?

It may be a little unconventional, but if you love thrifting and having fun with friends and family, celebrating with the help of Goodwill is quite the event!

  • Uniqueness: A thrifting game is a unique and fun experience that can be the perfect beginning or end to a fun night of partying.
  • Photo friendly: With all the unique items you will find, you can be sure it will make some excellent photos to share with your friends on social media.
  • Gifts at a great price: You can find some of the best brands at the best prices here at Goodwill.
  • It helps the community: What’s better than having fun while also doing good? Any purchase you make helps further Goodwill’s mission for good.

Getting the Party Started!

There are so many ways to celebrate at Goodwill! Scavenger hunts, holiday games, thrifting challenges, and much more can all be enjoyed at Goodwill. In this article from Thought Catalog, they rank thrifting as the #1 unique party idea that you may have never thought of before. Thrifting is the perfect way to get your night of fun started!

We hope when you are planning your next celebration, you consider stopping by your local Goodwill!

 

Splash Into The Perfect Pool Day With Goodwill

Summer is here! That means it’s time for picnics, hammocks, and fun in the sun. Perhaps there is no better way to spend your time in the sun than a relaxing pool or beach day! But you don’t want to forget the necessities (like sunscreen!). Goodwill is here to get you ready for fun in the sun with items like:

  • Sunglasses – NEW!
  • Beach Hats
  • Swimsuits and cover-ups
  • Sandals
  • Beach Accessories

If you need any beach essentials, stop by your nearest Goodwill and hunt for your summer finds! Click below to find your nearest Goodwill store.

You can also check out our Beach & Gift Store in Santa Rosa if you’re looking for affordably priced, all-new items. It’s your one-stop-shop for all beach necessities and souvenirs, like:

  • Tommy Bahama dress shirts
  • Luxury towels
  • Beach toys
  • Sunglasses
  • Coolers
  • Sandals
  • 30A souvenirs
  • Lounge chairs

Ready to cool down after all this summer planning?

How about making your own popsicles! This helpful guide from Live at Learn will show you how to make the perfect frozen treat for you and your family this summer. No matter the recipe, here’s the three steps to remember:

  1. Mix: Mix your ingredients and pour into molds according to the popsicle you want to     make:
    Berry Lemon: Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into molds.
    Rainbow Fruit: Distribute fruit into molds. Combine coconut water and honey, then pour into molds, tapping on the counter to remove air pockets.
    Berries and Cream: Puree berries until smooth (add a touch of water or juice if needed to get things moving). Stir together yogurt, honey, and vanilla. Spoon berries and yogurt into molds in alternating layers.
    Coconut Lime: Stir together all ingredients. Pour into molds.
    Sneaky Spinach: Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into molds.
  2. Freeze: Insert popsicle sticks and freeze until hard, at least 4 hours.
  3. Unmold: Run mold under warm water for a few seconds to loosen, then remove pops from the molds.

Just mix, mold, and freeze and you are on your way to making your own popsicles this summer!

We hope you have a fantastic summer filled with lots of sun and frozen treats! Be sure to check back often at our Goodwill locations, as you never know what exciting items may come our way!

5 Tips for your next Goodwill trip

By Ly’Kimbria Jackson

At Goodwill, we urge customers to “bring good home” but for some shoppers finding their very own sassy frock or hidden treasure can be challenging. Our stores provide an array of gently used apparel and sometimes facing so many choices can be intimidating. However, there are a few things every good thrifter knows when looking to add to their arsenal:

Only buy versatile pieces you love

Goodwill can often seem like heaven offering affordable prices and seemingly endless selection. Only purchase items that speak to you and can be styled differently at least three times. Try items on too! If you don’t love it with all your heart, pass on the item.

Know your style

Now, this may seem like a no-brainer but many shoppers shop based on trends rather than their own, personal style. Style is what separates you from the crowd and can save you the headache of chasing after the Joneses. If your style is minimalistic, don’t feel pressured to purchase a floral two-piece set just because it’s on-trend. Look for items you know YOU will love and wear.

Don’t shop in one section/size

A lack of options in your size or assigned section of the store may not mean your luck is running short but you should broaden your scope. Both the men and women’s sections carry great pieces that can be tailored to your style with a little creativity. Also, don’t be afraid to shop outside of your size! An oversized blazer or a pair of jeans can be fitted with a simple belt or some creative maneuvering.

Accessorize

Accessories are the glue to any good outfit and have the power to elevate your look in seconds. If your outfit of the day or wardrobe lacks luster, implement more jewelry, purses, hats, and color into your wardrobe and style. A simple outfit can be complete with the perfect accessory.

Enjoy the hunt

Finding one-of-a-kind thrifts comes naturally for some but may take a bit of patience for others. Thrifting is nothing like department store shopping, so if nothing catches your eye don’t get discouraged. Savor the hunt – the reward of finding pieces you love and wear will come with time!

Be sure to use these tips on your next trip to Goodwill!

Find A Goodwill Near You

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

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.

Goodwill Retail Store Closures & Donation Updates

In light of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, Goodwill Industries – Big Bend will be temporarily closing our retail stores effective Friday, April 3. We will remain closed until local and state mandates to close are lifted and we are able to resume operations.

During this time, we will be accepting donations, with a few guidelines to follow in order to keep you and our employees safe.

Our stores will have containers for you to drop your donations in, labeled for clothing, hard goods, books, and computer and electronic donations. To limit human contact, we will not be accepting furniture or large items such as bicycles and appliances.

Keep in mind, donations must be able to fit into a 3 ft x 3 ft container opening.


We thank you for your continued support during this pandemic. We encourage you to visit us once we reopen – as shoppers and donors are crucial in helping fund our employment programs for individuals facing significant barriers to employment.

Our social enterprise of stores provides resources and opportunities for job counseling, training, placement and coaching for thousands of people with barriers to employment in our communities.

We will be providing updates as often as we can. Stay informed by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @GoodwillBigBend. Thank you for your understanding and continued support of Goodwill Industries – Big Bend during these challenging times. We encourage those who wish to help people in need in our community to click here where we will gratefully accept your financial support.

We can all do our part to protect our community and support each other. We will get through this together. #GoodWillOvercome

Revised Store Hours and Home Pick Up Suspended Due to COV-ID 19

We understand if you’re hesitant to shop during the current health issues, but please know we are making every effort to keep your Goodwill shopping experience safe, fun and within reach. Home Pick Up services have been suspended until further notice and effective March 23 stores and donation centers will be open 10-6 M-Sat and 12-5 on Sundays. 

Goodwill Industries – Big Bend is committed to the health and safety of our team members, shoppers, donors, clients and community. We are actively monitoring both local and national information about COVID-19 and are continuing to do everything we can to keep our stores a clean and safe shopping environment.

Staying in? Visit us online at http://shopgoodwill.com/

Thank you for your continued support of Goodwill and helping us change lives through the power of work.