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Goodwill thanks DSPs, WFD staff
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

Goodwill is extremely thankful for our employees who work directly with the recipients of our job training and employment services. So, we took time this Direct Support Professionals Week and Workforce Development Professionals Month to let them know.

"We want to honor your work individually, but we also want to honor our work collectively because without it we couldn't even get the mission of Goodwill Industries taking care of," Sabrina Ware, director of Goodwill TulsaWORKS Career Academy and Goodwill Job Connection, told Goodwill direct support professionals and workforce development staff on Friday.

On Thursday, Sept. 12, Goodwill treated Supported Employment staff and Group Worksites employees to a specially catered breakfast.

Then Friday, we held an appreciation party, which included staff from Goodwill Contract Services and Goodwill TulsaWORKS Career Academy at the Edgar J. Helms Center. The theme was game-night. Tables were decorated with board games as centerpieces. (Unfortunately, no time to sneak in a game of Battleship!)

On the room walls were thank you messages and encouraging words, as well as Goodwill's values, which our direct support professionals demonstrate daily: empowerment, diversity, integrity, commitment, and respect.

Nice work by all those who helped put the party together!

The competitive juices started to flow with the trivia challenge.

NO CELLPHONES!

The Green Table earned the most points and got to take home the trophies.

Goodwill is proud of our employees in Supported Employment, Group Worksites, Goodwill Contract Services, Goodwill TulsaWORKS Career Academy and Goodwill Job Connection, and we salute them for all the mission work they do year-round.



Williams Co. at Goodwill for Day of Caring
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

Volunteers from Williams Company with supported workers and Goodwill staff at Goodwill Contract Services on United Way Day of Caring 2019.

Williams Company employees love to fly south to Goodwill for the annual United Way Day of Caring.

On Friday, September 6, they returned to Goodwill’s campus on Southwest Boulevard, joining others who were volunteering their time with projects around our community.

Williams Company employees spent time at the 3110 Southwest Boulevard Store, where they put clothes on racks, wares on shelves and helped keep things looking neat and organized.

Marshondria Adams and Lloyd Farnam volunteered their time and expertise with Goodwill Job Connection, Tulsa-West. They were tasked with making follow up calls to Goodwill Job Connection clients to update employment statuses, and provide information on upcoming career events and activities.

After familiarizing themselves with resource information, the two volunteers were anxious to get started. Within the first hour, their calls revealed that five clients had found employment. They were even more excited to be able to inform those newly hired clients that they were now eligible for a $35 clothing voucher to purchase professional attire from a Goodwill retail store for their new job.

Increasing the number of successful employments (or placements) quickly became a friendly competition. Over the course of five hours, Marshondria and Lloyd made approximately 200 calls resulting in 14 successful employment updates. Callbacks were still coming in through the end of the day and we expect more over the next week. Both volunteers expressed interest in volunteering at Goodwill Job Connection again soon. They asked that volunteer applications be emailed to them as soon as possible.

At Goodwill Contract Services, a group from Williams Company ran the annual picnic and fun day. Volunteers played games and worked on crafts with the supported workers.

There was also a dance party, where supported workers showed off their moves in front of YouTube videos. For lunch, volunteers served up grilled hot dogs and chips.

After lunch, GCS employees performed in a talent show. Williams volunteers cheered on the participants, who all received certificates at the end of their performance.

Then came the activity everyone always looks forward to – BINGO!

We are so appreciative of the time the Williams Company employees gave to our programs. Also, a big thank you to all who volunteered on this past Day of Caring.

#LiveUnited

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Back To School Outfit Staples That Make Dressing To Impress That Much Easier
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

By Felicia Czochanski
courtesy of Goodwill Industries International 

As Labor Day swiftly approaches, it’s time to start thinking about the inevitable. The end of lazy summer days and the start of classes. Before heading back to school, I would always make sure to plan my first few days of outfits. Especially for college students, whose schedules and professors are different each day of the week, it’s important to make a great first impression and look the part of an ambitious eager-to-learn student every day of syllabus week.

For unique style inspiration, I love heading to my favorite Goodwill stores and thrift shopping. It’s amazing to see how the sight of one unique piece of clothing can spark the idea of an entire outfit, which will be the source of compliments and conversation starters as you head back into the world of networking and making new friends. Plus, I love how each purchase you make at Goodwill goes directly to helping others in the community. Not only do you get some really great pieces for prices your wallet loves, but the amount you pay helps out others who need it as well. [Goodwill's Mission]

The photos below have a few of my favorite back to school looks, that are easy to put together and can be worn all throughout the fall. I love cozy fall looks that incorporate creative layers and mix end of summer attire with fall statement pieces.

1. Colored Denim
   It always amazes me to see how quickly on the first cool night people start breaking out the denim jackets. It’s almost as if they spend the summer craving denim jacket season and when the first inkling of fall arrives, the jackets can all come out of hibernation. Whether you’re a denim jacket aficionado or not, one look I’m loving this fall is colored denim. Bring a chic fall take on this staple piece, like the burnt orange colored jacket in the picture. It’s the perfect way to transition the summer dress into a fall look, while also keeping you warm at the same time. I also love the fall contrast the slouchy velvet shoulder bag brings to the look as well. Plus, it’s large enough to hold a laptop and notebook, which is perfect for toting everything to and from class.

 

2. Layered Dresses
   The layered dress, overall and jumpsuit look is going to be big again this fall. It’s the essential collegiate look for back to school, because it’s comfy and takes just a few seconds to curate from your closet. Whether you choose to go with a classic black and white look like in the photo, or you choose layers with pops of color, it just takes two steps to look really put together with an outfit like this one – which I know will come in handy for those with early class or work schedules! If you want to dress to impress without the hassle of coordinating an entire outfit, this should be your go-to look this fall, paired with slide-on loafers or low-heeled mules.

 



Economic needs turn into economic opportunity
Goodwill Industries of Tulsa

Many organizations in Oklahoma are working toward education and job skills training for the unemployed and underemployed. In fall 2018, Goodwill TulsaWORKS Career Academy (TWCA) began partnering with OK SNAP Works to provide recipients of Oklahoma’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) with both specific job skills training and broader soft-skill development..

Oklahoma SNAP serves as the first line of defense against hunger. Now, through OK SNAP Works, recipients are also given the opportunity to gain skills, education, training and work experience.

“I help individuals on SNAP get to the right place,” Amanda, OK SNAP Works Field Representative said. “This includes a place where they receive the support needed to obtain credentials that provide employment opportunities previously unavailable to them.”

Through the partnership TWCA has served 126 OK SNAP Works recipients. Including Jimmy (left) who recently moved to Tulsa from Puerto Rico. “I came to Oklahoma when my wife and I lost everything in Hurricane Maria,” Jimmy said.

Jimmy and his wife lived in Brightwater Apartments in Tulsa, a community that recently received funding through the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Choice Neighborhood Initiative. He and his wife began receiving assistance from OK SNAP for groceries and support from the Mental Health Association of Oklahoma for housing and community resource navigation.

“I became depressed sitting at home all day and night,” Jimmy remembered. “I was unable to provide for my family like I had always done.” But then he was referred to Goodwill.

Jimmy’s previous work experience as a security guard in Puerto Rico gave him confidence as he trained to earn his CLEET license. The first week of class Jimmy was offered a job by a guest speaker from Owl Night Security and quickly began work upon earning his license.

Once completely dependent on the state’s many resources, Jimmy and his wife now live completely independent. “I am no longer in my home all day and night,” he shared. “I have a good job with good pay that allows me to pay my rent, buy my groceries, have two vehicles and be a good person in the community.”

The power of collaboration is showcased in Jimmy’s story. OK SNAP Works provided the funding necessary for him to attend class, provided transportation assistance, and also paid all of his licensing fees associated with his CLEET License. “I was expecting to find a way to pay on my own,” Jimmy said. “But everyone looked for resources to help me.”

“I hope our future shows continued growth and we see even more individuals have success like Jimmy,” Amanda shared. “TWCA’s support system and comfortable atmosphere allow participants to build their confidence and know they will make a valued contribution to any employer when hired.”

Goodwill’s mission is to provide work opportunities, job training and support services for people with employment barriers. Goodwill is proud to be one of the many vital pieces that turned a family with economic need into a family with economic opportunity.


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