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Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska - Frequently Asked Questions

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q. What services does Goodwill offer?

A.  Goodwill provides Behavioral Health Services, Employment and Career Services and Developmental Disability Services.  Programs help people recover from illness, get a job and live independently.

Q. How many people does Goodwill help?

A. Goodwill supports over 1,600 people every year to get a job and live independently.

Q. Who does Goodwill help?

A.  Goodwill helps people with mental illness, substance abuse disorders, developmental or intellectual disabilities, acquired brain injury and people receiving public assistance from the state.

Q. How does Goodwill help people?

A.  Staff helps people discover what their strengths are and learn new skills so they can successfully work and live independently in the community.

Q. I heard/saw an email that Goodwill isn’t even a charity?

A.  Goodwill is a charity that runs a business.  We are a 501 (c) (3 ) nonprofit organization that uses revenue generated by donated goods to support our programs for people living with disabilities or barriers to successful living.  No person owns Goodwill; Goodwill has a local, volunteer board of directors who oversees our agency and our CEO directs our day to day operations.  While our Goodwill does receive funding through the government, we depend on revenue generated from the sale of donated goods and our fund raising efforts to fully fund our programs and services so we can help more people.

Q. Why don’t you give the donated stuff away to people who need it? Why sell the items instead of giving them away?  Why do you charge for stuff you get for free? 

A. The resale of donated items is an important way of paying for our programs that assist people with disabilities and disadvantaged to get a job and live independently.

Q. Where did Goodwill come from?  How did it start?

A.  Goodwill started in 1902 when a Boston minister, J. Edgar Helms, had the idea of collecting unwanted goods from people and then refurbishing them to sell to the public at low prices.  This concept has grown the Goodwill movement. Today there are more than 165 different Goodwill’s in the US, Canada and 14 other countries.

Q.  Are the people who work at your store volunteers?

A.  People who work at our store are paid employees, not volunteers. We also offer many training opportunities for people we serve.  All participants in training to learn skills for employment earn a pay check.

Q. Why should I donate to Goodwill rather than other thrift stores? 

A.  Goodwill is a great cause that helps people locally.  When you donate to Goodwill, you help us help others right here in our community.  Programs help people with disabilities or disadvantages get a job and live independently.

Q.  What happens to donated items that aren’t sold at Goodwill stores?

A.  Our goal is to try to generate money to fund Goodwill programs from every item that is donated.  So in most cases, we’ll do what we can to get items in sellable shape.  As for items that can’t be sold in our stores, we’ve found other creative uses for them. For instance, some member Goodwill’s recycle old clothing scraps into industrial wipes (cleaning cloths) for industrial buyers. Other items that are too damaged for retail sales are sold to salvage brokers.

Q.  It seems like Goodwill services vary in different geographic locations. Why is this?  Are all Goodwill’s around the country the same? 

A.  Goodwill Industries International is an association of more than 165 autonomous member organizations.  Each Goodwill is governed by a local, volunteer board of directors and strives to identify the needs of the community.  Based on the needs of the community, each Goodwill designs programs and services that give Goodwill participants the skills they need to find work and live independently.

Q. Where can I learn more about Goodwill?

A. You can contact Kim Buschkoetter at 308.380.3344 or kimb@goodwillne.org to learn more, schedule a presentation at your business or organization, or take a tour of the service site in your location.

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