Posts from 2015

Make giving decisions based on facts, not rumors
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa
Updated 2/2019
We believe you really should “think before you donate,” at any time of the year.

You should want to make an informed decision about which charitable causes you wish to support. To do that, you should also have the right information — not misinformation.

Unfortunately, individuals and groups sometimes misrepresent to the public widely-known charities and nonprofits, including Goodwill. Even well-meaning people unintentionally spread erroneous statements.

Like the one about “Goodwill CEO Mark Curran, who profits $2.3 million a year.” This false claim is from a 12-year-old email that is still circulating. It includes variations on the message “Think about these before you donate.”


Steven Preston is the CEO of Goodwill Industries International. Learn more about him here. Also, Goodwill is a network of 160 independent member organizations, each with its own leadership.

Note: Article still lists former CEO Jim Gibbons who resigned from the position in 2018.
At Goodwill Industries of Tulsa, Inc., your donations allow us to have a meaningful impact on our community. Learn how here. Read success stories of people who have benefited from our job training and employment services, and find complete financial information in our annual report.

So, yes, we encourage you to “think before you donate” — the one legitimate takeaway from that otherwise spurious email.


Be certain the organization you choose uses its revenue for charitable purposes that support a mission for which you have a passion. Here are a couple resources:

Don't fall for holiday scams.

And, please share this with anyone you think could use this information.

Set the holiday table with Goodwill
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

You can spruce up your holiday table with Goodwill finds.



Jess Staats, sales associate at the Southwest Boulevard Goodwill® Store (left), used her impeccable eye for design to set up this simple dinner table setting for three. Processing coordinator Earlene Gordon’s ideas added extra pop to our set-up.

Centerpieces are a hallmark of holiday tables, but our small table space couldn’t accommodate a large one. Instead, Jess assembled a Christmas-themed display from common items available at Goodwill.


 We worked with red, gold and white as our color scheme. 
Those colors are easy to find, and it’s easier to mix and match white dinner ware. 

























 Mix books, baskets, candles, holiday ceramics, and even fall decorative items to make a festive backdrop for your holiday gatherings.




















































And how much would a set-up like this cost? 

Table setting

  • Three-piece dinner setting: $16
  • Glasses: $1.50
  • Placemats: $2.99
  • Dinner napkins: $1
  • Crystal platter: $8
  • Table runner: $2.99
  • Candleholder: $3
  • Tablecloth: $1.99
  • Flatware: 60 cents
  • Total: $37

Most of the items came from the Southwest Boulevard Store. But you can find similar pieces at other Goodwill store locations.

 Assistant manager Melanie Morose created this 
elegant display of dinner ware and holiday wares 
at the Claremore Goodwill® Store. (12/8/15)


























Our generous donors bring us amazing items. And by buying those items for your holiday table, you support our job training and employment programs. That will give you a good feeling when you sit down to your holiday meal.

 Photo by Jess Staats










How will you give on #GivingTuesday?
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Now as the last lingering Black Friday deals expire and this CyberMonday winds down, we collectively begin to shift our minds from the frantic spending to giving back.

That’s because #GivingTuesday is here again. In 2012, a movement began to make the first Tuesday after Black Friday and CyberMonday a day devoted globally to giving back — whether in money, time or talent. Since then, #GivingTuesday has used the power of collaboration and social media to inspire families, companies, organizations and communities worldwide to address local issues.

Here is how you can partner with us for #GivingTuesday 2015:

  1. Help us raise $1,000, which would cover registration fees for 30 students in TulsaWORKS’ industry certification classes — 10 people each in Unarmed Private Security, Forklift Operator and Hospitality Certification Training. Having industry recognized certifications increases our students’ chances to go far in their careers. Any gift, large or small, allows us to enable them to reach their goals. Visit our Facebook page Tuesday, Dec. 1, to contribute.
  2. After you donate, share how you gave and encourage others to do so. Use this handy #Unselfie kit to spread the word on Instagram, Facebook, or your preferred social channel. Make sure to tag your posts with #UNselfie and #GivingTuesday.

However you choose to participate, we hope you’ll take the time to show you care for your community this #GivingTuesday.


Learn more about #GivingTuesday 


#GivingTuesday 2014 in our area 

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Governor's honors for Goodwill participants
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

October 29 was a special day for Goodwill Industries of Tulsa.

We congratulate four of our program participants who are recipients of the 2015 Governor’s Disability Employment Awards of Excellence: Kelsey O’Halloran, Robert Simmons, Zach Webber and Esau West.

O’Halloran, Simmons and West received their commendations from Governor Mary Fallin at a special ceremony in the Phillips Pavilion at the Governor’s Mansion in Oklahoma City this past Thursday.

 Award recipients Esau West, Kelsey O’Halloran and Robert Simmons.

In addition, Goodwill also congratulates Kristin Dickerson, of News Channel 8, who was a recipient of the 2015 Governor’s Disability Employment Awards of Excellence for Media for providing outstanding media coverage for people with disabilities. Kelsey O’Halloran accepted the award on behalf of Dickerson at the ceremony.



DIY Costume Idea: Mavis
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

Mavis, of Hotel Transylvania 2 fame, is the season’s It Ghoul.

Add your personal flair to this costume recipe.



Here's a short makeup tutorial from Toys Unlimited. 


#BeYourOwnCreation and have a Happy Halloween!


Mavis has a message for costume hunters: 

Hospitality program connects in Tulsa
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa/TulsaWORKS

The TulsaWORKS Hospitality Training Program is off to a grand start, making strong connections in the community and the local hospitality industry.

 TulsaWORKS Coordinator Christina Ward, program Director Sabrina Ware and hospitality instructor Allen Everett attended their first Metro Tulsa Hotel and Lodging Association luncheon Thursday at the Cox Center. The team gave a presentation about the Hospitality Training program and enjoyed a great networking experience.


















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Students learn through hands-on classwork in the program’s mock hotel room. Goodwill is extremely thankful to Embassy Suites Tulsa for its donation of the bedding that Goodwill TulsaWORKS students use to practice making beds. From left: Austin Case of Embassy Suites; Ken Morgan, Embassy Suites Tulsa CEO; Sara Milligan of Embassy Suites; Allen Everett, class instructor; and Christina Ward, TulsaWORKS Coordinator.






















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 Channel 2 Works for You and News on 6 featured the hospitality program in news segments. Here, Everett, student Ciang Thiang Vung (center) and case manager Rose Watts simulate a front desk scene during a filming with Bee Hive Communications.























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 Everett was a judge in the Metro Tulsa Hotel and Lodging Association Bed Making Contest at the Hyatt Regency in Tulsa on September 14. The competition commemorated International Housekeeping Week. Tulsa area housekeepers competed to see who was the fastest and most skilled.





















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 Everett and co-judges Scott Galloway, with Tulsa Technology Center, and Karen Larsen, of Channel 2, judged the housekeepers on overall quality and neatness. With hotel staff cheering on their peers, the event was loud — and extremely fun. 

































Create a Costume with Goodwill
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

(Updated: 10/12/15; 10/26/15)

Here’s a Halloween tip: Don’t be afraid to use your imagination.

Goodwill® is the place for Do-It-Yourself costumes. Buying gently used items at Goodwill for your costume is a money-saving, eco-friendly way to celebrate Halloween.

This is your chance to be your own creation. Get creative with Goodwill’s assortment of donated clothing, accessories and fabrics to make a truly unique costume.

What great costumes can you create from Goodwill finds? Well…

Ladies — Doctor or Zinny:

Be Meredith, Dr. Bailey or your favorite television M.D.


Swap out the lab coat for a pants suit and add some crazy makeup and you are Zinny, Goodwill’s Halloween spokescreature.


Guys — Charlie Brown:

Good grief, it’s easy: Find black shorts, brown shoes and a yellow T-shirt to draw a zig zag on.

Kids — Harry Potter or Hermione Granger:

Add a dash of Hogwarts (round glasses, wooden wand, striped tie, and scar on forehead) to a simple black robe and wizard hat.


The Secret Stitch Club has great a Harry Potter costume tutorial on its blog and on Pinterest.

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Anybody — Superhero:

Come up with some wild powers and put together a suit to match; then go mingle with all the Avengers and Justice Leaguers you’re sure to see October 31. 


Download our costume tip sheet or pick up a copy at a store. Or visit to get ideas from Zinny and her friends from Hotel Transylvania 2

We can suggest ideas until we’re blue in the face (that would be a great costume, by the way) but you know yourself best. Be wild. Be crazy. Be subtle. Just #BeYourOwnCreation!


Be sure to enter our Costumes to DIY For Contest. You could be a winner if use items from Goodwill in your creation.

Dress up your furriest friends for Halloween -- Goodwill Blog

Day of Caring 2015 at Goodwill
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

A spirit of service and sharing spread across our community on the Tulsa Area United Way’s 24th annual Day of Caring.

 At Goodwill®, 53 volunteers fanned out to eight locations.
Williams Co. volunteers sorted donations in processing and led mock interviews at TulsaWORKS. At Goodwill East Campus’ annual picnic at Hicks Park, volunteers played bingo with supported workers, who then treated them to a rollicking talent show.


Volunteers from MetLife — Marla Jacques, Linda Kemper, Katie Marchand and Sherri Noonkester — were a great help at the Glenpool Store.



Broken Arrow Public Schools volunteers assisted in our Broken Arrow and Garnett Stores. At Garnett, assistant manager Tina Sweet worked with a group arranging wares. Stacey Chase (back) and Maria Garza made an elegant display of tableware at the Garnett Store.



















Another group put together clothing displays with Garnett sales associate MaryAnn Stockwell. Debbie Renz and John Hilborn mixed and matched women’s clothing and accessories for a nice wall display at the Garnett Store.






























Garnett Store manager Brenda Dukes led a tour of the store and the attached donation center, explaining how donations are processed.

“They were really impressed that we went through such a process to ensure quality items and clothing for our stores,” Brenda said.

Friday was also a somber day as our nation paused to reflect on the events of 9/11/01. In our community, we also showed how we can still stand united through service.

“Goodwill appreciates all the volunteers who shared their time and talents with us on the Day Of Caring,” said Nancy Webster, community relations director. “We hope they found their experience at Goodwill rewarding — we always like to show off our facilities and tell our story."

On the Path to Saving
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

Lori Franklin socked away $250 in her new savings account in just four months while participating in Goodwill Tulsa’s pilot Savings Match program.


“This is the first time since I was 8 years old that I’ve had a savings account!” Lori said.

Lori is not alone in that. Last year, did a survey, and 44.5 percent of the respondents said they did not have a savings account. The Personal Savings Rate, reported by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, plummeted after July 2014 through the end of the year. In a recent Retirement Confidence Survey, 50 percent of workers said the reason they did not save, or save more, was the cost of living and daily expenses.

Goodwill offers the Savings Match program as part of our overall financial wellness initiative. The goal is to help employees make saving a habit. The incentive: Goodwill matches 125 percent of the ending balance of the savings account after four months, up to $200, if the employee fulfills the terms of the program agreement.

Lori met the challenge. During the program’s pilot phase, May to September, she attended financial education classes. She prepared a budget and reviewed it with the Employee Success Coordinator. And she made regular deposits into her new savings account.

Lori, Goodwill’s longtime receptionist, said that she learned a lot and had a lot of fun while earning her financial stripes these past four months. Better yet, the experience has given Lori the tools and desire to keep adding to her savings account.

“I was blown away with the success of this pilot program,” said President David Oliver. “Out of the original cohort of 20 participants, 15 employees achieved the goal of saving $200 more in four months and earned the maximum match of $250.

“Our goals of providing financial education and establishing a savings amount to address potential emergencies were definitely achieved. And we are looking forward to starting the next cohort of employees on the path to savings.”


Visit these sites for saving information and strategies*: 

 *for informational purposes only; not endorsed by Goodwill Industries of Tulsa


Open Interviews, Processing, Sept. 16
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

Goodwill Open Interviews for Processing Jobs

When: Wednesday, September 16, 8:30 a.m. to noon

Where: Goodwill Industries of Tulsa, Inc. 2800 Southwest Blvd. Administrative Offices

What to Bring: You must bring work authorization documents; and your banking information or pay card information to establish direct deposit of your paycheck – no exceptions.

Qualifications: You must be able to stand and walk on concrete an entire shift; you must be able to bend, reach and stretch to empty donations from carts. You must be willing to commit to timely, regular attendance. You must be able to work 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., five days per week, Monday through Saturday with rotating days off. On-the-job training provided.

PROCESSING JOBS: All are full-time jobs with benefits after 60 days. All pay a starting rate of $8.75 per hour.

  • Utility Processors
  • Material Handlers
  • Textile Sorters
  • Book Sorter

One Part-Time job available: Auction Cashier/Ticket Writer. In addition to the above qualifications, you must be good with basic math and have cashier experience. Job is Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until auction closes; pay starts at $8.75 per hour. Approximately 25-29 hours per week.

Full job descriptions here 

Dress: Steel-toed footwear required for Material Handlers

Required Documents

Come be a part of a great nonprofit organization with programs supporting
people with disabilities and other barriers to employment.

People Working. Lives Improved.

Fill out application


TulsaWORKS teaches Hospitality
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa; TulsaWORKS

Hospitality is a fast growing industry in Tulsa and the U.S.

In the Tulsa metro area, the leisure and hospitality sector added 2,200 jobs between June 2014 and June 2015, Oklahoma Employment Security Commission statistics show.

TulsaWORKS’ new Hospitality Training program focuses on key skills necessary to find work and to advance in this growing industry. Workers who simply wish to improve their customer service skills would also benefit from the classes.

“You learn how to keep that real smile on your face even when dealing with difficult and demanding customers; even they know when our desire to serve is real,” program instructor Allen Everett said. 

The program features three tracks: front desk representative, guestroom attendant, and banquet and restaurant server. (TulsaWORKS plans to add a hotel maintenance course in 2016.) Students can take the tracks independently. Each track incorporates hospitality industry concepts and Guest Service Gold training with job specific concepts.

Students learn through hands-on experiences in a mock front desk and hotel room set up at TulsaWORKS. The program also features job shadows at area hotels and guest speakers from the industry.

Helping people earn industry certifications needed to get good jobs is a key goal at TulsaWORKS. The hospitality training program prepares students to take the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute exam. Students can also choose to test for Guest Service Gold certification.

Are you considering work in the hospitality industry? Have you applied before only to be turned away? Maybe you are an employer looking for training for your workers. The hospitality training program can help, Everett said.

“If you have been knocking on the hospitality door and haven’t landed a job, this is the training you need to fill in the gaps in your skills,” Everett added. “Goodwill TulsaWORKS is the way to open those doors."


Musical tastes for the workplace (Infographic)
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

I’m grateful to be able to listen to music while at work.

Music actually distracts me; not from working but from daydreaming, if that makes any sense. If it’s too quiet in the office, my brain works overtime to fill the silence. My mind starts to wander from the current task to the next one, or two, or three on my checklist.

Weird that, in a sense, music helps me focus. But this infographic by Superfi seems to be back me up on that. Based on an article by Fast Company and then reviewed by Marketing Profs, the infographic outlines how music affects our productivity. This brings up an interesting debate on whether the findings are more reflective of routine activities (think assembly line) than creative ones, such as writing.

On that note (sorry), I agree with the notion that it’s best not to listen to music with lyrics when trying to write. At least for me, it’s too distracting as I’ll eventually start studying the lyrics or singing along (apologies to my co-workers). At work, I usually tune my Internet radio to one of two stations, Classical Guitar or The Breeze, a mix of easy listening instrumentals and jazzy takes on popular songs. I wouldn’t call it elevator music, but some might...

On its blog, Quartz looks at the science of music and the mind, and even makes song recommendations for particular work duties: “The complete guide to listening to music at work.” 

Do you like to have music while you work? Does it depend on the activity and type of music as the infographic suggests? What do you listen to that makes you most productive?

Modi Kwanza, digital communications specialist


Goodwill, partners roll out vanpool project
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa
Goodwill and others can train many people for work, but often those individuals can’t get to jobs due to transportation issues. To overcome those challenges, a local collaborative has brought Tulsa its first vanpool project.

The pilot project kicked off with a gathering under the blazing morning sun Friday at S & R Compression in Tulsa, the first employer to opt-in.

 Christy Sanders, business manager at S&R Compression in Tulsa, speaks on how the new pilot vanpool project will benefit the company and its employees.

Christy Sanders, business manager at S&R explained the company immediately saw the benefits of the program for its employees, such as saving money and building camaraderie. Partnering with the program was another way to show S&R’s commitment to its employees, Sanders said.

 Jimmy Smith, S&R Compression supervisor, expresses appreciation for the work that brought the vanpool project to Tulsa. 

The vanpooling project is a collaborative effort of the Tulsa Regional Chamber, Workforce Tulsa, Goodwill Industries of Tulsa, The Center for Employment Opportunities, Women in Recovery, Madison Strategies, and the Oklahoma Department of CareerTech Skills Centers. The collaborative’s main objective was connecting workers to companies with job opportunities, said Jennifer Haddaway, who coordinates the Transportation Resource Center for the Indian Nations Council of Governments (INCOG).

 Cheryl O’Connor of vRide explains how the company will support the pilot vanpool project in Tulsa. 

vRide, the nation’s largest private provider of vanpooling services, is supplying the 15-passenger van. Money for the project comes from the George Kaiser Family Foundation, the United Way, and federal and local transportation funding facilitated by INCOG.

S&R supervisor Jimmy Smith has the honor of being the first vanpool driver. Smith touted the environmental benefits saying the vanpool takes “five vehicles off the road.”

Most of all, Smith was very appreciative for the program: “It’s a great benefit to each of us.” He mentioned how the out-of-pocket costs were “slim to none” because the riders were splitting the fuel costs and vRide was taking care of all the van maintenance.

vRide has more than 7,500 vans on the road nationwide, said Cheryl O’Connor, government account executive. She said vRide would give its signature support and customer service to the Tulsa program.

“If they have a flat tire, we help them out,” O’Connor said. “If they have issues with the riders, we help them out.”



  • Companies interested in having their employees join a vanpool may call Crystal Scarborough at (918) 796-1234.
  • Check available routes at

Collaborative Members:

Forbes shares tips for morning routine at work
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

Are we starting the work day off in a way that creates an atmosphere for productivity?
This piece by Forbes staffer Jacquelyn Smith can help us audit our morning routine.









The suggestions skew toward the 8 to 4, 9 to 5 workday crowd. But mid- or late-shifters can apply elements as well.

For instance, the copy editor walking into a busy newsroom at 5 p.m. is immediately set upon by reporters, editors or press workers, who have been waiting for hours to give or receive status updates. In that scenario, the copy editor is probably going to have to politely ask for a moment to take a breath and meditate (tip No. 3). And the request will be better received if the copy editor arrives on time (tip No. 1).

The workplace environment will dictate how applicable these tips would be. “Reminding yourself of your core purpose at work” (tip No. 11) should work in all environments. “Connecting to a sense of purpose is one of the most powerful motivators there is,” Smith writes. Totally agree. Unfortunately, we often might ask this at the wrong time. When things are hectic or going slow, “why am I HERE?” takes on a different meaning.

And sure enough, Smith wrote a companion piece on “Things you should do at the end of every work day.” High on that list, would be crafting a quick plan for the next day. Or at least, the few things that you’ll want to get on first thing. You can always adjust if needed when you get in after checking and responding to all your emails...wait, DON’T do that!

Some of these tips feel natural, or at least, we wish they were. Do you see any of your morning habits? Share in the comments.

Open interviews for Goodwill jobs
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa
This week, job seekers can interview with our HR reps for retail openings at various locations. Appointment is not necessary.

Wednesday, June 24


10 a.m.-2 p.m., SW Boulevard Goodwill Job Connection, for sales associate and management positions at Southwest Boulevard Goodwill® Store

Friday, June 26


10 a.m.-noon, Claremore Goodwill Store, on-site interviews for sales associate positions


12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m., Owasso Goodwill Store, on-site interviews for sales associate positions

Goodwill Job Connection at Southwest Boulevard will also host a hiring event with Oxford Health Care, Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you need to polish up your resume or get interviewing tips, visit one of our Goodwill Job Connection sites: 2800 Southwest Boulevard or 1665 S Yale Avenue.

VITA spells relief for Goodwill filer
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa
 Vicki Mofadi, Goodwill Tulsa
 Vicki Mofadi
Vicki Mofadi is one of our utility processors in textiles at Goodwill Tulsa. She is a 60-year-old mother of four adult boys and grandmother of six with a lot on her mind lately due to some dramatic personal changes in her life. “It’s the third time I’ve had to literally start all over,” Vicki said.

However, she and her sister are “thinkers and inventors,” Vicki said, accustomed to trying to figure things out. When she talks, you can see her trying to keep track of it all, but smiling the whole time.

Vicki has a new place, but she is living out of boxes and sleeping on an army cot until she can afford to buy furniture. Then in early April, she had to go to Texas to help her parents. With all that is going on in her life, Vicki didn’t need the added pressure of tax season. She usually does her own taxes, but she just had not had the time — nor the money to have someone else prepare them for her.

Vicki knew of the free tax preparation services provided through the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. VITA is coordinated locally through a coalition led by Tulsa Area United Way. So, she was so happy to see Goodwill was a VITA site this year. Being able to come in on a Saturday and get her federal and state tax returns filed for free, was a big relief for Vicki. (She was second in line and still felt nervous “because I don’t usually wait this late!”) She’d made the filing deadline and would get her refund as fast as possible, due to the work of the volunteers, who Vicki called “very accommodating, friendly and ready to help.”

She is going to spend her refund carefully, but Vicki is hoping she might have enough left over to go on a vacation with some friends.

A break Vicki could definitely use to clear her mind.

Vicki is one of the many individuals and families that Goodwill and the United Way helped this tax season. The VITA program prepared more than 2,200 tax returns, 40 percent more than last year. At Goodwill Tulsa’ site, volunteers completed nearly 200 returns and served nearly 200 Goodwill employees, program participants, neighbors and others from the area. The volunteers saved these families an estimated $40,000 in tax preparation fees, based on IRS estimates. They also returned so much more in refunds, EITC and other tax credits to our communities.

The ongoing generosity of our donors and customers will allow Goodwill to continue our involvement in VITA and keep promoting financial wellness, in general, in our community.

Job interview practice at TulsaWORKS
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa/TulsaWORKS

TulsaWORKS wants to get local job seekers prepared to land a job. That includes being able to ace the interview.


On Friday, June 12, volunteers from the Tulsa-area business community will lead mock interviews at Goodwill Tulsa with anyone who wishes to practice their skills in an authentic, real-world interviewing experience.

Mock interviews help job seekers build confidence, for instance, by taking the “scary” out of the job interview, says Sabrina Ware, director of TulsaWORKS and Goodwill Job Connection.

“Don’t let the fear of interviewing stand between you and a great career,” adds Christina Ward, TulsaWORKS Coordinator. “Mock interviews help job seekers to polish their skills and really make an impression with an employer.”

The mock interviews run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 2800 Southwest Boulevard, South Annex (Goodwill Job Connection). Reservations are required. Make yours by calling, 918-581-1256.

Community job fair Thursday

Educare Tulsa hosts a community job fair June 11 at the Hawthorne site, 3420 N. Peoria Avenue. TulsaWORKS team members will be there to talk about the program.

“Let us help you with finding not just a job, but a career,” Ware says.

Goodwill HR representatives will also be on-hand to take applications for current job openings. The fair runs from 3 to 5 p.m. For more details, call 918-508-2250.



Tax Tuesdays run to October
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa; Tulsa Area United Way
The Tulsa Area United Way wants to meet the community’s need for tax assistance outside of the traditional tax season.

So, June 2 through October 15, you can meet with an IRS-certified volunteer Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at East Side Christian Church, 1438 S. Indianapolis in Tulsa. The free sessions are through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, which is open to individuals and families with household income up to $53,000.

Goodwill Tulsa is a United Way partner agency. We were a part of the United Way's local coalition that provided free income tax preparation services through VITA this past tax season. At our site, VITA volunteers completed 170 returns, which saved those families an estimated $32,600 in tax preparation fees. 

For more information, visit

Round-Up donations extend Goodwill's reach
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa


 For Goodwill Industries® Week, we launched our new fundraising  program, Round-Up = Jobs, at two stores, Southwest  Boulevard and Owasso. Our customers have been extremely generous. Here is a sampling of what just the Round-Up donations could provide.

Day 1

A day of job coaching for six workers
with disabilities at Goodwill’s East Campus

Day 2

Flash drives for 35 participants in TulsaWORKS’ Employment Essentials class to store their resumes,
letters of recommendation, reference contact information and other job-search records, and access those documents from any computer 

Day 3

Create seven resumes for unemployed or underemployed job seekers at our Goodwill
Job Connection sites

Day 4

A day of instruction in TulsaWORKS’ A+ Training class for students looking to earn an entry-level certification in the Information Technology industry

Day 5, 6, 7

Instruction for up to 24 students in the week-long Career Readiness Seminar at TulsaWORKS

Sounds like we’re off to a great start, right? We’ll soon roll out the program at our other stores. When you are asked to round up, keep in mind our goal is to reach everyone who can benefit from our services. 

Goodwill 'industry days' tailor made for job seekers
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

As part of Goodwill Industries Week, Goodwill Job Connection will host 4 days of industry-specific hiring events at both locations. Employers and job seekers with similar interests can connect at these “mini job fairs.”

The hiring events are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Several employers have multiple days scheduled, which gives job seekers flexibility in lining up interviews.


The Schedule

2800 Southwest Boulevard, South Annex

  • MONDAY, MAY 4 – SECURITY Industry Day
  • THURSDAY, MAY 7 – HOTEL Industry Day

2800 Southwest Boulevard, Conference Room

  • MONDAY, MAY 4 & THURSDAY, MAY 7 – ALORICA DAY (Customer Care Associates)

1665 South Yale Avenue

  • THURSDAY, MAY 7 – SECURITY Industry Day

Up-to-date schedule with employers is on the Career Events Calendar. Learn more about Goodwill Job Connection 

Goodwill Industries Week, May 3-9, is an annual celebration of the power of work to help individuals reach their full potential.

Goodwills are hosting career fairs and hiring events in communities across the United States and Canada. Pass the link along to family, friends or colleagues, who are looking for work or a career change:


Why We Do What We Do (Goodwill Tulsa)
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa/TulsaWORKS
Why We Do What We Do: TulsaWORKS targets job placements

(Updated: 04/16)

At TulsaWORKS, the team rings a bell whenever a job placement is made.

That sweet sound has been constant: As of March 31, TulsaWORKS had 117 job placements topping its first-quarter goal.

TulsaWORKS strives to equip people with skills, resources — and confidence — to find and retain employment in the community. A holistic combination of short-term training classes and case manager services provides students with the tools to succeed in their careers and life.

The usual track for a TulsaWORKS student looks like this:

  • Complete the 1-week Career Readiness Training course, which teaches or enhances job search strategies and interviewing techniques
  • Advance to Employment Essentials Training and/or industry-specific classes such as A+ Certification or Unarmed Private Security
  • One-on-one work with a case manager, who offers individualized advice, guidance and connects participants with community resources — including Goodwill's Job Connection where students and the general public access professional placement services.

Altogether, the components help students begin a career path by identifying their areas of interest and where they could excel.

Ernest, a retiree and U.S. Air Force veteran, was offered a job with Tulsa Community College as client service support before he even completed his A+ Certification training at TulsaWORKS. Once he is certified, Ernest plans to finish his 2-year degree in engineering or IT, a pursuit he’d thought was out of his reach.

Anthony was living in a homeless shelter when he came to TulsaWORKS. But he had larger goals in life: to have a home, a car, and to someday manage a security company. Through the Unarmed Private Security and Employment Essentials courses at TulsaWORKS and the New Creation program at John 3:16 Mission, Anthony found employment with two security companies, moved into an apartment and bought a car.

These successes are what drive the TulsaWORKS team to keep ringing that bell.

TulsaWORKS hosts a free, no-commitment orientation on the first Tuesday of the month. Case managers and course instructors give an overview of the program's goals. Representatives from partner agencies share information on additional available resources. Classes are at 2800 Southwest Boulevard in Tulsa. (918) 581-1256.

Springing to a Fresh Start
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa
Winter, we’re done with you.

With the cold season (finally) nearing a very welcome end, we’re ready for a fresh start, and for many it begins with that annual de-hibernation ritual known as spring cleaning. Goodwill Tulsa is encouraging people in our communities to think of the spring cleaning season as both a time to offer a fresh start to bygone belongings and a time to give
individuals in need of work a fresh start, too.

How? By donating clothes and gently-used household goods you no longer use to Goodwill®, you can ensure that your own fresh start is multiplied by a power of three.

  1. You’ll get the benefit of cleaning out your house and shedding some of that cold-
    weather baggage.
  2. You’ll also benefit, though, from knowing that your spring cleaning will get a
    fresh start of its own by being diverted from landfills.
  3. Finally, people right here in eastern Oklahoma and southwest Missouri get the benefit of a fresh start, because the sale of your donations will fund local job training and placement programs.

In 2014, all of our programs served more than 5,600 people, which included 1,151 individuals placed in community jobs. 

Do you know someone in your community who is looking for work, has a barrier to employment, and could benefit from programs like these? If so, please think of Goodwill when you start out on your spring cleaning plans this year. You’ll get a fresh start for your de-cluttered house, a fresh start for your donated stuff, and finally, you’ll give a local job-seeker or two a very important fresh start to their working life. 


To see how much of a difference your donations can make, visit our donations page and calculate the impact of everything you plan to donate this spring. Then find a location where you can donate. 

Open interviews for Goodwill jobs
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa
Our HR team will be out and about these next few weeks,
working to fill retail and other positions at Goodwill Tulsa. We update our job listings weekly on our website. Goodwill is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Onsite Retail Store Locations

Interviews run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

8525 N. 117th East Ave.

3826 E. Frank Phillips

Southwest Boulevard (Tulsa)
3110 SW. Blvd.

Garnett (Tulsa)
102 S. Garnett Road

Broken Arrow
2210 W. Washington St.

1204 N. Lynn Riggs Blvd.

Job Fairs

Tulsa Community College Job Fair
Metro Campus, 909 S. Boston Ave.
3/26/15, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Broken Arrow High School Career Fair
BAHS Student Union, 1901 E. Albany
3/27/15, 10:30 a.m.-1:45 p.m.

OESC Job Fair
Tulsa Eastgate Workforce Center 14002 E. 21 St., Suite 1030 
4/2/15, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Goodwill, United Way coalition continue free tax prep services
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa; Tulsa Area United Way

Our local coalition providing free tax preparation assistance is working around the snow and ice to get its services to those who qualify.


Even though the latest round of winter weather has caused closures at sites, the group of community organizations led by the Tulsa Area United Way forges ahead.

Goodwill® is a member of the coalition that includes the Tulsa Area United Way, Tulsa Community College, East Side Christian Church, Tulsa Dream Center and The Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges. The coalition is part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program coordinated by the Internal Revenue Service.

Trained volunteers are providing tax assistance at several locations across the region. 

Any individual or family with a whole household income of less than $53,000 is eligible for free tax assistance.

“We are trying to reach the low to moderate income taxpayer who may be entitled to the federal government’s earned income tax credit or child tax credit,” said Cindy Longacre, coordinator of the tax program for the Tulsa Area United Way. “Last year, the coalition assisted 1,300 families with their taxes, and secured more than $1.5 million in tax refunds, which came back into the local economy,” Longacre said. “We have had a very high volume of those seeking assistance, and preparation services will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.” 

In addition, the United Way partner agency LIFE Senior Services is offering assistance to those over the age of 60 through their Tax Counseling for the Elderly program. Trained IRS-certified volunteers are available to help seniors, making $53,000 or less annually, with free, basic income tax preparation and electronic filing.

Many area residents may not be aware that they qualify for the federal government’s earned income tax credit, a significant tax benefit for those at a certain income level, Longacre said.

“We can help individuals determine if they qualify for the earned income tax credit,” she said. “Many people may be eligible for a sizeable tax rebate and not realize it.”

Information regarding days, times and locations is available by calling the 211 helpline.


Goodwill employees are S.T.A.Rs
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

Our annual Special Thanks and Recognition (S.T.A.R) awards recognize Goodwill® employees who have made a noticeable difference at Goodwill throughout the year with their outstanding behavior and attitude.

We honored the 2014 winners at the annual Holiday Luncheon on December 19:

Cheerleader Award — Sharon Abernathy

Goodwill Tulsa President David Oliver presents the winners
their awards in these photos by Melinda Johnston.

Abernathy, hard goods supervisor at Goodwill, was the S.T.A.R Cheerleader Award winner for 2014. Abernathy’s coworkers recognized her as someone who pushes her team across the finish line — maybe by singing, dancing or saying something funny — and always has encouraging words.

Extra Mile Award — Mary Burke


Burke, a job coach with Goodwill’s hospital enclaves, was the S.T.A.R Extra Mile Award winner for 2014. Burke’s coworkers recognized her for voluntarily going above and beyond formally defined duties to exceed the needs of Goodwill and the people it serves.

Exceptional Customer Service Award — Sarah Sims


Sims, a retail sales associate at Goodwill, was the S.T.A.R Exceptional Customer Service Award winner for 2014. Sims’ coworkers recognized her for unfailingly providing consistently great services to the public or other employees.

Team Player Award – Richard Kirkpatrick


Kirkpatrick, a donation attendant, was the S.T.A.R Team Player Award winner for 2014. Kirkpatrick’s coworkers recognized him for making a valuable contribution to team objectives, and being willing to give 100% without complaint, while demonstrating a remarkable effort and extraordinary loyalty to his team.

Super DIY sports ideas
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

So, how do upcyclers show off their team spirit?

T-shirts and jerseys made into miniskirts or gameday dresses were the rage (at least for a while) on Etsy and Pinterest. Here’s a T-shirt upcycle that was done the day of the "Big Game," courtesy of

The DIYers on upcycled old college T-shirts in the perfect cold weather accessory

Find inspiration for your Super Bowl party with these ideas at

You might have just thought of use for the practice jersey from high school or college you've been holding. Share your creation here or post it on our Facebook page.


Find free income tax prep
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

“Dear, where are the W-2s?"

Must be income tax season. Looking for ways to reduce the stress and the costs? Goodwill® and its partners can help with a variety of free income tax preparation services for eligible individuals and families.

Prepared for You: VITA Program

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, coordinated by the IRS, offers free tax help to people with household income up to $53,000 and who need assistance preparing their tax returns.

Trained United Way tax volunteers will be at Goodwill, 2800 Southwest Boulevard, to prepare income tax returns Feb. 7, Feb. 14, April 4 and April 11. Eligible filers bring their tax documents and the volunteers complete the return, which can be e-filed using tax software. VITA also works to accommodate people with disabilities.

Goodwill is one of five United Way VITA sites scheduled to open next week in Tulsa. Call 2-1-1 Helpline for all VITA sites and hours in Tulsa. To find VITA services outside Tulsa, visit

Also, area taxpayers 60 years and older can receive free specialized service at AARP Tax Counseling for the Elderly Tax Aide sites, where volunteers handle questions on pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors.



For folks who use tax software and e-file, this is an appealing option. Individuals and families with household income of $60,000 or less can prepare their federal and state returns online at, from any computer, at no cost. Filing assistance is available with online chat or the helpline, 1-855-My-Tx-Help (1-855-698-9435). MyFreeTaxes is funded by the Walmart Foundation and operated in partnership with Goodwill Industries International, the National Disability Institute and United Way.

Filers may prepare their returns with MyFreeTaxes on a computer at Goodwill on Friday, April 10, 3:30-5 p.m. and Saturday, April 11, 1-3 p.m.

Eligible individuals may still choose to go to a certified paid tax preparer if they have complicated returns. Consider these free options, however, if you are filing a simple return and are on a tight budget.

Find more helpful tax information on our website

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Main Offices
2800 Southwest Boulevard, Tulsa OK 74107