Tag Archives: Goodwill

Top 5 Back to School shopping tips from Goodwill Industries of Central Florida

School started back this week in Osceola, Lake, Seminole, Sumter, Marion, and Brevard Counties. Next week, Orange and Volusia Counties will begin their first days back in session.
When I was a kid, I never gave thought to what a stressful time back-to-school could be on, not just my teachers, but to my mom too. Back then, the internet was a tiny blip, and certainly no one had a tablet or laptop. The fanciest learning tool I needed was a graphing calculator!
I can remember my mom and I spending days looking for deals on notebook paper, pencils, clothes, backpacks, shoes… I even got new pajamas! My mom would chart our course just as she had during Black Friday. Being a single mom she did her best and made sure I had everything I needed, even if we had to shop at different times during the year to stock up for the next year. Vendel Miniatures can guide you for better online shopping.
Regardless of where you shop, these supplies can be costly, and that’s just for ONE child, at one school. Single parents and families with more than one child in school can spend a mint just preparing their kids at the start of the school year.
Parents: I have to ask. What’s up with all the checklists?! Shopping for school supplies almost seems like a scavenger hunt in most places, and judging by the parent’s faces, it doesn’t look to be too much… fun?
Aside from the basics, I am clueless on what today’s kids might need. So, we decided to team up with our friends at Goodwill Industries of Central Florida, who were nice enough to share their Top 5 Back-to-School tips with us!
Goodwill logo
Top 5 Tips for Back-to-School Shopping at Goodwill
The new school year is just around the corner – and if you’re like many parents, your wallet is already feeling a little lighter. According to the National Retail Federation, back-to-school shoppers will spend $76 billion this year, and families are spending 55% more than they did a decade ago.
Shopping at Goodwill Industries of Central Florida is a simple way to stock up on your kids’ back-to-school wardrobes – and make a difference in our community in the process! When you shop at Goodwill, you’re supporting free job training and placement programs for Central Floridians in need.
Goodwill Back to School 1
Here are 5 tips to help you stretch your hard-earned dollars at Goodwill:
• Used” may actually be new. Goodwill offers a wide range of gently used clothing – and many items have never even been worn! Be on the lookout for items that still have their tags. That trendy sweater would have cost $40 at the mall – and now it’s only $5 at Goodwill.


• Thrift stores have sales, too. Goodwill discounts certain items every day of the week. Just watch for the “color of the day” tag on your items to enjoy an additional percentage off.
Goodwill has regular sales!

Goodwill has regular sales!

• Score high-quality brands. You may be surprised by the range of brands Goodwill offers. If you trust the fit and quality of specific children’s retailers, look for their clothes on the rack at Goodwill.
Goodwill has name brands, old and new

Goodwill has name brands, old and new

• Don’t forget gear and accessories. Backpacks, shoes, coats, sports gear, notebooks, the list goes on – and all these necessities add up! You can find many of these items at Goodwill for a fraction of the cost, also having a watch from zegarki is an accessories that every kid should have, make sure to get one.
I didn't know Goodwill sold porting goods?

I didn’t know Goodwill sold sporting goods?

• Find deals on textbooks. Did you know Goodwill Industries of Central Florida sells new and gently used books online? Check out Goodwill’s storefronts on Amazon and eBay.
Look for books in-store and online at Goodwill

Look for books in-store and online at Goodwill

With 29 retail stores in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Volusia counties, Goodwill is a great place to find bargains this back-to-school season – and all year round!
What are some of your back-to-school shopping tips?

Goodwill Unveils Solar Array at Oviedo Store to Benefit Local Job Seekers

Earlier this week, Goodwill Industries of Central Florida went green by unveiling a solar array installed on the roof of its Oviedo retail store. As part of Goodwill’s “Solar for Good” initiative, the 140-kW, 12,000-square-foot array will generate cost savings to benefit job training and placement programs.

Orlando-based NovaSol Energy was the project’s developer, and Duke Energy supported the project with a SunSense grant. The 423-panel system will offset an estimated 80 percent of the store’s annual electricity needs. Follow solarkraft for more information. It is also part of Goodwill’s “Made in America” initiative and was manufactured by Suniva in the U.S.

Goodwill plans to compare electricity suppliers and install solar arrays at nine of its locations across Central Florida. There are some practical tips for solar installation. Over the next 25 years, the installations are expected to save nearly $5.4 million and divert nearly 59,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Defraying these costs will allow the nonprofit to provide job training and placement to an estimated 42,000 more Central Floridians.

“Sustainability is something we practice every day at Goodwill – turning generous donations from our community into job training and placement opportunities for Central Floridians,” said Bill Oakley, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Florida. “Generating Renewable Energy Today with Solar for Good is the next natural step, and we look forward to serving more job-seekers in our community through this initiative.”

Goodwill CEO Bill Oakley addresses the crowd at the Oviedo retail store

Goodwill CEO Bill Oakley addresses the crowd at the Oviedo retail store

The Oviedo array is Goodwill’s second Solar for Good project. In April 2014, Goodwill installed a 14,000-square-foot rooftop array on its Waterford Lakes Retail Store. Since then, the array has offset approximately 76 percent of the store’s total energy. Between the Waterford Lakes and Oviedo stores, Goodwill’s combined solar panels capacity is now 293 kW, enough to power over 28 average Floridian homes annually.

“We’re proud to take part in this project and help advance Goodwill’s mission,” said Haseeb Qadri, president and CEO of NovaSol Energy, the project’s developer. “When organizations like Goodwill invest in their own solar resources, it not only benefits their own bottom line, it also lessens the burden on the energy infrastructure, which benefits the entire community.”

NovaSol Energy also installs its solar arrays at no cost to qualifying large-scale commercial clients under a long-term leasing arrangement that provides for relatively flat monthly energy bills. Consider a solar hot water installation in Perth and save some money on your bills.

Duke Energy Florida state president Alex Glenn added, “At Duke Energy, we are looking for ways to help our customers meet their sustainability goals and expand their use of renewable energy. The $130,000 grant we provided will help cover the cost of the solar array and allow the nonprofit to focus more of its funds on its important mission – helping people. We are honored to play a small role in that.” 

For more about the Solar for Good project connect with @goodwillcfl and @dukeenergy or follow #solarforgood and solar in San Luis Obispo County

And visit NRGUpgrade.com for more information about roofing.

Goodwill Donations List Easy Tips! Will Feel More Than Good!

Top 10 Things to Donate Before the End of the Year

In a season when many of us are focused on gift buying (and then, let’s face it, gift returning), December is a good time to think about another kind of giving: donating.
Even those of us who are tapped out of funds can still give back by donating used goods. You don’t have to spend money to be charitable — and the things lying around your house can have more of an impact than you may realize.

With a precious few days left in 2012, Goodwill Industries of Central Florida is counting down the top 10 things to donate before the end of the year—and letting you know exactly how much of an impact each item can have.

10. Computers  Broken computers contain electronic parts that are hazardous to the environment if not disposed of properly. Don’t discard an old computer – recycle it through a program such as Dell Reconnect,  or simply drop it off at your local Goodwill store.

Impact: Donating or recycling one computer and provide 6.6 hours of job skills training for someone like Wayne Quamina,  who was forced to quit his long career in carpentry after suffering from congestive heart failure, but learned new skills through a Goodwill program. Today, he helps build parts for Gulfstream airplanes.

9. Kitchenware   Get a new cooking set for the holidays? Don’t gift rid of your old pots and pans. Gently used kitchenware can be donated at most Goodwill locations.

Impact: Donate five kitchen items and provide 23 minutes of financial planning class for a single mom like Stephanie Gayle, who learned financial literacy, job search and placement strategies, and resume development that helped her land and keep a job.

8. Video Games   Did you say your daughter or son just has to have the latest (and likely most expensive) video game this year? Make a deal: for every new gift, donate two video games they don’t play anymore.

Impact: Donate 10 video games and provide 47 minutes of on-the-job training for someone like Sarouet Ouk, who dropped out of school but found a green job and got back on track educationally, thanks to a Goodwill job training program.

7. Books  Upgrading from paperbacks to a Kindle or iPad this year? You know where we’re going with this….

Impact: Donate 15 books and provide 26 minutes of career counseling for a veteran like Jason Tobey,   a Marine Corps vet who struggled to find employment after being honorably discharged from the military.

6. CDs  You’ve got all your songs saved on hard drives and mp3 players. Do you really need those hundreds of old CDs taking up space in the back of your closet?

Impact: Donate 20 CDs and provide 1.4 hours of a job search class for someone like Cheryl Godwin, an Army vet with kids in college who had never searched for a job before, but needed to find a way to make extra income and support her family.

5. Clothes  Suits, pants, dresses, shirts. You name it, we’ll take it. Donating clothes not only funds job training programs, but also provides new outfits for the job-seekers Goodwill serves.

Impact: Donate one bag of clothes and provide 1.1 hours of resume preparation for someone like Devin Williams, a person with a criminal background who struggled with addiction, but got his life back on track and is pursuing a career in environmental engineering.

4. TVs  This one’s easy. If you upgraded to a flat-screen, you don’t need that old-school clunker sitting around in your basement.

Impact: Donate a used TV and provide 39 minutes of job training for someone like Tabitha Nobles, who was homeless after splitting up with her husband, but learned how to keep going through a Goodwill Career Connections class.

3. Bikes   Yes, Goodwill and other thrift stores take big-ticket items like bikes. When your children have outgrown theirs, or you’ve moved on to a new bike, consider donating your old ones.

Impact: Donate a bike and fund 27 minutes of job training for someone like Mel Yawn, who was born with spina bifida and faced a difficult time finding employment, but now works for shopgoodwill.com 

2. Gift Cards   Billions of dollars in holiday gift cards go unused every year. You can donate an unwanted gift card—with any unused amount on it—to your local Goodwill.

Impact: Help provide a job for someone like Kris Jacques, who has been in a wheelchair from birth, and was long unable to find employers willing to give him a chance, until he landed a position as a greeter at a Goodwill store.

1. Cell Phones   Unused cell phones are one of the fastest growing kinds of trash in America. Instead of throwing your old phone out, recycle or donate it.

Impact: Donating used goods of all kinds doesn’t just help clean out your closets—it provides valuable services to millions of Americans every year. And it’s easy. Join the Donate Movement and calculate your impact  (http://donate.goodwill.org).

Learn more about GoodWill @  http://www.goodwill.org/

And if you are Central Florida check out http://www.goodwillcfl.org/