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Posts from 2018

Goodwill TulsaWORKS Success Story: Meet Christine
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa


Christine shares how her confidence has boosted since attending courses at Goodwill TulsaWORKS Career Academy.

Currently living at Charles Page Family Village with her daughters, Christine has the opportunity to pursue job training and certifications that lead to better paying jobs and financial freedom. She is ready for a change and challenge, professionally. Christine is motivated to take the necessary steps toward her big goals! She encourages anyone who’s experienced a major life change, and has a chance to reinvent themselves, to come to Goodwill TulsaWORKS Career Academy.

TulsaWORKS Class Spotlight: Forklift
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa


Flashing lights, reversing beeps, smiles and applause took place today as our students navigated the courses and various exercises alongside our instructors. 

This is day 2 of 3 in our Forklift and Material Handling training program.

Goodwill instructors Tim and Brady go over OSHA theory & basic driving in the classroom. Then day two it’s time to take on the course… the challenge course. More commonly known as the lab. This is when our students perform a variety of forklift and material handling exercises. Finally, day three is all about testing students’ performance and knowledge both in the classroom and in the lab.


Once the course is completed many of our students find meaningful work in Tulsa’s growing manufacturing, warehousing and distribution centers. “Everyone has done really well today,” Goodwill Career Navigator and Instructor Tim said. “Their confidence on the forklifts has already grown from last week’s simple exercises to this week’s more challenging exercises. From the youngest in this class at 19 to the oldest at 60 years old, everyone is learning a new skill that is making them more employable.” 


Goodwill TulsaWORKS students learn theory in the classroom, then performance in the lab. If you’re interested in gaining an industry-recognized license, sign up for next month’s courses online at 

Holiday Party Time with the OSU 'Lunch Bunch'
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa


 The OSU "Lunch Bunch" 

Today was holiday party time with the “The Lunch Bunch” for the Goodwill workers at OSU Medical Center.

A group of women from the hospital’s Business Office has made it an annual tradition to volunteer to assemble gift baskets for the Goodwill workers. The baskets are full of treats and small gifts, such as crossword puzzles and coloring books.

The Lunch Bunch led everyone in a couple of Christmas carols before heading back to work.

“We love (the Goodwill workers) so dearly. They are so sweet and dear to us,” one of the Lunch Bunch said. “And we hope they have a wonderful holiday.”

Goodwill Success Story: Meet Rachel
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa


Rachel remembers feeling nervous when she decided to attend Goodwill TulsaWORKS class earlier this year because she’s always had a hard time believing in herself.

But that pitfall did not last long after earning her CLEET certification following the completion of Goodwill’s Unarmed Private Security course. When Rachel walked through our doors again this month, our staff had to do a double-take. The Rachel they once knew is now radiating confidence! Rachel is happily employed as a security supervisor where she oversees four sites, handles staff scheduling, and serves as the main point of contact with the building owners to ensure their security needs are met by her team.

“I enjoy meeting new people,” Rachel said. “I am so grateful I not only completed the course at TulsaWORKS Career Academy, but also landed a job I love through Goodwill’s community relationships.”

Each TulsaWORKS student meets with a Goodwill Career Navigator who offers support and resources. “My Career Navigator, Angela, was welcoming, she answered all my questions and made me feel comfortable,” Rachel said. “Angela believed in me. And that helped me believe in myself.”

Goodwill exists to see lives improved through the power of work. It is always an encouraging day for our staff when they see former students, like Rachel, come by to share their career success!

Goodwill Tulsa Holiday Schedule
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

Goodwill Tulsa Holiday Schedule: Christmas and New year's

Christmas Eve

Our administrative offices, Goodwill TulsaWORKS Career Academy, Goodwill Job Connection, Edgar J. Helms Center, and Community Based Programs are closed.
Our Daily Auction is open regular hours.
Our retail stores and donation sites close early at 4 p.m. The 2800 Southwest Blvd. donation site closes at 6 p.m.


CHRISTMAS DAY: All locations closed.


New Year’s Eve

Stores and attached donation sites close early at 5 p.m. Standalone donation centers are open regular hours.
The 2800 Southwest Blvd. donation site closes at 11 p.m.


NEW YEAR’S DAY: All locations closed.

The 2800 Southwest Blvd. donation site re-opens at 11 p.m. on January 1. 

The Lumina Talent Hub and Goodwill
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

Have you heard? Tulsa has been named a Talent Hub by the Lumina Foundation!

The Tulsa Talent Hub will focus on increasing the number of people in our community with education and certifications beyond high school. In partnership with the Lumina Foundation and Tulsa Regional Chamber, Goodwill plans to strengthen its workforce development programs for individuals with barriers to employment.

Goodwill TulsaWORKS Career Academy provides job training that leads to certifications for in-demand jobs right here in Tulsa. Recently, Tulsa Regional Chamber brought representatives from Equal Measure to meet with Goodwill to learn more about its good work in the community.

Goodwill TulsaWORKS graduates shared their career success as a result of completing courses. Danielle, a recent graduate of Goodwill TulsaWORKS’s Computer Support Tech course, said “As a single mom, Goodwill helped me make immediate advancements in my career pathway by showing me practical steps to take.”

Goodwill’s community partners shared their experience working with Goodwill to achieve their hiring needs to fill in-demand jobs with trained employees. Emily with the BOK exclaimed, “As a recruiter, this place is a goldmine!”

Kuma with Tulsa Regional Chamber, along with Kim and Victoria with Equal Measure, ended the day touring Goodwill TulsaWORKS Career Academy. “I am so proud of the collaboration between Goodwill, our Tulsa employers, and our graduates,” Sabrina Ware, director of Goodwill TulsaWORKS Career Academy said. "Today demonstrated the ways training at Goodwill produces certified talent to fill open positions, which not only creates career pathways for our students, but also improves their lives.”


Tulsa Regional Chamber,

Lumina Foundation,

Equal Measure,

Goodwill Success Story: Meet David
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa


David has worked consistently for Goodwill since May 29, 2004. He is a document destruction worker. For 14 years, he has shown up on time and ready to work Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at OSU Medical Center, where he shreds confidential information.

David has developed a system that lets him work at a quick pace. He is meticulous in removing paper clips and other potential hazards from the documents. He is serious about sorting. He keeps his space organized, sweeping the work area and taking out shred bags. David looks forward to completing these tasks each and every day, and he takes pride in his ability to perform his job.

You bet he does.

David, 61, has mild intellectual disability. He also has paraplegia/periapsis due to his being struck by a car while riding a bicycle in 1990. He is confined to a wheelchair and wears a brace on his left hand. Appropriate social interactions with others used to be hard for him, and David struggled with impulsivity and a harsh temperament.

Despite it all, David has developed skills that allow him to work safely and as independently as possible in Goodwill’s Community-Based program. With support from his Goodwill Job Coaches, David has improved in his social skills and he maintains a professional attitude with his coworkers, refraining from impulsive reactions and managing his temperament.

“I like the job coaches,” David said. “They know what to say.”

David is an example of how individuals with disabilities can feel like contributing members of society when they receive the supports they require to be successful. Through the Goodwill program, David has the satisfaction of working and earning a paycheck despite his disabilities.

David’s work ethic earned him many awards for perfect attendance over the years. The streak ended in 2017, when a sudden health issue left him hospitalized. After a recovery period of several months, David returned and worked 3.25 hours per day. In September, he extended his work hours to 4.25 hours per day. David is excited to return to his regular schedule beginning in January 2019.

“I love it,” David said of his job. “It never gets boring.”

Outside of work, David enjoys drawing and coloring. He often does his art while listening to his favorite musician, Elvis Presley. Sometimes, he even gets to listen at work.

“Elvis is in the building!” David said.

Help Goodwill, community on #GivingTuesday
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa


You have made your plans, large or small, for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. What are you doing for #GivingTuesday?

Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.), #GivingTuesday kicks off the giving season by inspiring people to collaborate and give back. Now is the time when many of us focus on our holiday and end-of-year giving. The #GivingTuesday movement looks to highlight the multitude of ways we can give to improve our communities. For example, your generous donations allow Goodwill to provide individuals right here in your community with low-cost job training and employment services to better their lives. Every year, Goodwill also places hundreds of local people in jobs because of your support!

Now, back to your plans for #GivingTuesday on November 27th. You could help us reach our goal of $1,000, which we will use to ensure that individuals have everything they need to succeed in our programs. You can make your cash donation online. 

Or you can have fun with it and start a fundraiser campaign on Facebook. Choose Goodwill Industries of Tulsa (@GoodwillTulsa) as your cause and then encourage your friends and family to contribute. Even more awesome: Facebook and PayPal are matching donations made on Facebook up to $7 million starting on November 27th.

So, whatever your plans, we hope you will consider giving to Goodwill or any of the other amazing nonprofits in your area. Join in and be a part of a global celebration of this growing tradition of generosity this #GivingTuesday.


About #GivingTuesday
  • Founded by the team in the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at 92nd Street Y, #GivingTuesday is a global giving movement that has been built by individuals, families, organizations, businesses and communities in all 50 states and in countries around the world.
  • #GivingTuesday harnesses the collective power of a unique blend of partners
to transform how people think about, talk about, and participate in the giving season. It inspires people to take collective action to improve their communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they believe in, and help create a better world.
  • #GivingTuesday demonstrates how every act of generosity counts, and that they mean even more when we give together. 

To learn more about #GivingTuesday participants and activities or to join the celebration of giving, please visit:

Goodwill Success Story: Meet Danielle
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

Danielle Clark gleefully pulled out her phone to show a video of The Roots performing on an outdoor stage. She wondered aloud: How did taking a class in IT support at Goodwill lead to her being backstage with The Roots?


ABOVE: Support tech assistant Danielle stands in one of the many outdoor seating areas at The Gathering Place in Tulsa.

BELOW: The Adventure Playground at The Gathering Place rises up behind Danielle.

“I couldn’t envision this job when I started the class, maybe help desk,” Danielle said. “I never expected to get here.”

Here is The Gathering Place, Tulsa’s 100-acre riverfront park that opened in September. The job is as a Tier 1 IT technician at the massive park.

Danielle, 36, watched as the park started to bustle with activity through the large pane windows at The Lodge. Her surroundings amaze her. She is equally amazed at how far she has come.

“Not every office is a world class park!” she said.

Seven months ago, Danielle was struggling to find work after moving from the East Coast back home to Tulsa. Her background was in restaurants, but she was finding her skills were not transferrable to the jobs available. She was a single mother supporting two young children, which added to the pressure of finding work.

One of many online searches led her to the Computer Tech Support/A+ Training class at Goodwill TulsaWORKS Career Academy. She would be going in to the class “on a square one basis” with very little knowledge of IT. But she hoped that taking the class would help her chances of finding a job.

Danielle praised TulsaWORKS, Workforce Tulsa, and her career navigator, David Goff, for her progress through the class. She appreciated IT instructor William White’s “let’s find out together” approach to teaching. She gained immensely important and valuable real world experience through her externship at, a nonprofit that provides low-cost IT support and equipment to other nonprofits across Oklahoma.

The experience gave Danielle the confidence to pursue her CompTIA A+ certification, which certifies that the tech professional has a solid entry-level competency in the field.

“Now I know my stuff,” she said. “I know I can do this.”

Danielle completed the externship and stayed on with 501Tech as a Tier 1 Tech.

And that’s how she ended up at The Gathering Place.

The Tulsa Community Foundation partnered with 501Tech to oversee tech support at the park. For Danielle, her job is a nice mix of tasks that takes her to places across the park. There is a buzz around the park, she said, and the job is exciting and never boring. (She gets around in a golf cart!) Danielle added that she is learning so much more about teamwork and she is building work relationships with everyone at the park.

She credits much of her new work life to the skills and confidence she gained through Goodwill and TulsaWORKS. She witnessed how deeply and sincerely invested the TulsaWORKS team was in an individual’s success.

“They work with each student to see what the barrier is, and what they need to do to overcome it,” Danielle explained. “You literally see people build their self-esteem right in front of you.”

Sitting in the Lodge, looking out over the park, Danielle is convinced that anyone who is willing to put in the work can also succeed in Goodwill’s training programs.

“I’ve gained so much from this program. I would not be here today,” she said looking out the window, a satisfied smile on her face.

TCF presents retirement planning workshop
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa


How smart are you about retirement?

Tulsa Community Foundation’s Planned Giving Partnership Program presents an educational opportunity on retirement planning. Join us as we review the top issues related to retirement planning and aging that are facing Americans. Explore how many retirement and planning circumstances are changing due to demographic, financial and social factors. An aging population, rising health care costs and estate planning changes all lead to a new landscape for retirement planning.

This workshop will serve as a guide for navigating the pre- and post-retirement planning minefield. Including the most pressing issues of retirement planning, changes and new rules, building, distributing and transferring your retirement assets, deciphering the alphabet of acronyms and much more.

  • WHEN: Thursday, October 25 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
  • WHERE: OU-Tulsa Learning Center, Room 145.
    4502 E 41st Street, Tulsa. Turn west from Yale Avenue on David Boren Drive, first building on the left.
  • RSVP: Karla Davis at with your name and the names of any guests by 3 p.m., Wednesday, October 23.

This is a complimentary educational workshop presented by Tulsa Community Foundation and the local non-profit community. No products are being sold. Light food and beverages will be served so reservations are appreciated.

Thrifty Halloween Door Decor
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

By Julia Marchand
Courtesy of Goodwill Industries International



To set the mood for Halloween in your home, one of the easiest things you can do is to update your front door decor with a spooky little facelift. Since it’s the first thing you see when you arrive home, a display on your doorstep instantly creates whatever tone you want for the season. And, it’s easy to have a lot of fun with doorway decoration because, in such a small space, a little bit can go a long way. Today I want to share the spooky secrets that added spirit to my stoop with a DIY customized door mat and a bat frenzy Halloween “wreath.”



Does it seem like all of the best looking doormats are super expensive? I cringe whenever I have to spend more than $15 on something that I will literally be wiping my feet on. So, I always keep my eye out for small rugs and mats when I’m thrifting. My local Goodwill often has inexpensive, basic mats and with a little time and paint I can turn them into something that is just my taste. For this Halloween project, I channeled my old friend Billy Shakespeare with a quote from Macbeth. But I’m going to show you how to do this yourself so you can customize your mat exactly the way you want. First, let’s gather up our supplies…



Materials for the customized mat

  • Welcome mat
  • Poster board and painter’s tape or contact paper
  • Small, coarse paintbrush
  • Porch paint (or any latex paint) – You don’t need much so ask if you can have a sample!
  • Exacto knife
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Paint mixing stick
  • Access to a computer and printer
  • Scrap cardboard



Step 1: On the computer, open up typing or image editing software. Write your chosen phrase in whatever fonts you like best. Visualize the layout of the phrase on your mat. Place plain paper out on your mat so you know how many pieces will fit (standard mats will probably fit a rectangle of four full sheets of paper, 2x2 landscape orientation, with a little extra space on every side). This will give you an idea of the size font you’ll need. For example, I knew I wanted the word “wicked” to take up about half the width of my mat (centered) so I kept increasing the size until it took up 1 ½ sheets of paper since my mat could almost fit three sheets. From there, I could estimate the other font sizes in comparison to this one. Print your text whenever it looks about right. If it looks bad when you’ve got it laid out on the mat, just adjust the size and reprint!

Note: Don’t worry if your text gets cut off slightly (like the bottom of my W in “wicked.” The printed text is just to make a template so, as long as it’s not a lot, you should be able to fix this when you’re cutting.


Step 2: Trim your poster board or contact paper as closely to the same size and shape of your mat as possible. My poster board was a couple of inches skinnier than my mat, so I just made sure the top and bottom lined up appropriately and was careful to center the design before I pulled out the paint.


Step 3: Trim the excess paper off of your text and lay it out on your poster board or contact paper in whatever way you choose. When you find the right layout, stick it in place on the poster board.


Step 4: With cardboard under your work area, cut your letters through both layers of paper with an Exacto knife. Remember that letters with holes in them (like As, Ds, etc.) will need to keep their centers so create a little bridge that attaches these to the template. You can correct it after the stencil has been removed. At this stage, you can also fix any text edges that got cut off by the printer (see the bottom of my W).

Note: If you do forget to leave a bridge for the center of a letter, just reattach it with a thin piece of tape. No big deal!


Step 5: After you’ve cut out all of your letters (or shapes!), remove the taped papers on top to reveal your mat’s template!


Step 6: Center the template over your mat, mix your paint, then dab generous globs of paint on the letters. Be careful to dab straight down, not to brush or allow the bristles of the paintbrush to slide under the template. This will ensure that the edges of each letter remain crisp. When you’re done painting, carefully lift off the template and allow plenty of time to dry before putting your mat to use.


Now that we’ve got the foundation of your door display all set, things are looking up… All the way up to the door itself! Here’s how to make a gothic-looking bat display:



Materials for the bat “wreath” 

  • Ornate thrifted picture frame
  • Fake bats
    • (I have one big, detailed plastic bat for the center and a bunch of smaller foam bats. My Goodwill had them front and center right when I walked in the door so I didn’t even have to hunt around! The big one is great for inside the frame while the light foam ones work perfectly outside the frame.)
  • Chicken wire
  • Needle nose pliers with a cutting edge
  • Black twist ties
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Thick black velvet ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Wreath hanger
  • Work gloves (optional)
  • Poster putty



Step 1: Remove the backing and picture from the frame.



Step 2: Using the cutting edge of the pliers, carefully trim a piece of chicken wire so it will stretch from one side of the back of your frame to the other. You could place it across the entire frame, but I didn’t want to see much of it so I only added enough to hold my biggest bat on. If you needed to have enough for the whole frame, you could also spray paint the wire to blend in with the color of your door so it’s less visible. Or, you could even stretch faux cobwebs over the wire to mask it if you’d like. I do recommend that you wear thick gloves while you’re working with the chicken wire as it can be super sharp!



Step 3: Use the staple gun to secure the wire in the back.



Step 4: Place your bat where you want it then use the twist ties to secure it in place. I added one around its neck and one around it’s ankle. To make them less visible from the front, twist it directly around the bat first then again around the wire itself. This way it hugs the bat tightly instead of reaching back for the wire in a conspicuous way.

Step 5: Cut your ribbon to the proper length. To determine this, I held my frame up against the door dangling (with support) from the wreath hanger and tested a few lengths to see what I liked the best.


Step 6: Tie or staple the ribbon to the back of the frame.


Step 7: Use the pliers to bend in any sharp points in the wire against the frame for safety.



Step 8: Hang up your frame on the door then use poster putty to adhere the smaller bats. To make it look like the bats are flying out of the frame, let their wings stick out over the frame itself. Stick bats beside and above the door as well for that wild, out-of-control look, just make sure the door can open and close without bumping into them.



Add a witch’s broom, pumpkins, or other festive features to round out the rest of the display and you’re ready for Halloween! This will surely attract trick-or-treaters on Halloween night by quickly making your home look a little haunted. And, little did you know, as well as giving out candy this All Hallows Eve, when you shop at Goodwill for your decor and costume supplies you’ll be giving to your neighbors in yet another way. After all, only Goodwill unites caring and enterprise to empower people and build communities that work. That’s why I start every seasonal shopping trip with a visit to my closest Goodwill! 

Julia Marchand is a home decor/DIY blogger at LITTLEroost. From her little roost in rural New England — fueled by coffee and fresh air — Julia blogs for Goodwill Industries International creating sustainable DIY, home decor, and fashion content from thrifted finds.

Goodwill Success Story: Meet Lenette
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

Lenette Hebrink’s job title at Goodwill is South Annex receptionist, but she sees herself as a resource — a cheerleader even — for those people who come looking for help finding work. That is because she has been where they are, struggling to find a good steady job.

In 2016, Lenette, 54, had to unexpectedly re-enter the workforce after she was laid off from her long time job. She was in job transition for 18 months, working temp jobs, ride sharing and delivery service, seasonal retail, and companion senior care — whatever she could to pay the bills. Lenette said she kept networking and handing out her resume to potential employers during that time. She was not getting offers, but she was getting a little frustrated.

In January, a co-worker on of one her temp assignments recommended Goodwill TulsaWORKS Career Academy. By April, she had enrolled in two courses, Hospitality Training and Career Readiness Training. After attending both, she had renewed hope that she could now find long-term employment.

“I used the skills I had learned in my job interviews. I knew my resume looked sharp,” Lenette said. “I carried myself with more confidence.”

Lenette’s career navigator at TulsaWORKS let her know about the receptionist position at Goodwill, and she applied. Lenette finally got that steady job, an answer to her prayers.

“I always wanted to be someplace to help others,” Lenette said. “Now I get to pay it forward.”

 "I have found the place where I can truly make a difference in people's lives through the Job Connection program."
Lenette shopped often at Goodwill when she lived in Missouri for clothes for her children and household items. In 2012, she lost all of her possessions in a house fire. She went to Goodwill to replace much of her things, including furniture. So, like most people, Lenette knew the cost-saving benefits of shopping at Goodwill. Not until that recommendation from her co-worker, however, did she have an idea of the full scope of Goodwill’s mission. (“They have classes!?” she remembered saying.)

Lenette has now experienced the mission firsthand, and she wants to help others do the same. Her job is more than just the data entry, and directing people to the right department. She is ready to reach out when she senses a Goodwill Job Connection client’s pain and discouragement. She has already seen the fruits of doing so.

A man came back to Goodwill Job Connection to tell her he now has a job. He had been close to giving up, but Lenette’s words of encouragement empowered him to push through, to “stick it out.”

“It made my heart swell,” Lenette said.

Learn More

Goodwill Job Connection
Goodwill TulsaWORKS Career Academy 

Goodwill salutes workforce development, direct support professionals
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

Goodwill Tulsa took time to last week to recognize the employees at the front line of our mission — our direct support professionals and workforce development staff.

Goodwill’s events coincided with national commemorations. Direct Support Professional Week, Sept. 9-15, is organized by Ancor and Relias to recognize DSPs’ hard work and positive impact on their communities. September is also Workforce Development Professionals Month, which honors workforce development organizations, professionals, and partnerships that play a vital role in the U.S. economy. It was created by the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals.

    Goodwill treated Supported Employment staff and employees at our group worksites and hospital enclaves to a hearty breakfast.
Employees with Goodwill Contract Services and Goodwill TulsaWORKS Career Academy joined the others for a red-carpet Hollywood-themed social at the Edgar Helms Center.    


  Rebekah is an employee training specialist at Goodwill. She coaches supported workers with disabilities at several sites, working with them on their customer service and proper workplace behavior. Rebekah feels she can clearly see her work changing lives even more than when she was a social worker before joining Goodwill. “It’s very rewarding work,” she said. “I love the people I work with.”
Kelsey is a career navigator at Goodwill TulsaWORKS Career Academy, where she supports students. She began at Goodwill as an employment training specialist. A similarity with the two jobs, Kelsey said, is that she is still coaching: Before it was on how to do the job; now it is how to get out and find a job. “Goodwill can help anyone that wants to help themselves,” she said.  

Goodwill salutes all of DSPs and workforce development staff for their compassion and dedication. And we thank them for their wonderful work.

2018 Day of Caring at Goodwill
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

Friday, September 14, was a full morning of fun and sharing at Goodwill Tulsa thanks to the kind efforts of volunteers from Tulsa Tech and Williams.

About 30 women and men volunteered at several Goodwill locations as part of Tulsa Area United Way’s annual Day of Caring. The event is one of the nation’s largest single days of community service. Goodwill is extremely thankful for the volunteers who gave their time.


Volunteers pitched in across Goodwill, allowing them to interact with customers, clients, program participants and employees. Some spent their time at the stores on Garnett Road and East 51st Street (Stone Creek). Most of the volunteers came out to Goodwill’s campus on Southwest Boulevard.

At the 3110 Southwest Boulevard store, a handful of Tulsa Tech volunteers cleaned and arranged displays in the Book Nook and wares sections, and hung clothes. 

Kneisha Jones with Tulsa Tech said she usually goes to the YMCA for Day of Caring. She has family members who love shopping at the Southwest Boulevard store, however, so she saw it as a chance to check it out for herself.

“I like it how looks, the way the colors are arranged,” she said. “It looks good to the eye. And it was easy for me to find things.”


At Goodwill Job Connection, two Tulsa Tech volunteers made follow up calls to individuals to check in on the progress of their job searches. Goodwill Job Connection offers to anyone looking for work free walk-in services, such as help with a resume or use of a computer to research job leads or complete applications online.  

Dannie Russell, an instructor at Tulsa Tech, said he had volunteered before at Goodwill for Day of Caring. He looks forward to the day as it gives him a chance to help in the community outside of the classroom.

A group of Williams volunteers spent their time in Goodwill’s processing department where they sorted donations.


Two Williams volunteers worked the phones at Goodwill TulsaWORKS Career Academy.


Another group from Williams was in charge of the picnic and fun day for employees at Goodwill Contract Services, which provides employment for individuals with severe disabilities. The volunteers grilled burgers and hot dogs, and played outdoor games with the workers at Howard Park.




(Photos by Loretta Block)


Inside the Edgar Helms Center, volunteers and Goodwill Contract Services employees tried their luck at Don’t Break the Ice and other classic board games. Some played a hand or two of cards, while others focused intently on creating masterpieces with crayons and markers.






The employee talent show provided the entertainment. (Photo by Loretta Block)



And during bingo time, everyone was hoping to snag a great prize.

There were smiles and laughs all across the campus Friday thanks to the volunteers.



Once again, we say THANK YOU!


Manage money better with written plan
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

The path to household financial security involves many steps. Catherine Pate, AFC®, financial coach at Goodwill, recommends a crucial starting point: a written spending plan.

 A written spending plan provides an overall financial picture that can make it easier to prepare for the holidays or other specific money goals.  

Good money management starts with knowing what money you have coming in and going out towards bills (yes, bills). Then you can see whether you have extra cash (aka “discretionary income”).

With automatic payments and direct debits, we might be tempted to simply monitor our bank accounts weekly or balance the checkbook at the end of the month. However, a written spending plan is a strong visual of your current financial picture. It is easier for you to control your money management with a laid out plan.

And while it might sound obvious, by knowing where you are financially, you can then see where you are going. You can use this information to work toward your overall future financial security and to create specific SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

An example of an SMART goal for money management: “I will save $25 per paycheck every month for the next 12 months.”

You can get help developing SMART goals or your basic money management skills by scheduling a free coaching session with Catherine. Call 918-581-1288.

Keep following our blog to read more tips from Catherine on money management, improving credit and paying down debt.

Goodwill has partnered with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to provide free financial coaching services to families in the Tulsa area. Catherine Pate, AFC®, FFC candidate, is headquartered at Goodwill until March 29, 2019.

Festive Designs for Your Independence Day Celebration
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

By Julia Marchand
Courtesy of Goodwill Industries International

With Independence Day right around the corner, you may be looking for new and exciting ways to celebrate. Of course, a parade and fireworks are basically mandatory, but don’t forget to dress up yourself and your home! These are two of my favorite ways to enjoy holidays since they really set the tone for whatever merriment is approaching.

 Image via

The first thing I like to do to prepare for an upcoming event is to pull together at least one themed display at home. Just setting something up on a tabletop or bookshelf doesn’t take long, but can make a great statement. You don’t even need to have guests over to appreciate it! I find that changing up my surroundings even just a little at a time keeps my home feeling fresh and inspiring. This quick and patriotic display made by Sarah for Goodwill Easter Seals (Saint Paul) is exactly what I’m talking about. It’s bright, bold, and brilliantly priced since she found everything at Goodwill!

 Image via

Be a firework this fourth by decking yourself out head-to-toe in red, white, and blue like Molly and Penny, the sisters behind the blog Goodwill Fabulous. Can you believe that the dress Molly scored for $4.99 from her local Goodwill originally retailed for $138? That’s about 96% off! I’d say the hunt is well worth it for a price like that. What do you think?


 Image via

Another aspect of Independence Day that I truly adore is how social the holiday is. This is not one of those intimate family days like Easter nor is it a one-on-one type evening like Valentine’s Day. It’s an all-you-can-eat, everyone’s invited, break out the sparklers kind of jubilation! As such, it might be a good idea for you to have some snacks and activities on hand. Here are some fantastic ideas for themed décor and pastimes from Marion Goodwill Industries (OH) including the super simple silverware stash above!

But perhaps the most patriotic thing about celebrating the Fourth of July by shopping at your Goodwill is that every dollar you spend is going back into your own community. Eighty-three percent of collective revenues raised through the sale of donated goods support and grow Goodwill’s critical community-based programs and services. Thrifting at Goodwill is such an easy and effective way to help keep your unique community strong to ensure that we can continue to applaud it every July 4th for a very long time.

Julia Marchand is a home decor/DIY blogger at LITTLEroost. From her little roost in rural New England — fueled by coffee and fresh air — Julia blogs for Goodwill Industries International creating sustainable DIY, home decor, and fashion content from thrifted finds.

Goodwill named Veteran Employer Champion
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

Goodwill has earned a new local distinction: Veteran Employer Champion.

At a ceremony Wednesday, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum recognized the inaugural group of Veteran Employer Champions, a program that recognizes dedicated efforts in finding work for veterans in Oklahoma. The program is a partnership between the City of Tulsa, Community Service Council, Warrior Partnerships of Eastern Oklahoma, DR Consulting and the Oklahoma Department of Veteran Affairs.


Courtesy photo

(From left) Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum; Goodwill TulsaWORKS Career Academy Coordinator Parrish McDaris; TulsaWORKS Director Sabrina Ware; and Goodwill Industries of Tulsa President David Oliver

Goodwill and the 12 other organizations had to meet a set of benchmarks to earn the Veteran Employer Champion recognition (see infographic below). The program’s long-term vision is of a network that supports the recruiting, hiring and developing of veterans.

“We will continue to identify champions and grow this network, which will include peer learning opportunities for employers to best support the veterans in their workforce,” said Pete Luitwieler, program manager for Community Service Council’s Oklahoma Veteran Connections and Warrior Partnerships of Eastern Oklahoma programs.

Veterans and their families can learn more about Goodwill’s job training programs by calling 918-581-1256 or visiting our website.  


Father’s Day Finds Sure to Succeed
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

By Julia Marchand
Courtesy of Goodwill Industries International 

What do ties, golf clubs, and a six-pack all have in common? While they’re each nice (and surely appreciated) Father’s Day gifts, they’re also the type of present that you can really only give once. Giving the same type of gift every year will seem uninspired and won’t accurately reflect the way you feel about dear ol’ Dad. So, if you’re feeling stuck in a run-of-the-mill Father’s Day gift rut and are ready for some fresh ideas, we’ve got a whole slew of possibilities for you in this blog post — and at your closest Goodwill store! Goodwill understands that self-sufficiency is best achieved through family financial stability practices that allow households to better manage their money and save for the future. And when you shop for Father’s Day gifts at Goodwill stores then you’re saving money and supporting that mission, too. Without further ado, let’s jump into it!


Video via the Goodwill Gal on YouTube

One thing that I know every dad would appreciate is the gift of time. And while we can’t tell you how to add extra hours to the day, Goodwill Industries - Knoxville, Inc. does have some incredible ideas for making the most of those afternoon hours with a budget-friendly backyard BBQ. Since many dads pride themselves on their grilling skills, this would be the perfect excuse to spend some time doing what he wants next weekend. With tips on how to save money while you shop for meal ingredients and a recipe for easy homemade barbeque sauce, this list is a must read. My favorite part, though, are these DIY solar mason jar lights which would extend the amount of time your family can stay outside after grilling. Hey, maybe we can add hours to the day after all!



Image via

It’s true that when I throw out the word “sachet” you probably won’t immediately think of your dad. But why should the fellas miss out on all the fun of these (literally) pocket-sized potpourri pouches? Blogger Sadie Seasongoods noticed that flannel shirts at Goodwill are always plentiful and low-priced especially in the warm-weather months. With Father’s Day right around the corner, she decided now was the time to turn a few of them into simple scented sachets! They’re cute while they play peek-a-boo in a drawer, but could also make a pretty nifty car or office air freshener. And since the scent of cedar wards off moths, these would be a safer and more pleasant smelling alternative to moth balls in the closet. I think the part Dad would appreciate the most, though, is that you spent your time and energy on a thoughtful handmade gift for him. You must be his favorite, huh?


Video via Goodwill of Central Arizona on YouTube

If those ideas still don’t seem right for the Dad(s) you’re celebrating this year, take a peek at this video shared by Goodwill Industries of Central Arizona, Inc. for a fantastic list of the dos and don’ts of Father’s Day gift buying. Number one in their survey results of the worst Father’s Day gifts was novelty clothing. Those are the things that Dad might wear once for a laugh then never touch again. They also mention certain tech gadgets that become obsolete almost as soon as they’re brought home. Unless he’s a techie who likes to collect, you could steer clear of those pieces, too. Check out the video above for the other items you’ll want to avoid while you shop and some fantastic suggestions that are sure to please.

To all the fathers and father figures out there who might be reading this, you are awesome. Your hard work and reliable presence is helping to (or has helped) form a new generation and that is really something special. Happy Father’s Day!

Julia Marchand is a home decor/DIY blogger at LITTLEroost. From her little roost in rural New England, fueled by coffee and fresh air, Julia blogs for Goodwill Industries International creating sustainable DIY, home decor, and fashion content from thrifted finds.

Goodwill Success Story: Meet Rachel
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

Marie Rachel Louisjuste came to the conclusion that in order to excel in her college classes as she wanted she would have to master Microsoft Excel.


“I tell people, until recently, Excel used to kick my rear! It was like a bad dream. I used to be so stressed about it!” said Rachel, a recently naturalized U.S. citizen from Haiti.

Adding to her frustration, Rachel couldn’t find anywhere to go for basic training in Excel. That’s where Goodwill came in to help. 

“Well, these classes aren’t taught anywhere else. I have enrolled at TCC trying to take Excel, but it was too advanced,” Rachel said. “So whatever I knew about Excel I taught myself. Of course, that’s not good enough. There’s always a shorter way, and a more professional approach to it. So, I know if I could find a class, more basic, where I can learn the language of Excel, then I can excel! So that’s what I did!”

Rachel felt led to come to Goodwill, specifically to TulsaWORKS Career Academy, so she could give herself a better future, and so she could bless others. She was working 82 hours a week while taking classes. Rachel knew that improving her skills and gaining new ones would give her more opportunities for getting a better job and providing for herself. So when she came to enroll and learned that Workplace Computer Skills class was starting the following week, it was confirmation that she was on the right path.

Rachel completed her training at TulsaWORKS in February. “I learned Excel wasn’t so bad after all!”

She firmly recommends the classes to “seasoned” students like herself or people who need to polish their computer skills.

“(T)here’s a mission statement up front that says ‘somebody feeds you, that’s charity. But if somebody teaches you how to upgrade your skills to get a better job, that is a second chance.’ I like that. Teaching you how to fish, not feeding you a fish. … I like that, I like catching my own fish! You decide what size of fish you want, you know! … If you want a 50 pound, go for it. If you want catfish, more power to you. If you want 7, go get it. The sky’s your limit.”

Goodwill Award Winners Show Perserverance
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

Goodwill Tulsa held its Annual Awards Luncheon on May 9, 2018. A highlight of the annual event is announcing our Achiever, Employee, and Graduate of the Year, and our Community Partner. We get the chance to share how each winner succeeded in our programs due to their determination and positive spirit, and with key support from others.

2017 Achiever of the Year: Kevin Jefferson

Kevin had a longtime goal to be a computer engineer. His dream seemed to be derailed after a life-threatening car accident. He was forced to drop out of college and he had to make ends meet by bartending and serving at a local country club. Wanting more, Kevin enrolled at Goodwill TulsaWORKS Career Academy. Kevin completed the Computer Support Tech class and turned an internship into a full-time IT job with 501tech. He feels like his dream is back on track.


2017 Employee of the Year: Traci Daubert

Traci has been a beloved employee at Goodwill for almost 18 years. Before that she was a successful participant in Goodwill's Transition Work Adjustment program. Neither Traci, nor her family, have allowed her developmental disability to keep her from thriving at work and in life. As a member of Goodwill's hospital enclaves, Traci has worked hard to develop job skills and social skills, and learn how to work on a team. She has faced challenges that come with new job positions. Through it all, Traci is known for her smile and congenial attitude.

Graduate of the Year: Alex Morris

Alex once struggled with social interaction. The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services referred him to Goodwill's specialized training program for high school students on the Autism Spectrum (ASD). Now, the once quiet and reserved Alex is a courtesy clerk at Reasor's. In the ASD program, Alex learned how to meet expectations in the workplace through a variety of teaching techniques such as role-playing and mobile apps. He successfully transitioned in to Goodwill's Supported Employment Program, where his  employment consultant helped him land the Reasor's job. Alex's workplace success earned him the Governor's Disability Award of Excellence in 2017. 

2017 Community Partner of the Year: SJS Hospitality 

Goodwill recognized SJS Hospitality as the Community Partner of the Year at the annual Awards Luncheon. SJS brings a hands-on approach that enhances the learning experience for students in Goodwill TulsaWORKS' Hospitality Training and Certification Program. At the luncheon, SJS Hospitality Human Resources Director Michelle Hartman said that the people at Goodwill are great to work with "and they've made us excited about being community partners."

Zero-waste kit tips from Goodwill
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa


Today is Earth Day – but you can celebrate every day!

One way that you can do your part to reduce waste is by embracing reusable alternatives when you’re eating at a restaurant or anywhere on the go. Here are a few simple items – some you can thrift at your favorite Goodwill – to help you be prepared!

Reusable Bag

The perfect way to keep your kit together, great for runs to the store, useful for transporting food – skip the flimsy plastic!

Cloth Napkin

Pass on the paper and go for a cloth option. Practical, washable, durable – just throw a few in your kit!

Metal Straws

Make plastic straws a thing of the past by keeping a few of these on hand, plus you’ll never have to contend with the occasional dreaded punctured straw…

Reusable Drinkware/Travel Mug

Keep your drinks warmer/colder longer and avoid disposable drinkware.

Divided Container

Great for bringing lunches or taking leftovers home. Skip the Styrofoam and plastic to-go boxes!


Handy for avoiding disposable plastic alternatives, easy to clean – keep a few sets on hand so you can wash and rotate.

Glass Jar

A great small container option for snacks or drinks.

Small Containers

Have a few for dry snacks or smaller to-go items – flexible, convenient, a must in any kit.

Preparing your own zero waste kit is a fun challenge that will help you avoid unnecessary trash and single use items in your daily routine. Create your own, and share any new ideas you discover by tagging us on social media, @goodwilltulsa.

Back to the ‘40s: Jenks teen creates a vintage look on a budget
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa


By Lindsey Meeker
Gooodwill Industries of Tulsa

Barely 10 minutes into her trip at the Goodwill® Store on Southwest Boulevard, Hannah Jackson already had her arms filled with possibilities.

 Hannah Jackson shops for vintage styles at the Southwest Boulevard Goodwill Store.
She quickly had to find a cart for all of her treasures — several blouses with floral patterns and pinstripes, and a charcoal-grey plaid wool skirt. Not exactly the kind of things you’d expect to see in an 18-year-old’s cart. Hannah was thinking they were just her style.
Looking the part of a 1940s movie starlet, this high school senior from Jenks wore a flowy sheer cream blouse, a curve-hugging grey pencil skirt with ruffled fringe, and a pair of vintage tied burnt-yellow heels. Her auburn hair was perfectly curled, brushed, and set into old Hollywood waves.

Hannah is a 1940s enthusiast who loves the vintage style culture. A couple years ago, Hannah bet herself to see how long she could dress vintage Forties without repeating an outfit. She hasn’t stopped since.

To school, to shop, to band practice, wherever, it’s her daily style. Her Instagram feed, @nooneknows_itsyou-missjackson, is part style gallery, part how-to, and part daily journal. Hannah spends many of her weekends picking out vintage clothing at Goodwill, other thrift shops and flea markets. She also seeks out modern pieces that she can style into a 1940s era outfit.

“When I was in elementary school, I sewed Barbie clothes and stockings. In 5th or 6th grade, I learned how to sew my own clothes,” said Hannah, adding that her mom taught her how to use the sewing machine. Now one of her favorite things to do, it also came in handy when she started dressing in vintage Forties style as she could alter her finds by herself.

“I love terrible patterns,” she said as her fingers flicked through a rack of women’s blouses, carefully checking for options. When Hannah shops, she focuses on men’s slacks, women’s button-up tops, pencil skirts, mid-calf/knee-length dresses, full skirts, and A-line dresses with the right fabrics and fits. Her main style is a Forties look, but she dabbles in other eras. For instance, she pulled out a beautiful blue dress with attached red polka dot collar that would make all “Mad Men” viewers swoon. Hannah later discovered an ILGWU (International Ladies Garment Worker Union) label inside, which dates the dress between 1964 and 1974.

Hannah loves being a part of the global vintage community. Her favorite Instagram follows — Rachel Maksy (@rachel_maksy), Jessica (@the.elegant.giraffe), and Ida Catherine (@idacath) — inspire her daily to try new things.

Thrift shops are prime hunting ground for Hannah and other vintage enthusiasts. Shopping Goodwill brings the added bonus of helping people find work. Shopper’s purchases allow us to offer job training and employment opportunities to people in our community.

Hannah was scanning the shoe racks when another Goodwill shopper came up to her. “You look beautiful,” she said. “Thank you,” Hannah said graciously and laughed. She is no stranger to the looks, stares or comments. On Instagram, you can read some of the funny comments that she hears in the school hallways like, “You look like a doll from pioneer days that a small child would really like to play with.”

Hannah had this to say for others who want to change up their look: “Live your life. Don’t let others discourage you.

Post Regret: Taking stock of your social media accounts

By Lindsey Meeker
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

With a click of a mouse or a tap on a cellphone, we can instantly connect with friends and family far away. Social apps with their live features give us the benefit of tuning in and following each other’s lives in real time, even at a distance. However, we should remember that prospective employers are using these technologies as well.

Before applying for your dream job, let’s go through some social media reminders to make sure that you are a shining candidate on paper and online.

1. Don’t complain about your boss or job even if your profile is on private.

This reminder goes for past and future social media posts. If your job isn’t going as planned or someone ticked you off at work, don’t use social media as your punching bag. Write about it in a journal, or call a close friend (that doesn’t work at the same company) to vent. You will feel better and your reputation won’t suffer on social media. If you have posted a status complaining about work, delete it!

2. Ask friends to take down pictures of you that someone could consider as inappropriate.

When un-tagging doesn’t seem enough, ask your friends to take down the picture. Your friends should respect that you want to have a clean image on social media.

3. Don’t post pictures of you holding an alcoholic drink.

Employers, current and potential, don’t want to see your drinking pictures or how often you drink. It may have been a fun experience, but that experience could cost you your dream job.

4. Use social media settings to your advantage. Keep private information private.

Go to your settings on all social media platforms and put it on private. This gives you the upper hand in keeping your pages clean of anything you wouldn’t want an employer seeing. When posting, even on a private account, ask yourself, would you share this with your mom? Not everyone needs to know every time you eat, how many cavities you have, or every thought that comes to mind. If you must share it, put it in a group text message.

5. Use the filter that shows what non-friends see on your Facebook page.

On your profile page header, find the View Activity Log button. Click the three dots next to it to see the View As… option. You can see the difference in what’s visible on your page for someone who follows you and the general public. Now you know what future employers can quickly and efficiently learn about you from your page. Also, Facebook notes that “things you hide from your timeline will still appear in News Feed, search and other places on Facebook.”

6. Ask others to look over your social media platforms.

Have a trusted friend, family member, or co-worker look for anything they would recommend you take down. It’s great to have a second or third opinion when it comes to social media postings.

7. Check whether your job has social media policies.

If your employer has a policy, it’s usually in your work contract or employee manual. If you don’t remember what it says, ask for a quick reminder to make sure you are following the guidelines. You don’t want to lose a job over a post.

Good luck with your social media cleaning and job hunting! A visit to a Goodwill Job Connection can also help you manage your social profiles and job search. We are cheering you on at Goodwill Industries of Tulsa.

Lindsey Meeker is Goodwill Tulsa’s digital communications intern who loves coffee and a good pun. You can find her reading books in a hammock, hanging out at a coffee shop, or on Instagram @lindsey_meeker.

Don't forget free tax prep options
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

Tax season officially starts January 29. And we want to make sure that you are aware of free income tax preparation options that you may be eligible to use.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program

  • Who’s Eligible: Taxpayers with household income of $54,000 or less

Tulsa Area United Way coordinates this IRS program locally through VITA sites where volunteers prepare federal and state income tax returns at no charge. Returns are filed electronically, also for no fee. Goodwill’s VITA site will be open Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (or until we reach capacity) starting February 3 through April 14. For other Tulsa-area locations and times for free tax preparation services, you can call 2-1-1 Helpline. Outside the Tulsa-area, you may search for VITA at


  • Who’s Eligible: Taxpayers with household income of $66,000 or less

United Way also partners with industry leader H&R Block to help people easily and accurately file their federal and state taxes through MyFreeTaxes™. MyFreeTaxes is mobile optimized so you can access from your computer, tablet or smart phone. Most filers complete their taxes in less than hour.

MyFreeTaxes is the only free, online, national tax filing product offered by a nonprofit. Some “free” tax prep products only cover federal (not state) filing, or charge extra for anything beyond the most basic forms. MyFreeTaxes is completely free whether you file in multiple states, work freelance or a side gig, or earn investment income. You can even claim casualty losses due to recent natural disasters.

H&R Block’s Premium software powers, so filing is easy, secure, and guaranteed to be 100 percent accurate. The software scans for any tax credit you’re entitled to, such as EITC or Child Tax Credit, so you’ll get your maximum refund. And if you have questions along the way, IRS-certified specialists are ready to solve any tax puzzle in real time.

The key difference between these two options is MyFreeTaxes is Do-It-Yourself and VITA is we’ll do it for you. So check to see whether you are eligible for either to save the fee and file for free this tax season.

Visit with "Dress Like a Million from Goodwill" author Jean Kelley
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa


In her book “Dress Like a Million from Goodwill,” Tulsa author Jean Kelley looks to show how we can dress stylish and professional for a lot less than we’d imagine.

 Jean M. Kelley

Kelley, a Goodwill Industries of Tulsa board member, is visiting our stores to sign her book and offer fashion advice.

Upcoming Store Visits

Tuesday, February 27, 2:30-5:30 p.m.
Glenpool Goodwill Store, 502 W 125th Place (Glenpool)

Wednesday, March 7, 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Owasso Goodwill Store, 8525 N 117 East Ave. (Owasso)

Friday, March 16, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Joplin Goodwill Store, 2102 Range Line Rd. (Joplin, MO)

Friday, March 16, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Carthage Goodwill Store, 132 W George Phelps (Carthage, MO)  

Thursday, March 22, 12:00-3:00 p.m.
McAlester Goodwill Store, 715 S. George Nigh Expwy (McAlester)

Tuesday, March 27, 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Claremore Goodwill Store, 1204 N Lynn Riggs Blvd. (Claremore) 

Tuesday, April 10, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Bartlesville Goodwill Store, 3826 E Frank Phillips Blvd. (Bartlesville)

You can learn more about Kelley’s project on her website.

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