Nothing says Thanksgiving like a table full of– Sharpies. No? Well, maybe I can convince you that it’s worth setting one out for each of your guests with the same care you place your grandmother’s finest silver.
When I was 19 I found a beautiful old turquoise formica table at a yard sale for $15. I dined at that table with a laundry list of college roommates, various boyfriends, dear friends, family members, strangers, co-workers, hungry pets, and eventually my own little growing family. It was a glorious table that witnessed 16 years of birthdays, holidays, special days and everydays. But during it’s ninth and final trip in a moving truck, it bent so badly to one side that I had to consider that all the memories I had invested in it may not follow me forever.
Which is why I especially love this woman’s super-easy DIY idea to keep the memories of all our dinner guests past and present alive each year at the holidays, or at any gathering. I only wish I’d known about it years ago and made one sooner!
Simply visit your local Goodwill or dig through your own linen closet and find a table cloth, runner, or even a plain white flat sheet. Put it on your table for Thanksgiving and Invite each dinner guest to write what they’re thankful for, sign their name, write a message, trace their handprint, or draw a little doodle to remember them by.
Then each year you can bring it out again and again to add more and more, like a blank canvas for holiday memories that you can hold onto forever and cherish alongside guests past and present.
You can leave it at that and reuse it each year, maybe cover it with plastic to keep it clean and safe — OR you can take it a step further and embroider over their doodle for a more lasting mark that you won’t have to worry about fading with wash and time
Don’t know how to embroider? It’s simple. Here’s a few quick tips to get up to speed. And if you’re lucky enough, I’ve occasionally found embroidery floss and other crafting supplies for sale at Goodwill, too! Need help with thrifting the rest of the table setting? Mary Elizabeth has a few tips for you.
The best part about these memories are that you can take them anywhere and relive them anytime you want. It’s a treasure that can be enjoyed and added to over and over again. And by creating one of these heirloom pieces with linens from Goodwill, you’re helping to prevent one more piece of textile from needlessly entering the waste stream and helping other families in your community. A thrifted canvas for your family’s memories will help to connect people to support services through Goodwill’s programs, including childcare, financial education, transportation, and youth services that help people reach financial independence. And we all know, that’s truly something to be thankful for.
Goodwill Industries of New Mexico has partnered with Albuquerque Public Schools for a new
offering of its special education program called Shop. The unique program allows students to fix old or damaged furniture found at Goodwill and other local stores and refurbish it with creative and colorful designs.
The school district offers two special education complexes, Aztec and Highlands, which serve students from pre-kindergarten to age 22 who are considered medically fragile, have autism, or have other special needs. The schools offer a number of special education services, including assistive technology, autism resources, mental health, sensory impairment and Child Find.
Because of the students' unique needs and learning styles, the schools often seek alternative learning methods. Most recently, this desire for alternative learning led to the creation of Shop. During Shop, students work with their hands to fix old or damaged furniture and decorate it with creative and colorful designs. The aim is to allow the students to expand their understanding of language to participate in a functional task. The benefit is that revenue from sold furniture will fund field trips for the students.
The schools sourced the furniture and supplies needed for Shop from local sponsors, including Goodwill, Lowe’s, Home Depot and Donor’s Choice. The schools can visit any local Goodwill and select furnishings that meets their criteria. The students have already begun their projects, and the outcome is amazing to see. Goodwill Industries of New Mexico is proud to be a contributor to this extraordinary program!
By: One Thrifty Shopper
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
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”
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!
You’ve been to the front lines in back, and few things scare you. But, now it’s time to ease into civilian life. For many, this means going to school to start a new career. This can be unexpectedly terrifying. As a veteran, you may face challenges others don’t, but you also have resources unavailable to the general public.
Working and Going to School
Let’s address a serious problem first: veteran homelessness. Unfortunately, many veterans come home unprepared to reintegrate into society. This can lead to homelessness, which makes finding a job that much harder. Goodwill Industries of New Mexico can help you get settled with classroom training, job preparation, job placement, and vocational counseling. This way, you can find a job that won’t interfere with your higher education aspirations.
Choosing a Degree
Choosing a degree isn’t always easy. There are thousands of options from schools across the country. Most veterans choose to pursue a degree in an area that they already have experience or interest in. If you’re not quite sure, consider a master’s in business administration. An MBA can help you learn more about research and statistics, financing, marketing, and strategic planning, all skills necessary in every industry. Your MBA can help you land a job as a manager, administrator, or operations director, and you can usually go to school online, which goes a long way toward improving your work/life balance. Your MBA may even help you land a professional position at Goodwill.
Financial aid is one area where you certainly have a leg up. The Federal Student Aid website explains that there are many different financing options for veterans from all branches. This might include the Navy ROTC, the Department of Veterans Affairs, or through private organizations, such as the American Legion or Paralyzed Veterans of America. In addition to veteran-specific financing, you may also find additional monies by filling out a FAFSA form and submitting it by the nearest deadline date.
Beware Aggressive Recruiting
College recruiting is not new. Colleges have been vying for students since higher education became available. But, aggressive recruiting is a problem among the veteran community. As far back as 2012, Pres. Obama signed an executive order addressing the issue of predatory college recruitment tactics. While this does reduce the chances of a for-profit school luring you in exclusively for your federal benefits, you still have to be diligent. Choose your school based on your desired degree, budget, or availability of online programs.
Tips For Adults and Veteran Students
Congratulations on your decision to enhance your education. Going back to school is an exciting prospect. However, it is a major life event that’s not without its hurdles and challenges. Be prepared, but also be open to the experience. Remember, you’ve been to battle before, and you will come out victorious here just as you did in uniform.
National Thrift Shop Day is August 17th and it’s the perfect time to share my love letter to my local Goodwill store, and some serendipitous confessions of a luxury-loving second-hand shopper. I first started thrift shopping when I was in college – I stumbled upon a Goodwill store in the Flatiron District where after a half hour of scouring through the racks, I would have this magic, serendipitous moment where I’d find a luxury item that just happened to be in my size.
The first time this happened, I came across a new-with-tags Prada blouse. I felt butterflies – almost jittery with excitement. How was it possible that this beautiful silk blouse with a $400 price tag had been waiting for me in this very rack for the mere cost of $14.99? It was a perfect fit, and I still have it to this day. Subsequent trips to this same Goodwill store resulted in scoring similarly magical finds including a Missoni top, Valentino sweater and blouse set, and Gucci halter top. My love for these Italian designers was buzzing with serendipity! There was no way I could have allowed myself to spend retail price money on those items, and so luckily I had my trips to Goodwill to allow me the luxury of incredible designer fabric all for under $20 an item.
Since my move to Brooklyn, I’ve continued to make the trek uptown to visit my favorite Goodwill store, and stop in other locations depending on where in the city I am that day. I love seeing how the inventory changes with each part of the city – the closer you are to NYU the more likely you are to find fun going out items, the closer you are to the Upper East Side or Gramercy Park, the more likely you’ll score finds like my Italian designer collections. I love stopping in new locations throughout the city and Goodwill stores wherever I’m traveling. Recently on a trip to Chicago, I scored a Tory Burch caftan for $7.99 and a See By Chloe dress for $10. These finds have become closet staples, and prove to be fun mementos from my trip!
Upon my return to Brooklyn, I came across this pair of gorgeous Balenciaga leather sandals with their signature studs for the price of $7.99… this pair of shoes is really worth upwards of $300, so I was so thrilled about the score, I didn’t bother trying them on. Turns out, they’re not my size, but they are my sister’s size – so Tori wins this awesome Goodwill find!
Are you a second-hand obsessed Goodwill shopper like me, always on the hunt for the best luxury deal? Show us your thrift love and best Goodwill finds on your social media channels with the hashtag, #thriftlove and be sure to tag us.
We can’t wait to see your favorite finds and fun experiences thrifting for National Thrift Shop Day!
It’s been a long year and a half since the pandemic began, and we’ve all spent a lot of time in our pajamas. But with a new school year just around the corner — and many kids heading back to classrooms in person — this back-to-school shopping season is an extra-special one. Gone are the days of lounging in front of virtual classrooms in well-worn t-shirts and sweats. Instead, kids and adults alike are ready to show off their personalities to the world. There’s no better place to find unique outfits and distinctive school supplies than at Goodwill!
Whether your kids’ style is best expressed through vintage t-shirts and sneakers, retro ’90s throwback gear, or modern brand-name items, the whole family can have fun browsing the aisles at Goodwill on a back-to-school treasure hunt, mixing and matching the perfect pieces for each family member. Beyond clothes and shoes, Goodwill stores are filled with school supplies, too, from art materials and notebooks to musical instruments, sports equipment, bikes, helmets, lunch boxes, water bottles, and more — all at lower prices than you’ll find when buying new at a big box store.
“We’ve all become very conscious of consumption during the pandemic,” says Pam Russom, Marketing Manager. “Parents and kids have all had a lot of time to think about what they need and want. Goodwill’s diverse selection of clothing and goods allows everyone in your family to pick out items that truly suit their personalities while knowing they’re helping the planet by diverting items from landfills. And, bonus points, they are also contributing to their communities by creating job and career opportunities for their neighbors.”
Revenues from Goodwill stores help fund programs that train people for amazing careers in many fields. Last year, 13385 New Mexicans were served by Goodwill’s free programs and services, and Goodwill placed 1,124 into community-based employment!
Not only is Goodwill the place for all of your back-to-school shopping needs, but your family can also have even more impact by donating clothing, school supplies, and household goods your kids have outgrown. At a time when so many people here in New Mexico are seeking opportunities to get back to work, shopping at and donating to your local Goodwill is more important than ever.
Click here to find your nearest Goodwill store!
Everyone is beginning to feel the spirit of summertime! New Mexico has an outstanding rate of vaccination and this means that many of us are in the clear to plan or attend events. You can celebrate with an amazing post-pandemic BBQ and spend less than you ever imagined!
We started a Pinterest board with some cute ideas and are sharing a few tips of our own to help you save some cash on your BBQ blast.
Invites: Think social media! Utilize your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and text messaging apps to send a simple invite. We believe modern rules are more relaxed where invitations are concerned so let technology work for you and save your money!
Decorations: Your local Goodwill store is a great place to start when looking for inexpensive decorations! Pick a color theme like red, white and blue and go shopping. You can find tablecloths, fabrics, and bandanas priced as low as $1.99. Check the housewares section for mason jars, jugs, galvanized ice buckets and large plastic containers. Finally, get the kids involved by allowing them to string together colorful paper cut-outs to hang throughout the yard.
Food: The menu doesn’t have to break your bank. Think pot-luck! Plan an easy menu with hamburgers, hot dogs or brats. Skip expensive sodas and make lemonade, fruit punch, or infused water! Then ask your guests to bring one side dish! It might help to “suggest” side dishes, so you have an idea of what is coming. By the time everyone arrives you’ll have an amazing spread!
Fun: Remember to have fun! Lots of it! Good backyard games include corn-hole, water balloons, yard darts, jumbo Jenga and other easy to plan games like Balls in a Basket pictured here. You could make your own Balls in a Basket using repurposed pallets sourced from local stores and some plastic containers and balls sourced from Goodwill! Let your imagination go crazy or visit our Pinterest board for ideas!
We found these images and the great ideas behind them on Pinterest!
'One of the current biggest fashion trends is actually from the past! People are getting re-inspired by 70's, 80's, and 90's fashion trends. There’s no better place to look for vintage style fashion than at your local Goodwill New Mexico! Below, we’re breaking down three simple summer outfits to create your vintage inspired style.
Sundress + Floral Pattern + Hoop Earrings = 70’s summer
Fashion fads in the 70’s were the hippie and Kaftan dress. Platform shoes, miniskirts, big sunglasses, and lots of floral patterns!
This outfit is perfect for a summer day out with friends or a picnic date!
Denim + Denim + t-shit = 80’s Dream
Finding large denim jackets at Goodwill is a breeze! Clothing fads in the 80’s included high-waist jeans, leather miniskirts, denim jackets, and branded t-shirts. This outfit is so simple to put together!
Tank + t-shirt + Jean Shorts + Big belt = 90”s Nostalgia
This outfit is perfect for running errands, going on summer picnics, or an afternoon cookout. Definitely one of the most simple and comfortable outfits to put together. You can change it up with white sneakers or big black boots.
Goodwill Industries of New Mexico and NBCUniversal today announced a first of its kind Production Assistant Training Program in New Mexico. The training will be provided free of charge on May 22 and 23 in Albuquerque to selected New Mexico residents interested in pursuing a career in film and television production.
The Production Assistant (P.A.) Training program will be a two-day comprehensive, intensive and immersive work-based job training program that provides an opportunity to gain skills, knowledge and understanding of a film or television production. The program trains individuals from diverse backgrounds for the job of Production Assistant, which is a common entry-level gateway into the entertainment industry as it has been for many highly successful producers, directors and crew currently working in the industry.
The weekend training program is designed to train Set and Office Production Assistants. Participants will learn everything necessary to walk on any film or television set and do the job right from day one. Although a job after the training is not guaranteed, film and television production is increasing in the State, therefore the need for qualified P.A.s is rising as well.
“Goodwill is dedicated to helping the people of New Mexico achieve their employment goals, and is excited to partner with NBCU to open doors to film and TV industry careers,” said Shauna Kastle, CEO, Goodwill of NM. “Our hope with the P.A. training is that we can teach anyone interested how to be successful the day that they step on set, and that they will find a career that advances their future and opportunities.”
“It’s essential that we as an industry continue to break down the barriers that exist for underrepresented talent, and programs like these provide an important entry point for a next generation of production talent that historically has not had the opportunity,” said Janine Jones-Cark, Executive Vice President of Inclusion – Talent & Content, Film, TV & Streaming, NBCUniversal. “We are thrilled to partner with Goodwill New Mexico on an invaluable training program like this, which we aim to be a launching pad that leads to employment opportunities and career momentum for its participants.”
Goodwill NM and NBCUniversal encourage members of underrepresented communities to apply. Interested residents can learn more and apply online at www.goodwillnm.org/production-assistant-training
All applicants will be interviewed by phone prior to their acceptance. Phone appointments will be set-up by email. Applicants MUST be able to attend training on BOTH May 22 and May 23 and be able to accept Production Assistant work in New Mexico in the next several months.
Space is limited, so residents are encouraged to apply immediately.
Article specially written for www.goodwillnm.org by Aline Harper
Clothes are a great way to express yourself but buying into fast fashion is not the most practical or environmentally friendly. An estimated 100 billion new garments are made yearly to satisfy demand. From this, a whopping 85% of textiles in America goes into landfills.
That’s why it’s not surprising that more people are opting to buy preloved instead. Secondhand items are usually more affordable and help lengthen the life cycle of a garment. Many fashionistas are even able to find vintage designer gems at a bargain. If you’re new to thrift shopping or want to do it like the pros, here are some things to keep in mind.
1. Dress Appropriately
This rings true for any shopping trip where you plan to walk around. Since you’ll want to cover as much ground as you can, make sure you aren’t in any attire that will be restrictive or uncomfortable. Not all stores have dressing rooms, and the ones that do are often occupied. This means you may have to try things on over your own clothes. Hence, your thrifting outfit should be form-fitting and breathable. Sneakers, leggings, biker shorts, and tanks or slim tees are the most ideal.
2. Know Your Body Type
Many preloved items, especially vintage ones, may not have labels. This can make it difficult to gauge whether an item will fit you properly. To remedy this, measure yourself beforehand. The most important vitals to note are the bust, waist, inseam, and hips. Of course, your build and silhouette should also be taken into consideration. There are no hard rules but generally you want to elongate and accentuate. Stylists agree that plus-sized ladies are blessed with curves they can complement with peplum or pencil cuts. Meanwhile, knee-length sheath and V-neck dresses will elongate smaller girls as noted in a guide to dressing for petites by Pretty Me. Notably, pieces like trench coats and wrap dresses are universally flattering.
3. Plan your shopping list
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the endless bargains around you. It’s likely that you’ll end up buying more than you need and spending more than you meant. To avoid unnecessary purchases, create a physical shopping list. Write down specific brands and pieces that you’re looking for so you have a goal. You can even save pictures that can help you remember. Fashion mood boards, as suggested by The Good Trade, help visualize your style. At the same time, it also helps to review your current wardrobe before a shopping trip. This way you’ll know what items you already have and what new additions will fit in.
4. Don’t feel pressured
When you start shopping, try to focus on just that. We don’t even realize it, but we let our minds think of a dozen different things at once. But researchers at the Cleveland Clinic say multi-tasking doesn’t work. They even go so far as to say it makes us less efficient and prone to mistakes. If you’re out shopping, relax. Make the rounds of the store and focus on just this task. You don’t have to buy anything, either. If what you want isn’t there, save yourself some time and just go to the next store.
5. Know the staff and store
It’s always a good idea to be familiar with the staff. Not only can they help you find elusive pieces, but they’re likely to give you shopping tips. Many clerks will be happy to let you know when a new drop is coming or when they expect to see certain brands pop up. In smaller thrift stores, some clerks also handle the acquirement of each new shipment. They’ll likely know whether you can expect anything special. Many stores have special promos or discounts, too. For example, Goodwill offers a VIP Shopper program where shoppers receive exclusive coupons and advanced notice of sales. You can sign up here www.textgoodwillit.org
Think of shopping for preloved clothes as a stylish adventure that won’t hurt your pocket or the planet. With a little patience and some simple planning, you can unearth dozens of one-of-a-kind treasures.
Spring-cleaning is a time-honored tradition of clearing out the clutter to make way for New Mexico's beautiful spring weather. It's not just a physical clean; it can be great for your mental and emotional health, too. If you want to feel good (and do good), you can set aside gently-used items you no longer want and take them to your closest Goodwill! Now, let's dig into five things you should include in your spring cleaning!
#1: Scrub those walls
Most of us will clean out our closets and scrub out the inside of our kitchen drawers, but have you ever closely inspected your walls? You might not realize how dirty they get over the year. When you're walking by, they may look fine, but take a closer look, and they likely have splotches and spots you didn't even realize were there. Please give them a good wipe-down with a bleach-based cleaner. Clean walls tie a whole room together.
#2: Clean appliances
Our washers and dishwashers are the cornerstones of keeping our homes clean, but they too need to be cleaned from time to time. Washers, dishwashers, toilets, sinks, and other appliances all can have nasty buildup. Most of these appliances have filters that you can clean out. Dishwashers have traps at the bottom you might not realize are there.
You can also buy specially formulated dishwasher cleaner that you simply run during a washing cycle. It's good to combine these with standard dishwasher soap. Clean out the trap on the bottom and give the inner walls a good scrub. Washers also have filters to clean. Wipe down the gasket at the door and the inner lid. Run the washing machine with some detergent and bleach to freshen it up. Shop around; you can also buy cleaners specific to your other appliances.
#3: Soak your shower head
Over time, your shower head can build up minerals from your water. If you've noticed some of the holes getting clogged, or the pressure isn't as good as it used to be, this tip is for you: grab a jug of Lime-Away or a similar product, and soak your showerhead in it overnight. Make sure it's completely submerged. By morning, it should be free from clogs!
#4: Set a timer
If the thought of cleaning your whole house makes you want to cry, it's alright; we've all been there. Try this method: Set a timer on your phone for 10 or 20-minute increments to make it more manageable. In that time, clean as much as you can. You'd be surprised how much you can clean in only 10 minutes. Do this a few times a day, or as many as you are able. In a week or so, your house will look noticeably better. You may even find that you want to keep cleaning!
#5: Donate your old stuff
Many thrifty people love gently-used items, so bringing your unwanted stuff to Goodwill is a way to support the thrifty. It also keeps things out of the landfill, helps the unemployed find local jobs, and makes you feel better because your old stuff just helped in so many ways!
You should know that Goodwill Industries of New Mexico was founded in 1941 with the mission to provide skills training, job development, and social services for New Mexicans. Revenue from the sale of donated items funds an array of free programs and services to individuals in 33 counties of the state. In 2020, Goodwill served over 13,000 individuals and placed 1,124 individuals in community-based employment. That's why we say donating to Goodwill "Feels Good, Does Good!"
Happy spring cleaning!
Written by guest author: Beverly Leesman, Albuquerque NM
Many New Mexicans need a little help these days finding a job. In-person interviews seem like a distant memory. Pandemic restrictions drastically changed how we search for jobs. The traditional interview, where you met your prospective employer at their place of business, seldom happens these days. Recruiters turned to virtual job interviews to maintain safe social distancing and minimize contact. (Steinberg, Scott, 2020) Today’s job hunter needs to get tech-savvy and quick. Goodwill’s Career Specialists can help you.
As of February 1st, Goodwill is offering virtual and in-person consultations with Career Specialists. Our career experts can teach you to navigate a virtual world. You’ll learn how to use video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Google Meets like a pro. They even help you download the apps and make sure they work on your phone, computer, laptop, or tablet. The benefit is knowing how to use them to aid your job search.
Our Career Specialists will:
Goodwill focuses on work history, polishing up resumes, and providing job leads. If a candidate’s skills strongly match a particular job, we encourage the employer to interview them!
“Sometimes the person with the best interview skills gets the job, not the one with the best skill set,” said Ramon Torres, NM Goodwill Employment Program Manager. “Most people need help because after they don’t get a job, they never find out it was a terrible interview.”
When someone has been out of work for a while, the stress begins to affect their confidence. A lack of confidence shows in subtle ways, often creating a perfect storm that keeps them from landing that next job. The loss of self-confidence can infiltrate a person’s tone of voice, facial expression and body language. Goodwill can boost job seekers confidence by addressing these issues during mock interviews.
“Remember, when you interview,” Ramon Torres advises, “don’t say you are honest, hardworking—these attributes are expected for all employees. They are not considered job skills.”
Other interview tips from Goodwill include:
Torres suggests since your virtual recruiter cannot see your desk, take advantage of your at-home-interview. Put your resume in front of you or taped to a wall. Remember, the interviewer can only see you. Place post-it-notes with talking points on your laptop and get ready to nail that job interview.
And, of course, when interviewing at home, be prepared for the unexpected photobomb or unavoidable interruptions. We love our kids, but no one needs a visit from a toddler during an interview. Inform your recruiter that your dog may furiously bark if Amazon makes a delivery. And above all, watch out for the scene-stealing family cat. (The Pet Collective, 2020) If that happens, show them how well you handle an unexpected crisis.
What to Expect from Goodwill’s Free Job Placement Program
Those over 18 years old and looking for full or part-time work are eligible for this free program. Participants range from less than high school educations to job seekers with multiple degrees. All of them want to improve their interview skills and freshen up their resume. Goodwill Career Specialists help veterans, seniors, young people, the learning disabled (LD), handicapped, and those with audio deficiencies. Job seekers with criminal backgrounds, those with gaps in employment, or transitioning to a new field can also get assistance. (R. Torres, personal communication, January 26, 2021)
Our free program works with all types of job seekers. As long as a person qualifies to work in the US, Goodwill can help with their job search and teach them to market themselves. Plus, our website leads learners to a portal with free online courses in Microsoft Word, Excel, Google Sheets and Docs, Photoshop, and hundreds of others to freshen up outdated computer skills or learn new ones.
Expect to meet with a Career Specialist once a week for 30 minutes to go over your progress.
Where to Find Jobs Today
After the pandemic ends, some jobs may transition back to the workplace; others will not. Call centers; personal shoppers; curbside pickups operations; those who deliver food and goods to homes; and restaurants with established drive-up windows have experienced job growth. Telecom, healthcare, and technology exploded in the number of people needed to fill new jobs. (Steinberg, Scott, 2020) Goodwill’s job placement program can help you find your niche in this fluctuating job market.
As national chains closed their doors and local small businesses disappeared, New Mexico suffered. Our unemployment rate rose to 8.8% in December 2020, when the nation’s unemployment rate stood at 6.7%. That translated to 10.7 million Americans out of work across the country. (Johnston, Stacy, 2021) Before the pandemic put our state in lockdown last Spring, we had an employee-friendly market. New Mexico flipped to a pro-employer job market during the pandemic with the coronavirus restrictions and high infection rates—too many applicants for too few jobs. And that is what makes finding a job in this world-wide pandemic a challenge.
Worse, there are also new risks associated with virtual job hunting. Sophisticated scammers only want your information, web histories, and web footprint to sell. Avoiding shady marketing scams, pop-up ads, and bogus phone calls keeps you safe. When you receive an unsolicited email with odd typos, broken English, or from a company you never contacted, be leery. If a recruiter offers you a job for which you are not qualified, think twice about replying. That ploy is called a “hook” or a “con,” meant to get you so excited you fall for their scam. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Our Goodwill Career Specialists can show you how to spot schemes.
Now You Know that Goodwill Finds People Jobs. Want to be One?
If you are ready to get expert help finding a new job there are two easy ways to get started. Call 505-881-6401 or click here: https://www.goodwillnm.org/job-search-help.html and submit your application to participate. There are no obligations, no hoops to jump through and no reasons why you shouldn’t take advantage of this free help.
Goodwill Industries of New Mexico was founded in 1941 with the mission to provide skills training, job development, and social services for New Mexicans. Goodwill® provides a wide array of free programs and services to individuals in 33 counties of the state. In 2021, Goodwill's goal is to serve 21,100 individuals and place 1750 individuals in community-based employment. For more information about Goodwill and its programs and services, visit https://www.goodwillnm.org/free-services.html.
Johnston, Stacy. (2021, January 26). “Current News Release: Economic Update January 26, Jobs State of New Mexico, US, Workforce Connection.” New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS). (Accessed 2021, January 31.) https://www.jobs.state.nm.us/gsipub/index.asp?enc=JdKtFhuODzQ+aO5C6MuCGQ==
Steinberg, Scott. (2020, May 24). “Coronavirus hiring: How Recruiters are selecting and interviewing job candidates during the pandemic.” CNBC @AKEYNOTESPEAKER. (Accessed 2021, January 30.) https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/24/how-recruiters-select-and-interview-job-candidates-amid-coronavirus.html
The Pet Collective. (2020, August 3). “The Pet Collective. “Cats on Zoom Calls” episode of Try Not to Laugh.” [Video]. YouTube and Facebook. (Accessed 2021, Jan. 31.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=762tbD11LxI; (Original Source) https://www.facebook.com/thepetcollective/videos/287253372699156
A great way to find hidden treasures at Goodwill New Mexico is by shopping at our Clearance Corner store. This store is unlike our other retail locations. The merchandise is displayed in large bins and separated by categories; hardline (houseware, tools, equipment) and softline (textiles). Shoppers can move easily through the wide aisles and search through the bins. Plus, we refresh the inventory hourly, so there is always an opportunity to find amazing items. Items are priced by the pound. At Clearance Corner, your entire cart is weighed, and you pay a single price a check-out. And now your shopping experience can be even more exciting because we've moved to a larger location and increased our store hours. Clearance Corner will reopen, in its new location, on January 4th, 2020.
New Location and Hours
New Location: 5000 San Mateo Blvd, NE Albuquerque, NM.
New Hours: Mon-Fri: 9AM - 2PM
For more info call us at (505)881-6566
This year has been tough on everyone. During these stressful unprecedented times of the pandemic, it could be easy to neglect self-care. However, our culture is truly changing, and taking time for self-care and relaxation is becoming less of a luxury and more of a necessity!
Whether you like to relax solo or find solace with family on a casual night in, self-care is more than just slathering layers of moisturizer on your face and gearing up for a bubble bath. Self-care is about being conscious of what you are eating, reading, and watching. It's about creating a healthy environment and thoughtfully choosing how to spend your time. Self-care even extends to the clothing and housewares you choose to surround yourself with. And this is where Goodwill becomes a great resource!
According to Elizabeth Beecroft, an LMSW quoted in a recent article published on Refinery29.com, "the act of getting dressed is directly tied to your mental health. "Getting dressed in the morning can play a role in your mood throughout the day and lead to further productivity, optimism, motivation, and an overall improved mood."
Your local Goodwill is packed with luxurious fabrics and cozy textiles. Could you find instant calm by wrapping yourself in silk, cashmere, fleece, or chenille? Probably! Especially if it only costs a few dollars! And what's so wrong with looking decadent while couch surfing?
Goodwill also offers hundreds of home decor items and furnishings that can spice up your space. Our homes have become our sanctuaries, and the way our environments look and feel has become paramount. So, pull yourself out of the recliner and make a trip to the closest Goodwill store. You'll get some fresh air and probably find something inspiring for only a few dollars! We have 12 retail stores across New Mexico and three specialty stores. Explore the savings Goodwill has to offer! Your self-care routine will thank you!
Veterans, veteran family members, and other unemployed New Mexicans in need will continue to receive free services through Goodwill’s new virtual platform. This means that qualifying New Mexico veterans and their family members who are homeless or at risk of homelessness can receive help with job placement, temporary housing, rent, utilities, childcare, emergency supplies, assistance with VA or other public benefits, and much more.
Additionally, the virtual services provide critical job placement assistance to any unemployed New Mexican. Goodwill can introduce job seekers to an extensive partner network of local employers who are hiring now. “New Mexicans need Goodwill’s free programs and services now more than ever. It was an obvious choice for us to adapt to offering services virtually,” says Goodwill’s Marketing Manager, Pamela Russom.
As a nonprofit partner in New Mexico for 79 years, Goodwill remains committed to advancing its mission to provide skills training, job development, and social services to New Mexicans. Goodwill offers free programs and services to individuals in 33 counties of the state. In 2019, Goodwill served over 20,000 individuals and placed over 1600 individuals in community-based employment.
Halloween is going to be different this year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued recommendations and guidelines for low- and high-risk Halloween activities. Those guidelines can be found here. The guidelines are advising against traditional activities like door-to-door trick or treating. But New Mexico's parents are getting creative and thinking of ways to celebrate Halloween in the house!
"There is no way the pandemic will stop our Goodwill DIY shoppers from celebrating Halloween safely. Those we have spoken with tell us they are not going door-to-door, instead, they are planning to have fun in the house. They also want to spend way less money to celebrate. This makes Goodwill a perfect place to shop for Halloween décor and clothing pieces for DIY costumes", says Goodwill Marketing Manager, Pamela Russom.
Goodwill wants all New Mexico kids and kids-at-heart to have fun this Halloween! So, we put our heads together and did a little research to determine what parents across the country are planning. Here are some of the fantastic Halloween ideas we found!
DIY Halloween costumes from Goodwill are the trend for 2020! Parents are looking for old clothing that can be altered, distressed, or repurposed. Among the most popular costume ideas are everyday heroes like police, doctors, and nurses and the good old-fashioned choices such as zombies, kitty cats, and creepy dolls.
Our team of Halloween "experts" this year are kids ranging from 7 – 13 years old. Within 10 minutes of starting their shopping adventure at our Goodwill store on San Mateo Blvd, they found inexpensive clothing, shoes, and accessories to create their DIY costume. Each costume should cost you less than $20 even after you include the price of make-up and other accessories that you may not find at Goodwill.
Here are supply lists, prices, and our "easy to make" ratings for the three DIY costumes we tried:
Interest in supplies for Halloween craft projects is at an all-time high at Goodwill. We narrowed our DIY choices to the easiest and most entertaining projects we could find.
Spell Book = $2.99 (price may vary)
What you need: Old books from Goodwill, mod-podge (make it yourself) paper towels, string or yarn, candle, black, brown, white paint (make it yourself)
This spell-binding project is only moderately messy. Prep your
workspace with a trash bag or paper bags to avoid mishaps.
Trash Bag Spider Webs = $.99 (price may vary)
What you need: black trash bags, plastic spiders, scissors
You may not need to leave the house to pull off this project. Although, the Halloween section at your Goodwill has tons of plastic spiders looking for a good home. Plus, kids of all ages will enjoy this inexpensive project. Just watch the younger children if you allow them to use scissors.
Head in a Jar = $2.99 (price may vary)
What you need: A jar or glass container, a rubber Halloween mask
This is a hands-down favorite of Goodwill. We always have old jars (containers) and Halloween masks on hand. Plus, even the youngest
kids can handle this craft project. So easy, so spooky, so fun!
Ok, Albuquerque Moms and Dads, what's the Halloween plan? The New Mexico Governor's Office has shared CDC guidelines on high-risk Halloween activities. Guidelines call for no door-to-door trick or treating. Boooooooo!
But don't get witchy about it! Instead, cast a spell to create your own indoor fun! Would you like a few fun and economical ideas for celebrating in the house? Don't worry; Goodwill’s got you covered on supplies for affordable fun!
Catherine Roster, Professor of Marketing, Anderson School of Management, University of New Mexico thinks it may have! Dr. Roster is a consumer behavior researcher who specializes in consumers’ decisions about getting rid of possessions and the impact of clutter on consumers’ health, safety, and psychological well-being. She graciously shared her findings from a recent project with Goodwill Industries of New Mexico.
Findings from Dr. Roster
Recently, I interviewed a group of professional organizers, experts who help people declutter for a living. My goal was to learn how the pandemic had impacted people’s motivation to declutter. Most agreed that their clients were highly motivated to clear out spaces in their homes. It was surprising to learn that people’s decluttering motivations varied widely, depending on their personal circumstances. For those who were fortunate enough to have extra time on their hands, the pandemic represented an opportunity to organize, redecorate, or transform spaces for different uses or purposes. But many people all of a sudden found their work and home were colliding. Stuff piled on the dining room table had to be cleared out quickly to serve as the children’s schoolroom. Bedrooms became dorm rooms for adult children kids returning from college, or home offices for telecommuting adults. There were not enough hours in the day as people assumed new responsibilities, like homeschooling while trying to do their jobs. For these folks, extra time did not create the decluttering. Immediate needs drove it, and this only added to the stress of the pandemic.
I also learned from the focus group that people cared less about what happened to the things they decided to get rid of - they simply wanted them gone. They no longer had the luxury of storing bags of items while deciding if they wanted to donate or sell them. Those storage spaces, like closets, sheds, and garages, were being taken up by toilet paper and canned goods!
In some ways, the pandemic may have helped people with a tendency to hang onto everything. Several of the organizers remarked that clients of theirs who formerly had a great deal of difficulty getting rid of things became more decisive and gained more clarity as to what was really valuable in their lives during the pandemic. One told a story about a client who realized “she doesn’t need 50 pairs of shoes in different shades of the same color.” Others noted that clients were more willing to be creative in re-imagining spaces. And perhaps most importantly, all of the organizers agreed that people gained a new awareness of the value of family instead of things.
In today’s throwaway world, it’s more important than ever to reuse the things we already have in circulation. The process of upcycling involves taking something old or already used, and repurposing and revamping it into something even better. Whether you’re new to the concept of upcycling furniture or you’re just curious, and want a DIY project, there are lots of ways you can take existing items and give them new life. Read on to discover more about products you can upcycle yourself to enjoy unique products for the home while contributing to a greener world.
The Benefits of UpcyclingUpcycling furniture is a great way to reuse items and give them a fun personal touch. There are many amazing benefits to upcycling, including:
Upcycling Ideas for Different RoomsFrom your home’s entryway to the bathroom and beyond, there are several ways you can use upcycling to add new looks and new furniture to various rooms.
Goodwill generally offers a selection of deeply discounted bar stools, small tables, bistro tables, folding tables, chairs, lamps and more. Think about what you need to make it comfortable.
Organize the learning area. How will your student organize their materials? You could use plastic tubs, shoe boxes, or shelves to store learning materials and supplies. Goodwill always has a ton of different storage options.
Set the daily schedule. This timing might be different for every family. But, because children function best within structure, maintaining a routine will be super important. Start with setting a schedule that is similar to their traditional school day. If you want to be precise, while also offering a learning opportunity, try tracking time with an unusual wall clock or any clock with hands. You can also build a cheap activity chart with materials you find at Goodwill. An old frame glued onto cardboard makes great bulletin board!
Build in fun activities. Goodwill has so many items for arts and crafts it is overwhelming. Pick a project on Pinterest and we guarantee you can find 90% of the supplies here. Keeping them busy on a project will also, hopefully, give you some free time. It’s all about creativity, parents!