Goodwill’s COVID-19 Response Plan

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Dear Friends:
These are unprecedented times. After much consideration and review of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our organization, we have developed the following response plan:

Retail stores temporary closure

Out of an abundance of caution and commitment to the health and well-being of our employees, donors, shoppers, program participants, and the community at large, we are temporarily closing our retail stores effective March 18 and will remain closed through April 5.

This has been a difficult decision, however, we are following the advice of public health officials to help stop the spread of the coronavirus as it enters our West Michigan community.

E-commerce remains open

Our e-commerce department will remain open and with no interruption to online sales. Visit us at http://www.shopgoodwill.com and http://www.ebay.com/usr/goodwillindustries_wm

Donation drive-thrus remain open

The majority of our donation drive-thrus (all but four*) will remain open, staffed, and accepting of community donations Monday through Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm.
To protect our employees and ensure that our product is safe, donations will be quarantined for a minimum of 72 hours prior to staff sorting and pricing.

Goodwill Career Center limited services

The Goodwill Career Center at 271 E. Apple Avenue has temporarily suspended face-to-face services at this site. Goodwill staff are available for consultation assistance via phone at (231) 722-7871.

Tax preparation service reduction

Due to site closures and reduced staff, Goodwill’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program will suspend some of its services beginning March 23 until further notice. Clients with appointments are being contacted individually. For more information call the VITA hotline at (231) 722-8482, ext. 8482 or email vitataxes@goodwillwm.org

GoodTemps temporary staffing services

GoodTemps continues to service its business customers and place workers. Job seekers can apply online at http://www.goodtempsmi.com

Industrial and Janitorial Services continue

Our industrial and janitorial B2B lines continue to service and honor their contracts with local businesses.

Achievers of the Year luncheon

Our tenth-annual community celebration event originally scheduled for May 6 has been postponed to a future date to be determined.

We are all in this together!

At a safe and appropriate time, we will resume our normal activities and work together to rebuild stronger, more resilient communities.

We will continue to share more information on our website at http://www.goodwillwm.org and social media channels. We ask for your understanding and patience. Stay safe and healthy!

*Donation drive-thrus that will be temporarily closed: Coopersville, Zeeland, Holland-Washington Ave., and Muskegon-Sherman Blvd. All 14 other locations remain OPEN.

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Jeanette Hoyer
President and CEO, Goodwill Industries of West Michigan

A message to our store shoppers regarding COVID-19

Dear Valued Goodwill Customer:

Goodwill cares deeply for our many donors, shoppers, volunteers, and team members that allow us to help others in our communities every day.

As our communities work together to keep you and your family safe, we would like to reassure you that your health and well-being are top priorities for Goodwill as well.

We are taking precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of our customers and staff by increasing the cleaning and sanitation of all hard surfaces within our stores.

You may see our employees wiping down the shopping carts and cashier areas, or wearing gloves when you checkout or donate. Please don’t be alarmed by these measures, as we are following recommended steps to help prevent the spread or exposure of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Our goal is to keep you safe.

So why are our stores and donation centers still open? Because we are needed.

Goodwill is committed to continuing our mission of helping people facing challenges build skills, find jobs, and grow their careers. This is true now during these difficult times as well as in the weeks, months, and years ahead. Our programs and services rely on the funds generated from the sale of your generous donations and we thank you.

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve we may adjust our approach and response. Until then we will continue to follow the guidelines provided by the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control, as well as state and local governments. We are committed to maintaining a safe and clean shopping environment.

We will communicate any changes in services. Thank you in advance for your patience as we determine how best to continue serving our communities, our team members, and you.

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Jeanette Hoyer

President and CEO, Goodwill Industries of West Michigan

Good people doing good at Goodwill

By Kimberly Harsch, Resource Development Coordinator

Last Saturday I was fortunate to be part of Goodwill’s first book sorting volunteer day in partnership with Read Early. Read Often. (RERO). Our goal was to get 500 gently used books in the hands of disadvantaged grade school children in Muskegon County. I was not prepared for the generous events that would unfold.

Goodwill President and CEO Jeanette Hoyer wants to help improve literacy rates for kids in our community where less than 40% of students reach adequate literacy level by third grade. Literacy directly affects education. And education is a pipeline to high wages, and a powerful tool in the fight to end poverty. Literacy improves when kids have books. And Goodwill has plenty to give.

We quickly found a strong partner in Allison Keessen at RERO who when asked if she could use free books responded, “Boy could we ever!”

We knew we needed to inspect, clean, and sort the books first. This takes manpower. RERO recruited 28 volunteers made up of high school students from “Reading Buddies United” which is comprised of area high school students from four schools: Orchard View, Oakridge, Mona Shores, and Muskegon. There were also volunteers from Rotary Interact, Pathfinders of Muskegon, and United Way of the Lakeshore.

On the day of book sorting at Goodwill’s headquarters in Muskegon, the positive energy was everywhere. Volunteers laughed, danced, and did the work while learning more about each other. Every once in an “Oh! I LOVED this book!” arose above the chatter and volunteers would rush to celebrate the title.

Two hours flew by in a flash. As we were packing up, I heard some of the kids talk about books that THEY were taking for their communities. Some were for book drives at school or for reading to grade schoolers. Nefertoria from Pathfinders of Muskegon took nearly 200 books to deliver on the streets. “I fill my trunk and when I open it, kids come running for books,” she said.

As we closed our first day together, Allison did a final book tally … 1,333 books were ready to go! These will be distributed wherever kids need them. Jeanette closed the day with a warm “thank you” for this group of generous people who truly are helping us “Change lives through the power of [their] work.”

If you would like to volunteer, or have locations that could use books for children contact Kim Harsch of Goodwill at (231) 722-7871, x1057.

For more information visit our website!

32 Goodwill Outlet FAQs and shopping tips

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By Nanci Penland, Goodwill Outlet and Store Manager

The wait is finally over! Our new outlet store in Muskegon is open for business.

Rolling up your sleeves and sifting through unsorted textiles and wares isn’t for everyone, but avid thrifters LOVE discovering hidden gems and the low, low price.

IMG_7369.jpgIf you’ve never visited a Goodwill outlet, you are in for an experience. Serving as a “last chance” clearinghouse for our donated goods, items are placed unsorted in large bins and sold by the pound. The bins are rotated with fresh content throughout the day.

If outlet shopping isn’t your cup of tea, visit our regular retail store right next door in the same building!20191113_141234.jpg

Goodwill Outlet Shopping Tips

  • Bring bags or boxes to transport your purchases home.
  • Wear sturdy gloves when sorting through merchandise due to potential sharp objects.
  • For your safety, when merchandise bins are rolled onto the sales floor, please move out of the way. Please stand back until a Goodwill team member indicates “okay to shop” before approaching the bins.
  • The outlet is strictly “cash and carry” meaning we cannot hold or set aside your items. If shopping for furniture or other large items, please make sure you have a vehicle that can transport your purchases at the time of sale.
  • Monitor your cart and personal belongings! You are responsible for safeguarding.
  • Test electronics in designated areas.
  • Bring batteries to test toys and measuring tape if purchasing furniture.
  • Be patient and be courteous to fellow shoppers.
  • If bringing children, please do not leave them unsupervised; they must be accompanied by an adult.
  • If you plan on visiting our regular store afterwards (located next door!), please take your purchased items to your car first.
  • Clean your treasures when you get home. Wash what you can in hot water and use disinfectant wipes on toys, books, and other items. Rent a steam cleaner at your local hardware store to deep clean soft furniture.

20191113_155344Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Goodwill outlet?
The Goodwill outlet serves as a last-chance clearinghouse for items that did not sell at our 17 Goodwill Industries of West Michigan stores after a four-week period of time on the shelf. Wonderful bargains can be found!

How is the outlet different from a traditional Goodwill store?
Visiting a Goodwill outlet is a very different experience from shopping a regular store. Items are not sorted, hung, or organized but rather offered on large rolling tables for shoppers to sift through. Items are sold priced by the pound at a deep discount. Furniture and oversized items are individually priced. It’s the perfect experience for the bargain hunter who likes to roll up their sleeves.

How does the outlet operate?
Unsorted clothing and other merchandise are put on rolling tables and rotated on and off the sales floor throughout the day offering continuous fresh selections. Shoppers place items in a shopping cart that is then weighed on a floor scale.

What is the pricing?
Clothes, shoes, toys, electronics, glassware, and household goods are sold at $1.29 per pound. Furniture and other oversized items are priced individually.

What happens to merchandise not sold at the outlet?
Items not sold during their time on the sales floor are then responsibly recycled or sold to a recycling partner.

Is the merchandise sorted?
No. Items are heaped unsorted onto rolling carts.

How do my items get weighed?
Shoppers place their cart onto a floor scale and the weight of the cart is subtracted.

Does the outlet supply bags for purchased items?
Goodwill does provide some boxes but we encourage shoppers to bring their own bags.

What payment methods are allowed?
Cash or credit cards are accepted; checks are not.

Can I return items purchase at the outlet?
All items are sold as-is and there are no returns.

Do you accept donations at the outlet?
Not in the outlet itself, but there is a convenient donation drive-thru in the same building.

Are Goodwill vouchers accepted?
No

Where is the outlet located?
1501 East Apple Avenue in Muskegon Township right next to US-31

What are the days/hours of operation?
The outlet is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information visit our website!

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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