Becoming The Addams Family

We reached out to local Goodwill superfan Kendra Stanley-Mills and offered her a challenge … transform your family into The Addams Family using donated items purchased at Goodwill stores. Below are her amazing results. Special thanks to her accommodating family … Yuri, Harper, and husband Jon Mills.

Becoming The Addams Family

By Kendra Stanley-Mills

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To transform the Mills Family into the Addams Family was a fun adventure. The first thing we did was to peruse the Internet to find some good photos that gave us a general idea of what to look for at Goodwill.

Pugsley’s costume was the easiest. Truly all we did was look for a black and white horizontal striped shirt. We had everything else at home. The shirt was a ladies shirt which 100% humiliated our son but I told him no one could truly tell.

Wednesday’s costume was just a basic black dress (super easy to find at any Goodwill) and then I found a white collared shirt (also super easy to find.) I cut off the collar and sewed that onto the black dress. We found black loafers but we did splurge and bought new white Bobbysocks at Target because all we could find were athletic socks at Goodwill. Our daughter is a redhead so we bought some black temporary hair color to make her fit the part a bit more. I added some lighter foundation to her face to make her look a bit pale.

We couldn’t find a full pinstriped suit for Gomez but we settled for a dark pair of dress pants and a striped suit coat. We already had a white shirt and then we looked and looked for a solid black bowtie or necktie (honestly, this was the most difficult item to find – who knew?!) With an added fake mustache (which were actually fake eyebrows but we reinvented them) and some extra hair gunk to slick back Jon’s hair, he fit the part. All we needed was a cigar (oops, we forgot!) so we improvised with a beef stick.

Goodwill items I used to create the costumes are listed below.

Addam's FamilyMorticia Addams:

  • red rose from Whitehall Goodwill ($.80)
  • long black dress from Norton Shores Goodwill ($5.99)
  • black dress from Norton Shores Road Goodwill ($5.99)
  • wore shoes I already owned
  • red nail polish I already owned
  • bought red lipstick from Target

Addam's Family

Wednesday Addams:

  • white collared shirt from Whitehall Road Goodwill ($3.99)
  • black dress from Norton Shores Goodwill ($5.99)
  • black shoes from Whitehall Goodwill ($4.00)
  • bought white dress bobby socks from Target
  • bought black temporary hair color from Target
  • “Thing” we already owned

Addam's Family

Pugsley Addams:

  • striped shirt from Muskegon–Sherman Goodwill ($1.99)
  • black shorts that we already owned
  • black shoes we already owned
  • black socks borrowed from mom
  • pillow stuffing used to create a belly that we already had at home

Addam's Family

Gomez Addams:

  • black dress pants from Whitehall Goodwill ($3.99)
  • striped suit coat from Norton Shores Goodwill ($7.99)
  • facial mustache from Whitehall Goodwill ($1.45)
  • black tie from Whitehall Goodwill ($2.00)
  • white shirt we already owned
  • black shoes we already owned
  • “Cigar” was a beef stick

Total Goodwill cost: $44.18

The Addams family promotes Goodwill for Halloween costumes!

This Halloween, Goodwill® is partnering with MGM Studios for the upcoming release of The Addams Family movie coming to theaters October 11. The first family of Halloween is providing us a fun thematic opportunity to promote Goodwill as the place to find unique and authentic costumes.

Enter our costume contest!

Contest runs Oct. 18- 31.

RULES:
1) Create a one-of-a-kind costume using items purchased at Goodwill.
2) Post a photo of your DIY costume creation on our Facebook page with a description of what you created.
3) The costume must be created in 2019.
4) The participant must be a resident of West Michigan

Prizes: $50 Goodwill Store Gift Card for each category – Best Adult Costume, Best Child Costume (under age 18), Best Group / Couple Costume

*Gift cards are only good at Goodwill Industries of West Michigan locations.

Check out our Facebook event for all the details!

Goodwill finds for fall

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By Rachael Kaminski, Goodwill Marketing Specialist

With the cooler breezes blowing in, many of us are dreaming of cozy boots, and mulled wine. Yum! Schools are in session, and Halloween is right around the corner, which makes now the perfect time to refresh your wardrobe, and deck out your home for fall. As each season arrives, it’s nice to bring in a few newly thrifted pieces to keep things current, so here’s what I’ve got my eye out for this year…

Western-inspired looks are perhaps the biggest trend to come from fall 2019.

Boot-cut jeans, Western boots, rancher hats, and oh… you can’t forget about an oversized belt buckle to complete your urban cowgirl look. Now just remember you don’t have to wear everything “Western-inspired” in one outfit. Try incorporating one or two Southwestern-inspired pieces into your fall look.

20190912_120519 (1)You’ll see plenty of animal prints this fall, but none more popular than the snake print. HuffPost is predicting “you’ll see snake print boots, belts, purses, and snake print clothes everywhere this season.” Think of it as the next neutral of your closet.

I found these pointy-toed snakeskin looking heels, perfect for the office at our Muskegon Store on Sherman Blvd., for only $4.00! Thrift score!

Here are a few of the Fall 2019 colors to look out for while shopping at Goodwill. I’m going to attempt to step out of my comfort zone, and work on incorporating more of the Autumn-Winter 2019 / 2020 color palate into my outfits. What color do you think you try?

Plaid for fall? How groundbreaking! Still, if you’re looking for a few statement pieces to dress up your fall wardrobe, I’ve spotted a variety in different colors, and patterns. From plaid jumpsuits to ponchos, this is a fall look that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

Now on to the decor! 

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Goodwill is my FAVORITE place to spruce up my fall decor! I love trying new to you items that won’t break the bank. From candle holders to pillows, wreaths, and faux flowers, the opportunities are endless. Check out our Pinterest boards  Thrift Store Makeover and DIY Fall Decor for some inspiration.

Want to know a little secret? Baskets, ceramics, and wooden decorations can easily be updated to match any color scheme. Whether you are wanting to incorporate the new Autumn color palate that I discussed earlier, or something more classic like black, and white, these type of decorations can all be customized with a can or two of spray paint! My whole home is different variations of teal, and turquoise even with my fall décor. So after seeing these wooden baskets, and pumpkins at Goodwill last week, I wish I would have picked them up, and spray painted them to add to my collection.

TURQUOISE FALL DECOR

Don’t have buyer’s remorse like me. Remember, if you don’t get the item it will be gone the next time to go back. That’s the beauty of Goodwill … it’s a treasure hunt, and you never know what you’ll find!

And should you find that you want to clear out some old and unused fall decorations or clothing while you’re adding in your newly thrifted pieces, remember you can donate those items to Goodwill. They will help someone find a job, strengthen our community, and preserve the planet. That ensures that while you start fresh for this new season, someone else gets to as well. Happy fall thrifting to all!

 

Head back-to-school with Goodwill!

By Rachael Kaminski

Okay, parents and students—we’re in the homestretch now for the back-to-school season. As far as snapping up the coolest styles and other accessories it’s now or never! Don’t let yourself get dragged into stores with long lines and high prices. Come to Goodwill instead! You’ll be able to cross every item off of your shopping list (from dorm-worthy dishes to kindergarten kicks) all in one place while at the same time bringing job opportunities into your neighborhood.

pexels-photo-225017Shopping with little ones can seem so impossible at times, but bringing them along for the ride is also the only way you can be really sure about the fit of your finds for them. So what do you do when the countdown to the first day of school is in single digits and you still don’t have what you need?

Read these super helpful tips for thrifting for your back-to-school needs from Amiyrah of the blog Four Hats & Frugal!

She’s got some bold tricks up her sleeve that will help you survive the season, kids in tow. My favorite is to give each kiddo their own cash to shop with. This will help them learn to budget and take charge of their own style. What better way to warm up their brains for school-thinking after months of summer fun? Even the littlest kids can help with this! Read her helpful back-to-school shopping tips here.

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Middle school and junior high shopping brings its own unique set of problems. Teens will probably want to pour their whole back-to-school budget into fashion pieces. But don’t let them skip the organizational elements that will streamline life between classes. 

 I’m talking about little hanging baskets, pint-sized mirrors, and other tiny items to keep their locker tidy and useful. While rushing through the hall, your student would be able to quickly swing in to swap out books, grab a new pencil, hair elastic, or calculator without having to dig around for them all. Then, with a quick peek in their hanging mirror, they’re off to their next class before the bell rings. Scope out your local Goodwill for little baskets, bins, and locker accessories like this then grab some strong magnetic hooks to keep them in place.

Check out these DIY videos on how to make your own back-to-school locker organizer, dry erase or corkboardneon shoes and much more!

Once college rolls around, the priorities and shopping needs for students change once again. And yet, Goodwill can still help. From stocking your dorm room to the off-campus apartment, Goodwill will be your best friend. Cost-effective, brand new and gently loved items will help fill your kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and living room with function and fun pieces. From pots, and pans to lamps, dressers, couches, and the best part decor! 

Check out this blog about a DIY Lamp Makeover I completed a few years ago, it’s still one of my favorites!

Goodwill can help you find much more than just back-to-school and dorm room supplies! We have part-time job opportunities and volunteer experience that can help build your resume while still going to class. We’re looking for fun, energetic part-time retail employees the help on nights and weekends. It’s the perfect opportunity to earn a little spending money! Interested? Apply online today.

Looking for volunteer, internship and work experience opportunities? Our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program is ideal for those college students. Read all about Brett’s experience as a student volunteer tax preparer. Not only did he receive a $500 stipend he also got hired right after graduation! Interested in volunteering? Call Brett at (231) 722-7871 x 1073. 

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VITA Volunteer: Brett

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By Jasam “Brett” Layne-Roy, Goodwill Tax Program Coordinator

My name is Jasam Brett Layne-Roy, I was a student volunteer tax preparer for the VITA program this past year and it was an amazing experience. I was able to make an impact in my own community, fulfill my work experience requirements at Baker College, and was able to apply my current coursework directly in my daily tasks.

I was put in touch with Carl and the VITA program near the end of last year. I had been searching for a job for several weeks thinking I would capitalize on the tax season but most places either had full classes for training or they had no open positions. I went to Baker College to speak with someone to help me find something to fulfill my work experience credit and ended up speaking with one of the program directors who told me about this volunteer program that provided tax preparation assistance. She had also thought there was a stipend of some kind so it wouldn’t be completely unpaid.

The volunteer work alone was incredibly rewarding but the additional assistance that the stipend afforded was just what I needed. I was able to cover most of my book costs with that stipend…which was the bare minimum that I was going for at the time. That allowed me to focus on volunteer work and not need an additional job that wouldn’t further my career or impact my home life or coursework. The stipend helped me to recruit more students that wanted to volunteer and needed some additional support for their school costs. In addition to the added benefit of the work experience and the stipend, volunteering with the VITA program has given me a few new opportunities in potential scholarship funding as some requirements for scholarships include of performing community service.

Over the summer months and throughout the fall, we will be recruiting volunteers for the VITA program for the next tax season. We are looking for individuals that can volunteer around 10 hours per month to aid in our recruitment drives by attending brainstorming meetings, setting up and run a table or booth at a local event, and spreading awareness about the VITA program! We will need your assistance from July through October, and hopefully again when the new tax season hits early next year. If you are interested, please call me at (231) 722-7871 x 1073

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Top trends from Paris couture week ‘19 you can easily find at Goodwill

Paris Couture Week is in full swing, and the coveted front row seats have been studded with some of the world’s favorite celebrities. Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra were found sitting front-row at the Dior Couture show this year, with the likes of Celine Dion and Sarah Jessica Parker down a few seats. But couture style isn’t just for celebrities. In fact, some of the trends from this year’s couture runway are more accessible and affordable than one might think.

Traditionally, the looks seen on a couture runway are made-to-order. You have to call or order an ensemble and rarely know the price beforehand – but you can likely expect to pay somewhere over a thousand per item. Few people are able to shop this way however, which is where adapting these trends in a creative and affordable way comes in.

Local Goodwill organizations are home to tons of donated treasures. Some well-loved and some with tags still on them. Not only can you find totally in-style attire at your Goodwill store, but you can feel good about purchasing from there because you know the proceeds will go straight to helping others in your community create better lives for themselves through job training and employment opportunities. Plus, you’ll head home with some unique pieces that will look inspired by the Paris Couture runways.

Here are three looks from this year’s Paris Couture Week that can easily be found at your local Goodwill store:

1. Puff Sleeves

Photo: @tatamuc

The puffy sleeve trend has been all the rage this summer, and the style is only going to get stronger as we get into fall. As people start cleaning out their closets for the next season, head to your local Goodwill and search the racks for some blouses and dresses with cinched and puffed sleeves. You can style them in a unique way, like in the photo above, where she layers a t-shirt under the dress and cinches the waist with a chunky belt. The most important thing is to express yourself and feel comfortable and this trend makes both those things easy to achieve.

2. Oversized Pants Suit

Photo: @stylesightworldwide

Every time I walk into Goodwill I’m floored by the number of pantsuits and blazers I find on the racks. Goodwill usually has a separate section for these items, making them easy to find. I’ve found some incredible designer pantsuits from Goodwill in really fun colors (for under $20 for the set). You can’t beat that! As we head into chilly nights and fall weather, look for a color that speaks to you. I love the way the outfit above looks, with a fitted t-shirt and oversized blazer and pants. If you’re feeling extra creative, mix and match the colors!

3. Military Jacket

Photo: @hiveblog

I can’t remember a time when military-inspired jackets weren’t in style. From Blair’s infamous military-inspired outfits on Gossip Girl to the Paris Couture Runways this summer, it seems to be a timeless trend that looks flattering on everyone. I especially love the cut of the jacket above, right at the model’s waist. If you find a jacket this length on you that would be the most slimming of looks. But don’t worry if you find one that’s slightly longer, you could always have it tailored or even take it in yourself.

Three ways to upgrade your summer travel wardrobe and save at Goodwill

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Some days it can seem like saving enough money to travel is impossible. You forget to bring lunch to work or don’t have time to make it, you’ll find yourself running up a $10 bill just for a salad that has the toppings you want. This doesn’t even take into consideration the student loans and debt many people are facing as well.

Yet when it comes to travel – you don’t need to jet off to some exotic place to reap the benefits of much-needed rest and relaxation. Even just going away for a long weekend to a nearby city you’ve never been to can do the trick. If you’re worried about hotel prices, look into Airbnbs and hostels. If you’re nervous about food prices for eating out it’s worth it to stock up on breakfast and snacks before the trip, and even better if you’re able to find a place to stay that has a kitchenette. Saving in these small ways can really add up to help you pay for the absolutely necessary expenses of the trip.

So does saving on a vacation wardrobe, by shopping at your local Goodwill. By shopping the well-loved treasures at your local Goodwill store you’re not only able to pay around 90% less than retail prices – sometimes for awesome designer clothing with the tags still attached – but you’re also able to help out others in your community. Shopping at Goodwill is both a win for you and a win for others who receive financial assistance and professional training from the organization, fully funded by donations and purchases at Goodwill.

As summer swiftly approaches, there are a few items to scour the racks of your favorite Goodwill store for.

  1. Stock up on accessories to help shade the sun

 

You’ll be able to find some amazing sunglasses steals and beautiful handcrafted hats at your local Goodwill. Take advantage of these deals to shield yourself from the sun this season.

2. Check out flowy dresses and skirts to keep you cool during warmer weather

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From walking to the office to the park you’re going to need some options that can be dressed up or down, while still helping you stay cool. When looking for some of these options, focus on the material. You’ll want to stick with lighter, more breathable fabrics, such as cotton, linen, rayon and fabric blends.

3. Invest in a pair of comfy, neutral sneakers

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One of the best things you can do for your feet this summer is to help them avoid getting blisters. Whether or not you’re able to travel, a pair of neutral sneaker is the perfect way to get a few extra steps every day, because it matches your outfit and provides the ultimate comfort. A pair of white, cream or black sneakers could really help you go a long way!

Go on vacation- at Goodwill!

Feeling a bit of spring break travel FOMO? Or perhaps dreaming of a vacation that may not be in the cards on this year’s budget? I know I am. Just a few minutes on social media lately has me seriously jealous of the warmer climes. Never fear. As usual, Goodwill® has us covered. Just one trip can have you looking and feeling like an international jet setter.

Don’t believe me? It’s road-trip worthy in it’s own right. But also, thrift stores are a souvenir treasure-trove and a hub of international style and decor options. Finding a little style inspiration is all you need to make you feel like you’re counting the days until your own relaxing adventure. Just check out Instagram for lots of awesome vacay style looks you can keep in mind as you peruse the Goodwill aisles.

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Credit: @ashleerosehartley

Sometimes the swimwear section is easy to forget at Goodwill, but trust me, there are treasures there to be had as well. Often overlooked, this is a great place to find a second tankini top to match the bottoms you love or a suit in a style you’ve been dying to try out without the hefty price tag. These Goodwill finds below are proof you can bring a splash of the Caribbean to any pool party, even if it’s just sippin’ lemonade in a kiddie pool on your patio.

vacation-2Credit: @kayjackhan

I also just love finding items that somehow found their way into my local Goodwills from far-flung places. Little bits of vintage souvenir flair in the form of t-shirts, mugs or artwork makes me feel a little more connected, and give my home a little more of that jet setter vibe. It’s especially fun if it’s a place I’ve already been and have fond memories of.

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Credit: @DamnFineCoffeeMugs

Or handmade little pieces like this that give your home a little taste of distant cultures and major travel lust.

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Credit: Jenna Pfueller

Are you lucky enough to actually be headed somewhere to kick back and relax? Good on ya!

Obviously, you’ll need to make a point to visit a Goodwill when you get to your destination, too. Just search our site for locations and make a date of it. It’s a perfect way to get to know the local culture a bit more, find something you may have forgotten while packing, and of course, a perfect little something to remember your trip with so you have plenty of moolah for the ride home.

See? It’s easy to take a vacation at Goodwill. It’s a respite that’s always full of surprises, inspiration, fun, sustainability, and even creates jobs. Now that’s a true destination to embrace!