Seattle Goodwill expands Youth Aerospace Program to Renton

by Andrew Lang, Seattle Goodwill
July 18, 2017

Seattle Goodwill knows a job is the keystone piece to securing better economic opportunity, and with the expansion of our Youth Aerospace Program (YAP) to Renton, Goodwill created another conduit for students to achieve their goals of a career in the aerospace sector.

Our Renton YAP partners—Boeing, JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Renton Technical College—joined us for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, July 14, as we officially welcomed the program’s expansion from Marysville to the south side of Seattle.

The YAP is a two-year program which provides  students a smooth transition through their senior year toward a career in aerospace. The program helps build strong soft skills and connects students with future career opportunities in the aerospace and advanced manufacturing industries.

“The program has already been very successful in Marysville with 61 enrollments since 2014,” said Barbara “b.g” Nabors-Glass, Vice President of Job Training and Education. “We hope to have 20 students enrolled in this new program at Renton.”

Some of those new Renton YAP students were present for the ceremony. After the ribbon cutting, Seattle Goodwill President & CEO Daryl Campbell spoke, followed by new Renton YAP Supervisor Monique Edwards, Program Assistant Brycen Smith and representatives from Boeing, JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Renton Tech.

“Partnerships such as this are crucial in providing access and supporting the success of our youth,” Renton Technical College President Kevin McCarthy said. “Education is complex, and RTC’s collaboration with Goodwill helps ensure that students will complete their education and move into rewarding careers.”

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Where to watch fireworks this Fourth of July

by Andrew Lang, Seattle Goodwill
June 30, 2017

The Fourth of July is less than a week away. Whether you’re warming up the barbecue, soaking up sun by a lake, throwing a party or just enjoying time with family, there are so many fun ways to celebrate the holiday.

At Goodwill we are celebrating our with a special Fourth of July sale. All clothing and furniture with blue, green, pink, red and black tags will be 50 percent off. Store hours are 9 am-5 pm, and the sale excludes our Seattle and Everett outlets.

After your Goodwill trip, you’ll have plenty of time to find one of the many fireworks displays across the Puget Sound. Below is a list of where to find them throughout our region.

King County

Seattle: Seattle’s major fireworks display can be seen from several places throughout the city. Seafair Summer 4th at Gas Works Park is an all day celebration lasting from noon-11 pm with the fireworks show starting at 10:20 pm There will be food vendors, exhibits, beer and beverage gardens, entertainment and All-American games and contests for all ages.

Eastside: The Bellevue Family 4th is the largest Independence Day celebration on the Eastside. It takes place 2-10:30 pm at the newly-renovated Bellevue Downtown Park. Entertainment includes a family fun zone, live music, food court, fireworks and a performance by the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra. 

The Kirkland 4th of July Celebration begins at 11:30 am with a children’s walking parade that is followed by a “With Liberty and Justice for All” parade at noon. There will be food and vendors from 1-10:30 pm at Marina Park. Music starts at 5 p.m., and the day concludes with a fireworks show at 10:15 pm. 

South: Renton’s Fabulous Fourth of July is an all-day event at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park. From noon-8 pm a free KidZone will be open that includes inflatables and face painting. On-stage entertainment is from 12:30-9:30 pm, a sand volleyball tournament is from 9am-5pm and the fireworks show begins at 10 pm. 

Kent’s Fourth of July Splash is noon-10:30 pm at Lake Meridian Park. There will be a festive lineup of music and entertainment including bouncy houses, food booths, juggling and pie-eating contests. The fireworks finale starts at 10 pm. 

Des Moines is hosting a Fireworks Over Des Moines celebration from noon-10:20 pm at the Des Moines Marina. There will be a kid’s carnival, food vendors, beer and wine garden, live music and a fireworks show starting at 10:20 pm. 

Kitsap County

The Grand Old Fourth Celebration on Bainbridge is celebrating its 50th year and begins at 7 am with a pancake breakfast at the Town & County parking lot. Starting at 9 am events include a street fair with kid’s games, crafts, food vendors, and live music, there’s a family fun run, a classic car show, beer and wine garden, parade at 1 pm and a fireworks show over Eagle Harbor at dusk. 

Snohomish County

An Edmonds Kind of Fourth kicks off with a 5K and 1K running event at 10 am, which is followed by a children’s parade at 11:30 am and a main parade at noon. There will be food vendors and evening entertainment starting at 6 pm at Civic Stadium, a beard and mustache contest and a fireworks display at 10 pm. 

The Everett Colors of Freedom Festival beings with the Colors of Freedom Parade at 11 am. The Colors of Freedom Festival is from 1-11pm at Legion Park where there will be kid’s activities, a food fair, beer garden, live music and fireworks. The Thunder of the Bay Fireworks show starts at 10:20 pm at Port Gardner Bay, but there is viewing at Legion Park. There is no parking at the festival, but a free shuttle will be transporting people throughout day back-and-forth from the park and Everett Community College. 

Skagit County

Mount Vernon’s Fabulous 4th of July starts at 7 pm at Edgewater Park. There will be food and live music complete with a fireworks show at night fall. 

Anacortes is hosting a Fourth of July celebration from 10 am-11 pm. There is a parade at 11 am, a patriotic program at Causland Park and a fireworks show over Fidalgo Bay at dusk. 

Whatcom County

Bellingham’s Haggen Family 4th of July Celebration is from 9 am to 10:30 pm at Zuanich Point Park. The celebration includes a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, children’s games, live music, a beer garden and vendor booths. A fireworks display is scheduled for 10:30 pm. 

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Goodwill Faces: Meriem, Laura, Maddie, Maria

by Andrew Lang, Seattle Goodwill
June 30, 2017

Catch up on Goodwill Faces with the four stories below. Tune into our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram to follow our weekly #GoodwillFaces series!

Meriem was living a comfortable life in the beautiful port city of Casablanca, Morocco where she held a clothing design job—a coveted role given her love for fashion—but a year ago she left that life behind. Meriem moved to the U.S. on a fiancé Visa to live with her future husband and immediately felt lonely and out of place because she lacked a sense of community and didn’t speak English. But she wanted to support financially, especially with her first baby on the way. Meriem took Goodwill’s English for Speakers of Other Languages courses, Retail and Customer Service and some computer classes that helped her land a job. Goodwill’s Job Training and Education team conducted mock interviews and have helped Meriem overcome many of the barriers she’s faced as an immigrant. The outpouring of support she’s received from the Goodwill family has given her increased confidence and better thoughts about her new life. Meriem is thrilled to provide support for her family and dreams of one day resuming a career in fashion design.

 “I was just struggling with life and wanted to enroll in any classes to develop my knowledge to gain skills and employment to get any job. I feel warm, secure and comfortable to come to Goodwill. I feel like I come to my home. When I see the students, we talk like brother or sister or something. I do not feel like I miss my family over there, because I see all my family here. In the beginning I was stressed out, because I just left my country, so I was kind of home sick. I thought I want to go back to my home, but after meeting people like the teacher, case manager, all of them helping me, I like (my new life) and I love it.”



Laura had no intention of volunteering the first time she stepped foot in Seattle Goodwill’s South Everett Job Training and Education (JTE) Center, but 30 minutes into her first visit she asked how she could donate her time. Laura was at the center attending a graduation event with a friend when she became enamored by the diverse group of people thirsting for knowledge. She became even more captivated after learning about Goodwill’s mission. That started a relationship that has lasted over two years between Laura and Goodwill. She’s donated more than 300 hours, volunteering as an instructor’s aide before transitioning to English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes. She has created successful talk-time sessions, where she meets with ESOL students and facilitates conversations around American culture, idioms, speech patterns and analogies. The inspiration Laura draws from the students she works with keeps her coming back session after session.

“I like to share what I know and what I am able to do. I’m a gregarious person, and it touches me when that light goes on for someone and they go, ‘Ah, I figured it out on my own. You know, I can do this now.’ I get good feelings from watching other people succeed, so I’m sort of rooting for them. I really want to live in a world where people have hope. Learning English is very hard. It takes years and years and years of dedication. And not being able to speak English in many cases is isolating and limiting what you can do and what kind of jobs you can do. So the reward is it gives me hope (knowing) that there are people that have that grit to learn English as an adult. It is amazingly difficult.”



Every day Maddie is living her dream. Since the first time she began passing out pretend homework as a child, she knew she wanted to be a teacher. Maddie, who grew up in Seattle’s Rainier Valley neighborhood, works as an instructor at Goodwill’s Seattle Job Training and Education Center. She teaches English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses and plays a critical role in the High School 21+ high school completion program. While Maddie wound up only miles away from where she was raised, her path has taken her to Florida, southern California, Honduras and South Korea. Along the way she has collected a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s in teaching and has taught in multiple countries. She’s seen first-hand the benefits and struggles that come with knowing and not knowing the native language, so being able to help students gain English-speaking skills holds extra meaning to her. Completing high school and learning the English language is paramount in helping spur better economic opportunity, and Maddie is thrilled to be able to make the daily impact she does on Goodwill students’ lives.

“I grew up in a mixed-ethnicity household. I also didn’t have the opportunities presented to me. I kind of had to trail blaze. I felt that if I were to achieve, once I got to the level of education I wanted to get at, then it was my turn to give back to the community, so that is what kind of led me here. Being a teacher (at Goodwill), you are not just a teacher. You are a case manager, you are a counselor. You are doing all these things in one, and I really like that. I love teaching, and it makes me happy. When I’m going in there and helping the students achieve their goals and dreams, I kind of feel a part of that, and so that is what is rewarding to me—the fact that I’m helping them get to where they want to be.”



Maria found herself at a Seattle Goodwill resume-building workshop after moving tothe Pacific Northwest from Costa Rica in 2011. A teacher back home, Maria owned a bachelor’s and master’s degree but she was looking for work in her new country. Little did she know, Goodwill was where she would work the next six years of her life. Maria immediately fell in love with Goodwill’s mission, and even though she found a job, she began volunteering at Goodwill’s Job Training and Education (JTE) Center. That turned into a part-time position, which led to a full-time role at Burien’s JTE Center, where Maria teaches English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses. Maria has helped countless students develop English-speaking skill, which ultimately provides them better economic opportunity, increased confidence and an ability to become self-reliant. Maria developed a passion for helping others at an early age. She’s been teaching since she was 18 and admits working for Seattle Goodwill has been her most rewarding experience.

“I knew that if I had the chance, I would love to stay at Goodwill. We get people from all over the world, and it is such a rich experience. As I learn from them, they learn from me. We are able to help people on such a level I don’t think other organizations are able to. We are able to support a person not just in their learning, but as a whole. One of the major things for me is we get to help people. That is one of the most important things. We help them get a job, (work) toward that independence and we have the resources to do it. We get to give all of this for free, free of charge to them. To me, that is amazing. I tell people this: ‘Please come in and shop at Goodwill. I will give you a tour of the center. See where the money goes. I want you to see the students, because you are changing someone’s life.’”


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DIY Succulent Terrarium

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
June 7, 2017

Goodwill DIY: Succulent TerrariumConfession: I love the current terrarium trend—but they can be so expensive! So a terrarium—with low-maintenance succulents—seemed like a good foray into adding some summer vibes to my home.

To start, I did a bit of research into the layers of a proper terrarium—and then headed out to our Shoreline store. One of the reasons I head to Goodwill Shoreline for many DIY projects is its proximity to the other stores I’ll need to stop at for DIY supplies—like Home Depot, and a couple different craft stores. (Fun Fact: Home Depot is also one of Seattle Goodwill’s employer partners—they hire students who have gone through our job training & education programs.)

Terrarium Layers

To make the terrarium, I used these supplies:

  • Large river stones (Hobby Lobby)
  • Small river stones (Found at Goodwill, but originally from Hobby Lobby)
  • Succulent Potting Dirt (Home Depot)
  • Succulents (Hope Depot)
  • Glass jar/container (Goodwill)
  • Clay Pot for décor (Goodwill)
  • Sheet Moss (Home Depot)

Assembling the terrarium is quick and easy, and all about layering your materials in the correct order to ensure drainage.

Start with a layer of the large river stones, followed by a layer of the small ones. In total, this should take up about 1/3 of the depth of your container.

Next, add a small layer of dirt, and arrange your succulents in it—adding more dirt to make it level if necessary.

Once your plants are in, add an accent item or two, and fill in some of the area between your plants and décor with a little bit of sheet moss.

Be sure to place your terrarium in a place that has a lot of natural light!

DIY Succulent TerrariumAre you doing DIY projects with your #GoodwillFinds this summer? Tag @SeattleGoodwill and #GoodwillDIY—we’d love to see them!

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Adopt a pet at Goodwill this summer!

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
June 5, 2017

Seattle Humane MaxMobile is coming to GoodwillYou can find toys, food and water dishes, leashes, and plenty of other pet accessories at any of our twenty-four stores—and this summer at some of our locations, you can find a pet, too! We’re partnering with Seattle Humane to host their MaxMobile so you can adopt a new best friend.

Check out Seattle Humane’s website to get any details you need to be prepared to adopt on-the-spot, and make plans to swing by one of the pet adoption events this summer:

Adopt a pet! Goodwill will be hosting Seattle Humane's MaxMobile

Goodwill Juanita
Saturday, June 10, 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Goodwill Seattle – Flagship
Friday, July 28, 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Goodwill Shoreline
Friday, August 25, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

If you adopt a new furry friend on one of these days, we’d love to see it! Share it with us by tagging @SeattleGoodwill and #MaxMobile on your favorite social media channel!  

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