Goodwill Faces: Erik, Eddie, Sharlese, Paulina

 
by Andrew Lang, Seattle Goodwill
April 26, 2017
 

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

During the early 1970s when the Vietnam War was in full force, Erik, who had only recently graduated high school, applied for and was granted conscientious objector status. Therefore, instead of being drafted, Erik for two years had to work at what was called a sheltered workshop—work that contributed to the community good. With only one week left to find work, Erik came across Seattle Goodwill while picking up gear for a backpacking trip. Erik was hired, and the two years he spent working at Goodwill provided him with plenty of special memories that still last today. Goodwill’s flagship store off Dearborn Street is where he first met his wife Vicki of 36 years, and he even contributed cartoons to Goodwill’s employee newsletter. Some of Erik’s fondest memories involved sorting through donations and finding locked suitcases, hoping him and his co-workers had stumbled across a treasured item trapped inside. Even back in the early 1970s, Erik said Goodwill placed an emphasis on workforce development. Supervisors were responsible for coaching employees on soft skills such as punctuality, work ethic and communication.

“On staff at the time was a chaplain. Every Wednesday morning anybody who wanted to get out of work for half an hour and go to a church service could do so. I was one of those guys. The chaplain would invite priests, pastors, rabbis, sometimes guest singers. One day a gal came in. Her name was Vicki. It was around Easter time, and she was a good singer. When chapel was over, they would open those doors and everybody would line up and shake the hand of the guest speaker. She was the guest that day, so 100 people shook her hand. I would always ask her, ‘Do you remember meeting me that day?’ She’d say no, but I remember meeting her. Because of the influence of the chaplain, I would end up going to church and that was the church she went to. We dated for a number of years and got married in 1977. We had a great 36 years together, and she passed away in 2013. I miss her still, but it was somewhat of a sacred moment (today) to see that turf where we met. Every day was an adventure (at Goodwill). It was a great two years. There were probably days where I wasn’t having so much fun, but I don’t remember those. I remember the good times.”

-Erik


 

From growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y. to serving eight years in the military completing a tour in Iraq and another in Afghanistan, Eddie has traveled a long road to Seattle Goodwill, and along the way he has developed a strong passion for helping others. While in Iraq, Eddie connected with a military member who worked in human resources and decided he himself wanted to do HR work. During Eddie’s tour in Afghanistan he did just that. Eddie earned his human resources degree and connected with Seattle Goodwill after leaving the military, first earning a temporary position in Goodwill’s Job Training and Education Department that turned into a permanent role. Now he works as an employee education specialist, connecting Goodwill employees to the organization’s many benefits that place an emphasis on workforce development. He does store outreach, leads training workshops and is constantly looking out for employees’ best interests with his infectious personality.

“If we have an employee that says, ‘I am having homelessness issues,’ I want to take care of that. I want to show them where they can go to get help with that. I want to point them in the direction of our case managers we have in Job Training and Education. I want to connect the dots for them. My role in this company is to help every employee. It doesn’t matter if you are the lowest person or the highest person. I want to help you. Honestly, it’s a wonderful aspect to meet a lot of people, but you know what, I’m not happy that I’m affecting them. I’m happy they are affecting me. Because talking to people you learn so much. You learn a different culture. You learn a different lifestyle. You learn different problems and issues and how you can help them overcome them. Something that I was always told is that you should learn at least one thing new every day. So the fact I get the opportunity to talk to all these employees, I learn. And knowledge is power.”

-Eddie 


 

Sharlese always knew she wanted to be involved in music in some capacity. When she was in high school, she’d record songs on the radio and use those to put together mixtapes for her listening pleasure. She’s been fortunate to make a career out her passion, working at Seattle radio station KEXP since 2007. The ability to make a career out of something you love was a message she delivered to participants in Seattle Goodwill’s youth programs during a past speaking opportunity, and that’s just one way she is connected to Goodwill. She’s a frequent shopper at the Capitol Hill Goodwill location and, now a KEXP DJ and events producer hosting Saturday’s Audioasis show from 6-9 pm, Sharlese has worked as an MC the past two years for Seattle Goodwill’s #breakup4good Earth Day concert, which encourages people to break up or donate an item to Goodwill for Earth Day. She’s excited to MC for the third year this spring on April 20 at the Tractor Tavern.

“The Break Up For Good event provides another way to promote local music, which is really fun and important. It’s also the music creativity and being able to put together a good bill that has people align themselves with something like Goodwill, which is really special and impressive. Not only is Goodwill a retail shop, it uses its funds to help people find jobs and get education and get into the work force. I think that is really special. Putting it together has really been a cool experience, and it is something I will never forget. I feel like coming together to support Goodwill is a really important thing.”

-Sharlese


 

Ever since Paulina came to the United States 12 years ago from Tecate, Baja California in Mexico, she’s had her hands full raising a household full of kids. Her husband works long hours to provide for their family, so Paulina is left to take care of the children. Paulina never finished high school. She’s had a desire to, but has been too busy as a mother of four children to focus on her own career. Two years ago she caught a glimpse of South Everett’s Job Training and Education Center while traveling down the road and decided to look into what Seattle Goodwill had to offer. Paulina began taking Goodwill’s GED test preparation classes, and with a tremendous amount of hard work and persistence she earned her GED a month ago. Paulina has also taken Goodwill’s Microsoft Excel class and is currently in a Career Pathways course, as she hopes to go to college to become a teacher or a nurse.

“I see the street and say, ‘Oh, is that a learning center?’ Maybe I will go there and see what their requirements are to be a student. I don’t think about it, I just came. I was very nervous, because those years my English was not good. I came and turned in the papers and everybody was so friendly. I felt so comfortable. Getting my GED, I was so happy. I was almost jumping, so excited. I almost cried because all my teachers they see how I work hard. I know this is an example for my kids, and they can follow my steps. They see if my mother can do it, I can do it. I have a lot of friends that are single mothers, and they feel stuck. They ask, ‘Do you know a place for single mothers to come back to school?’ And I say, ‘Goodwill, they have helped me a lot.’ They see what I get step-by-step, and they want to come, and they say, ‘I want to go there. Tell me more about this place.’”

-Paulina

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Check out what's #AtGoodwillNow

 
by Andrew Lang, Seattle Goodwill
April 24, 2017
 

With 40 donation centers scattered across the Puget Sound, Seattle Goodwill receives countless unique, highly sought after items that land on our store shelves and are quickly purchased or rotated out on a routine basis.

In fact, we get so much, keeping tabs on the most intriguing donations is quite challenging. And once a desirable item hits the sales floor, blink a few times and it’s gone.

Well, thanks to our Spring Shop Campaign, we are reducing customers’ fear of missing out.

Seattle Goodwill’s social media channels have always showcased the many items we receive, and we are excited to announce the addition of two new Twitter accounts—one for Capitol Hill (@ShopCapHillGW) and one for our South Everett (@ShopSEverettGW) location—where new donations will be posted on a daily basis in real time.

Throughout the day items will be tweeted out as they arrive on shelves followed by #AtGoodwillNow. Every trip to our stores offers a treasure hunt, and we encourage customers to use the hashtag to share those gems with other Goodwill shoppers. Helping others find items of interest ultimately benefits our free job training and education programs.

While a hyperlocal focus is being placed on Capitol Hill and South Everett, there is a possibility in the future of expanding twitter accounts to showcase all our stores.

Be sure to follow our new accounts and regularly check their feeds to make sure you aren’t missing out on the latest hidden treasures.

FOLLOW OUR NEW TWITTER ACCOUNTS

Capitol Hill: @ShopCapHillGW

South Everett: @ShopSEverettGW

Don’t forget to use #AtGoodwillNow with your tweets and tag us at @SeatteGoodwill.

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Tickets on sale for Seattle Goodwill’s Sustainable Sounds concert

 
by Andrew Lang, Seattle Goodwill
April 14, 2017
 

Sustainable Sounds Concert

When: 8 pm. Thursday, April 20 (Doors 7 pm)

Where: Tractor Tavern in Ballard

Cost: $15 general admission

Performing: Prom Queen, Cataldo, Goodbye Heart, Acapulco Lips, Star Anna

BUY TICKETS

Every time a donation is made to one of Seattle Goodwill’s 40 donation sites, not only does that benefit our Job Training and Education programs, it also supports our environment by keeping materials out of landfills.

Last year alone Seattle Goodwill prevented 53 million pounds of goods from entering landfills.

To help us celebrate Earth Day and promote sustainable practices, we’ve partnered with Seattle radio station KEXP and have enlisted the help of local bands Cataldo, Star Anna, Goodbye Heart, Acapulco Lips and Prom Queen for a fun-filled night at our Sustainable Sounds concert.

The bands will play break-up cover songs in conjunction with Seattle Goodwill’s #breakup4good campaign, in which we are encouraging people to break up with unneeded items and donate. The concert starts at 8 pm. Thursday, April 20, at Tractor Tavern in Ballard. Doors open at 7 pm. General admission tickets costs $15 and can be purchased here.

“We are excited to play this show, because it’s our first show of 2017 and we love Goodwill and KEXP and Tractor,” said Leeni Ramadan, Prom Queen guitarist and lead vocalist. “Plus the bands are amazing, and I love the theme of the evening. I am excited to perform our selection of breakup songs!”

Leeni and her band members regularly support Goodwill’s mission, and now they have the opportunity to promote the message of sustainability.

“Thrifting has been a way of life for me for as long as I can remember,” Leeni said. “And my bandmates love it, too! Whenever we travel, we are always thrifting in each city if we have time. I shop at Goodwill on a regular basis, and some of my favorite things I own are from there.”

KEXP DJ Sharlese Metcalf, who hosts Saturday’s Audioasis show from 6-9 pm, will be handling MC duties for the third consecutive year.

“The Break Up for Good event provides another way to promote local music, which is really fun and important,” Sharlese said. “Not only is Goodwill a retail shop, it uses its funds to help people find jobs and get education and get into the work force. I think that is really special.”

Here is a quick breakdown of the five bands performing at Sustainable Sounds:

Prom Queen

Prom Queen, best described as a dark surf rock, girl-group noir sound, went from a solo project to a band after her debut album Night Sound in 2012. Prom Queen’s live show is described as moody and electrifying, and it showcases each of the band members’ skill.

Cataldo

Cataldo, an indie pop band, is led by creator and front man Eric Anderson, who grew up in Moscow, Idaho and moved to Seattle after college. Cataldo’s shows have evolved through the years to not only entertain musically but visually as well. Cataldo’s newest project, Keepers, is slated to be released April 28, 2017.  

Goodbye Heart

Goodbye Heart, a dream pop duo, is composed of friends Sam Ford and Nila K Leigh, who began collaborating in New York City before moving to Seattle. Their sound is made up of atmospheric synths, electronic percussion and heart-wrenching vocals. Their musical influences range from The Cure to Johnny Jewel to Nas.

Acapulco Lips

Acapulco Lips, a psychedelic trio, formed in a Seattle basement and were brought together by the love of reverb-laden R&B and psychedelic rock. Their unique sound is a blend of 1990s Seattle garage music and a 1960s eternal summer sound.

Star Anna

Star Anna is a singer and songwriter from Ellensburg who blends country sound with emotional and honest rock and roll. She has a unique voice that Seattle Times columnist Nicole Brodeur described as: “a voice full of bluster that will slam the door behind you, then find itself alone to take in the loneliness, the quiet, the beauty.”

Besides joining Seattle Goodwill and KEXP for our Sustainable Sounds concert, be sure to follow our social channels for daily prize giveaways. Each giveaway will start at 8 am and close the following day at 8 am. Grand Prizes include Lady Gaga tickets, a Sounders FC package and a Seattle Repertory Theater night out, which includes a $250 gift card to the Seattle Repertory Theatre and a $50 gift card to Local 360.

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Seattle Goodwill committed to making future employees primed for work

 
by Andrew Lang, Seattle Goodwill
April 12, 2017
 

Ellena Burke knew she needed to make a change. She had severed relationships and was dealing with a drug and alcohol addiction.

In order to get her life on track, Ellena needed a job and sought out Goodwill for help. After committing to sobriety she joined Goodwill’s Cashiering and Customer Service Program, which helped her develop invaluable soft skills needed to become a productive, successful employee.

“At Seattle Goodwill, I learned how to be assertive without being aggressive and how not to deal with things in a negative manner,” Ellena said. “I gained humility and how to keep my composure.”

Learning how to process adversity in a healthy manner, being assertive without being aggressive, having humility: those are all soft skills, which in today’s business world frequently get passed over in favor of technical skills.

But in all actuality 85 percent of job success comes from having well-developed soft skills, while the remaining 15 percent comes from savvy technical skills. Seventy-five percent of employers rate soft skills as more important than technical skills.

Seattle Goodwill through years of working with the hardest-to-serve communities—such as people suffering from mental illness and those new to the country searching for work—has identified the largest barriers obstructing those looking to find and maintain a job.

Soft skills such as integrity, responsibility, perseverance, work ethic and good communication, to name a few, are essential traits desired in the workforce. Particularly in the entry-level workforce, many job seekers lack these skills, and it’s a major underlying cause of unemployment.

So what does job success look like for those who are unemployed and facing barriers to better economic opportunity?

Success in the workplace is built off three pillars—soft skills, mentoring and guidance and overcoming logistical challenges.

When all three of these pillars are achieved, we consider prospective employees primed for work. At Seattle Goodwill, our programs seek to build our students’ soft skills. We connect students to mentors who can offer guidance, and we also offer resources to help students overcome logistical barriers.

Seattle Goodwill on a daily basis witnesses the impressive personal and professional growth that comes along with getting students primed for work. As part of our advocacy efforts, we have created a five-step action plan showing how you can help contribute to our community and help others become primed for work.

1) Ask what your organization is already doing, and then ask how you can help

Work with your HR professionals if you’re an organization leader to see how they are coping with the lack of entry-level employees being primed for work. See if there are places where you can provide more of the basic soft-skill knowledge to employees. See if you are hiring and training based on strong soft skills. Work with management to support entry-level workers.

2) Actively support the good work of others

Beyond Seattle Goodwill there are organizations such as Seattle Jobs Initiative, Venture, Seattle Colleges and The Prosperity Agenda that are placing an emphasis on training for soft skills and lobbying for more attention to be given to these barriers to employment and success. Find an organization committed to helping people be primed for work and support them.

3) Define what primed for work means at your organization and start measuring it

Promote ways to measure being primed for work. There are questionnaires and assessments that measure confidence, self-esteem and motivation. Lobby for their adoption, so these characteristics become key performance indicators for a company’s health.

4) Raise the issue, and talk about primed for work

Use your voice to increase awareness of the need to reduce the primed for work gap. Talk to you peers and colleagues about the importance of being primed for work.

5) Support legislation

Primed for work doesn’t only mean soft skills. It also means the non-tangible challenges that directly impact an employee’s ability to thrive. Legislation in support of primed for work could mean funding for soft skills training in high school nonprofits and community colleges, making transportation access more affordable, having affordable child care, etc.

Seattle Goodwill is committed to helping those facing barriers become primed for work. Please help us spread the word and share your ideas, thoughts and solutions with us. 

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Earth Day Giveaways

 
by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
April 10, 2017
 

It’s time for our annual Earth Day giveaways! From April 10 – 21, Monday – Friday, we’ll be giving away over $2,500 in local prizes. Many of the prizes were generously donated by local businesses and organizations who believe in being eco-friendly and sustainable. 

Once you've checked out our prize list, be sure to check out some of the other ways we're celebrating Earth Day 2017—such as our Sustainable Sounds concert with KEXP and our Online Vintage Sale! Learn more here. 

Earth Day 2017 Giveaways Grand Prizes

GRAND PRIZE DRAWING

Click here to enter for the grand prize drawing. Entry is open April 10 – 23. Three winners will be selected and notified via email on April 24.

LADY GAGA
Two tickets to see Lady Gaga perform at the Tacoma Dome on August 5, 2017
SOUNDERS FC PACKAGE
Four tickets to a Sounders FC match, and a $100 gift card to the Pro Shop
SEATTLE REPERTORY THEATER NIGHT OUT
A $250 gift card to the Seattle Repertory Theatre, and a $50 gift card to Local 360


 

DAILY GIVEAWAYS
Daily giveaways happen on our Facebook page. 

Monday, April 10: For the Family
A $25 Gift Certificate to Manzanita Kids, a Super Swoop Bag, and $50 gift cards to Trophy Cupcakes and Mighty-O Donuts

Tuesday, April 22: Ballard Love
2 tickets to Sustainable Sounds on April 20, a pair of earrings and necklace from Baleen, a $50 gift card to Skillet, and a Mustard & Co. gift package, Nube9 Earth Day t-shirt

Wednesday, April 23: Retail Therapy Day
A $200 gift certificate to Karan Dannenberg’s store, and $50 gift cards to Carmine Signature Group restaurants and Gene Juarez Salon

Thursday, April 24: Seattle Opera
2 tickets to see Seattle Opera perform “The Magic Flute”, courtesy of City Arts Magazine

Friday, April 25: Date Night x 3 (three winners)
2 tickets to the GeekWire Awards on May 4, 2017
- or -
2 tickets to see Lionel Richie perform with Mariah Carey on September 5
- or -
2 tickets to BECU’s ZooTunes at Woodland Park Zoo for Pat Benetar, Neil Geraldo, and Rick Springfield on August 15

Monday, April 17: Sustainable (Sounds)
2 tickets to Sustainble Sounds on April 20, a $50 gift card to No Bones Beach Club, a pair of Girlfriend Collective Leggings, and a Metamorphic Gear Quartz Dopp Kit

Tuesday, April 18: Snack Local
An 8 Pound Colossal Cut of Beecher’s Flagship Cheese, a Mustard & Co. gift package, and an array of goodies from Erin Baker’s

Wednesday, April 19: Up Your Style
A wardrobe audit from Cuniform, a $50 gift certificate to shop Moorea Seal’s store, and an autographed copy of Moorea Seal’s 52 Lists for Happiness

Thursday, April 20: Upcycled Fashion
A Nube9 package including a tank top, reversible bucket hat, and an Earth Day t-shirt, and a Metamorphic Gear tote

Friday, April 21: Family Baseball
4 tickets to a Seattle Mariners game, and 4 tickets to any regular season game of the Bellingham Bells

Thank you for celebrating Earth Day with us! Don't forget to drop off your donations and #BreakUp4Good with your stuff. Last year we kept over 53 million pounds out of landfills thanks to generous donors like you. 

Find a Goodwill Donation Site | Donation Guidelines | Cleaning & Organizing Tips

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