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Wedding Dress Sale Under Way at Rivergate Goodwill

Hundreds of beautiful wedding dresses and prom gowns will be sold at bargain prices at Nashville’s Rivergate  area Goodwill store from now until April 4.

The sale is being held in lieu of Goodwill’s annual Wedding Gala, which was put on hold this year but will return in 2016. The dresses can be found in a featured section at the front of the Rivergate store, located near Rivergate Mall at 2101 Gallatin Rd, Madison, TN.

“Our other stores will have a few gowns in stock, but we are trying to concentrate them at Rivergate so customers will find a wide selection in various sizes,” Goodwill’s Director of Retail Jeff Luther said. “We will be replenishing the stock daily as they are sold.”

Prices for wedding dresses will range from $19.99 up, depending on the quality and type of gown. Prom dresses will be priced as low as $9.99.

The promotion will include two “first Saturday” sales, when everything in the store — including the wedding dresses — will be on sale for half price. Those dates are March 7 and April 4.

The Rivergate Goodwill store is open 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday.

 

New Goodwill Store Planned in Bellevue

Former Toys “R” Us Space To Include Career Solutions Center

Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee is expanding with a new store, Goodwill Career Solutions center and covered, drive-through Donation Express Center in the former Toys “R” Us location in Nashville’s Bellevue community.

The thoroughly remodeled, 35,091-square-foot building at 7663 U.S. Highway 70 South will open in early June. The facility is expected to create 45-50 new jobs.

“We’re excited to bring the full complement of Goodwill’s employment and training services to the Bellevue area and to increase our longstanding investment in the community,” said Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee President and CEO Matthew Bourlakas. “Community residents will now be able to donate their gently used items, get help finding a job and enjoy a top-notch shopping experience at the reasonable prices Goodwill is known for, all in a single location.”

Goodwill first established a presence in the Bellevue Community in 1997 with a donations site. In December of 2006, Goodwill chose 247 Old Hickory Blvd. in Bellevue as the site of its first free-standing, drive-through Donations Express Center. There is another Donations Express Center at 8056 Highway 100 in the Shoppes on the Harpeth.

“The Bellevue Harpeth Chamber is excited for the opportunity that Goodwill has taken to fill the retail space formerly occupied by Toys-R-Us,” said Jad A. Duncan, president of the Bellevue Harpeth Chamber of Commerce. “Our excitement seems to match the sentiment of the Bellevue community as well.

“Goodwill is an excellent organization that truly embraces the spirit of our community by giving back to our citizens,” he added. “With two other locations in Bellevue, Goodwill expanding its footprint in the community makes perfect sense, and we look forward to years of partnering together.”

Goodwill Career Solutions offers free one-on-one job training and placement services to people who need help getting a job. In 2014, Goodwill assisted 28,159 people at its 29 Career Solutions centers in Middle and West Tennessee. Of those, 9,558 landed jobs. Goodwill offers these free services through the generosity of its donors and shoppers. The funds used to deliver Career Solutions services are generated through the sale of donated items.

The new Goodwill store and Career Solutions Center are a reflection of Goodwill’s commitment to the community and an outgrowth of Bellevue’s support over the years for Goodwill’s mission, Goodwill Vice President of Retail David Jenkins said.

“This is not your typical Goodwill,” he said. “Our average store sales floor is 17,000 square feet. Bellevue’s store will have a sales floor of 25,000 square feet, making it the second-largest in our 48-county area.”

About Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.
For more than 55 years Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has provided job training and job placement free of charge to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment through the sale of donated items. In 2014, Goodwill served 28,159 people in Middle and West Tennessee and placed 9.558 people in jobs. More information about Goodwill’s Career Solutions, retail stores and donation centers can be obtained online at  www.giveit2goodwill.org or by calling 1-800-545-9231.

Most Stores Open on Time as Winter Storms Stretch Into Third Day

All but one of Goodwill’s 34 stores opened on time Wednesday as snow fell in some parts of Middle and West Tennessee, keeping salt trucks and snowplows busy for a third consecutive day.

The store at 205A Indian Lake Boulevard in Hendersonville was without power at 7:30 a.m., along with other businesses in the area, forcing management to delay opening for customers until after the power was restored about 9:40 a.m.

Another arctic blast was forecast to deliver brutally cold temperatures — with wind chills as low as -15 degrees — overnight and through midday Thursday.

Only one of the 29 Goodwill Career Solutions centers —  780 Berry Road in Nashville — remained closed Wednesday. Though clients were being assisted at open centers, many of the job fairs that had been scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday were being postponed.

Some of Goodwill’s Donation Express Centers were closed Wednesday, although drive-through donation sites and those located at stores were open.

Hours at Goodwill facilities remaining open are subject to change according to the weather. Phone numbers, hours and other information for individual Goodwill stores, Career Solutions Centers and Donation Express Centers can be found on our website, giveit2goodwill.org.

Goodwill Stores Open as Ice Storm Extends into Second Day

Goodwill stores were open Tuesday as the effects of an ice storm extended into a second day across much of middle and west Tennessee, but many other Goodwill facilities remained closed for the safety of employees.

David Jenkins, vice president of retail for Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, said district managers were working with the staff of each store to determine whether they could open for business.

“There’s a fine balance between wanting to serve the customer and serving the employees to keep them safe,” he said. “If a customer is willing to brave the weather to get up to our stores, the last thing we want is for them to find a locked door. If we can do anything to serve them and do it safely, we want to do it.”

Many roadways remained covered with a hazardous coating of ice, and further snow showers were possible Tuesday night, according to the National Weather Service.

Goodwill’s 29 Career Solutions Centers were mostly closed, and job fairs scheduled for Tuesday have been postponed. Of Goodwill’s 81 Donation Express Centers, only those at Goodwill stores remained open.

Hours at the stores and donations sites remaining open are subject to change according to the weather. Phone numbers, hours and other information for individual Goodwill stores, Career Solutions Centers and Donation Express Centers can be found on our website, giveit2goodwill.org.

 

 

Winter Storm Closes Many Goodwill Facilities

While most Goodwill stores were open Monday, most other Goodwill facilities across middle and west Tennessee closed for the protection of employees after an icy winter storm made roads treacherous.

Several Donation Express Centers on government property were already closed because of President’s Day, and many others closed because of the storm. Only those located at stores remained open after 1:30 p.m.

Goodwill’s Career Solutions centers were also closed across the 48-county territory, and the headquarters of Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee in downtown Nashville shut down at lunchtime.
Hours at the stores and donations sites remaining open are subject to change according to the weather. Phone numbers, hours and other information for individual Goodwill stores, Career Solutions Centers and Donation Express Centers can be found on our website, giveit2goodwill.org.

Middle School’s Fashion Show To Feature Goodwill Apparel

Girls Learn to Feel Great About Themselves While Shopping on a Budget

Bella LeMieux snagged a silver top and feathery peach skirt for $9.  Kaitlynn Hibdon chose a grey sweater-dress, pink leggings and sparkly boots for $14. And Christina Brenner bought light-blue pants and a “really cute” purple blouse for $13.

They were among 36 girls from Lebanon’s Winfree Bryant Middle School who combed through the racks at the local Goodwill store Saturday, seeking runway-ready expressions of their unique style. The store opened an hour early for the group.

The students from grades 6-8 will show off their newly acquired apparel when the school presents its third annual Second-Hand Chic fashion show at 6 p.m. Feb. 19 in the school auditorium. Preparation for the event, which will be open to the public, introduces the girls to wise shopping habits, showing them it’s not necessary to spend a lot of money to find stylish clothes.

“It’s eye-opening for everybody,” Principal Becky Kegley said. “We have girls who go to expensive stores and never thought about shopping at Goodwill. They suddenly realize, ‘Wow. This is really cool. I can shop here and get just as good of an outfit.’”

But dressing sharp on a budget is just one of the lessons students learn, Kegley said.

“Middle school is a really hard time for girls. A lot of them have low self-esteem, so we give them a moment to shine,” she explained. “Also, it’s about supporting the girls and finding mentors to help them see their true value and worth.”

Participants in the show — 12 from each grade — were hand-picked from a group of about 300 interested girls represent a wide range of backgrounds and resources, Kegley said. Each of the participants shopped with a teacher or parent to help them select their outfits.

Saturday’s purchases were made mostly with funds donated by educators at Winfree Bryant Middle School.

Supporting Goodwill, which provides training and employment opportunities for people in Wilson County and across Middle Tennessee, makes the experience even better, Kegley said. Her students agreed.

“It makes me feel really good, because I feel like I’m giving somebody a job,” said eighth-grader Christina Brenner.

On the day of the show, a local beauty salon will provide free makeup and hair styling, and restaurants will provide dinner and intermission treats. Then, the girls will head out under the lights, accompanied by music, to model their outfits.

“Any time we can get the message across that they are beautiful, that they have true worth, and that we love them, we have accomplished great things,” Kegley said.

SECOND-HAND CHIC FASHION SHOW

When: Thursday, Feb. 19

6 p.m.

Where: Winfree Bryant Middle School auditorium

1213 Leeville Pike

Lebanon, TN

About Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.
For more than 55 years Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has provided job training and job placement free of charge to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment through the sale of donated items. In 2014, Goodwill served 28,159 people in Middle and West Tennessee and placed 9.558 people in jobs. More information about Goodwill’s Career Solutions, retail stores and donation centers can be obtained online at  www.giveit2goodwill.org or by calling 1-800-545-9231.

 

Goodwill Surpasses 2014 Job Assistance, Placement Goals

 

Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee far exceeded its mission goals for 2014, providing free employment services and job training to 28,159 people and helping 9,558 land jobs.

Goodwill’s goals for last year were to assist 20,000 people and to place 6,000 in jobs. Those benchmarks were met in September. The organization, which serves 48 Tennessee counties, hopes to assist 30,000 people and place 10,000 in jobs in 2015.

Goodwill sells donated clothing and household goods in its stores to fund its mission of providing employment and training opportunities to people with disabilities and others who have trouble finding and keeping jobs. Nearly 90 percent of Goodwill’s clients who find jobs are placed with other employers.

There are 1,500 employers who actively hire people who receive services from Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee. Goodwill’s 29 Career Solutions centers host an average of 100 job fairs per month for those employer partners.

The centers also provide a wide range of training, from job readiness and computer literacy to retail, hospitality and logistics programs. Many Goodwill clients also receive more advanced training and certificates in areas such as health care, security and forklift operation.

About Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.
For more than 55 years Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has provided job training and job placement free of charge to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment through the sale of donated items. For more information about Goodwill’s Career Solutions, retail stores and donation centers, please visit www.giveit2goodwill.org or call 1-800-545-9231.

Goodwill Opening Donation Express Center In White House

New Site Behind White House Heritage High School

(Middle Tenn.) — Donors in White House will now have a new place to drop off their gently used items. Goodwill will open a Donation Express Center on Monday, Dec. 15, behind White House Heritage High School at 7744 Highway 76  in White House.

“We are looking forward to our collaboration with White House Heritage High School to help promote Goodwill’s mission of providing employment and training opportunities to people who have disabilities and others who have trouble finding and keeping jobs,” said Goodwill Donations Manager Randy Taylor.

Prior to the opening, the closest Goodwill Donation Express Center has been located in Springfield. The new center will be open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week.

Taylor noted this is the third time Goodwill has opened a Donation Express Center on the grounds of a Middle Tennessee high school. The first two such centers, opened at Harpeth High School in Kingston Springs and Hillsboro High School in Nashville, are receiving steady traffic and taking in many donations.

Donations to Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee are sold in its stores to fund its mission across its 48-county territory. As of Nov. 30, more than 26,000 people had received assistance at Goodwill Career Solutions Centers and more than 8,600 landed jobs.

About Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.
For more than 55 years Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has provided job training and job placement free of charge to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment through the sale of donated items. For more information about Goodwill’s Career Solutions, retail stores and donation centers, please visit www.giveit2goodwill.org or call 1-800-545-9231.

Goodwill Honors Outstanding Partners, Clients

Stories of Success, Determination Celebrated at Nashville Impact Luncheon

(Middle Tenn.) — A man who lost his possessions but realized a dream in the wake of the 2010 flood. A woman who hurdled cultural and language barriers to launch a career. These are just a few of the stories of tenacity and achievement celebrated by Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee at its Impact Luncheon awards ceremony Friday.

Eleven employees and Goodwill Career Solutions clients, three employer partners and a community partner were recognized at the event at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville

In his opening remarks, Goodwill President and CEO Matthew Bourlakas announced that Goodwill’s 28 Career Solutions centers have already surpassed their 2014 goals of providing employment assistance to more than 20,000 people and finding jobs for 6,000. So far this year, nearly 25,000 people have been served and more than 7,700 of those landed jobs.

Then, keynote speakers H.K. Derryberry and Jim Bradford shared the inspiring story of Derryberry’s life, his achievements despite tremendous odds and their friendship. Derryberry, who was delivered premature after a car crash killed his mother, is blind and suffers from cerebral palsy. Nonetheless, he has gone on to accomplish many things, such as riding a horse, driving a boat, snow-skiing and becoming a motivational speaker. Bradford, a businessman who became Derryberry’s mentor, has joined him for more than 50 speaking engagements.

 

MEET THIS YEAR’S AWARD WINNERS

LaVoi-Katz Award
This award is named in honor of two women who were loyal supporters of Goodwill, Madaleine LaVoi and Elsine Katz. The award is given to a Career Solutions client who has made outstanding progress in their program at Goodwill.

Joey Cripps loves his job at the Dollar Tree store in Shelbyville. He enjoys stocking the shelves, unloading trucks and even taking out the trash. He loves greeting customers and getting to know his fellow employees.

Joey’s boundless enthusiasm is one part of the recipe that helped him find the job he loves. But Joey also seriously embraced the concept that “getting a job is a job.” When Joey, who has a learning disability, came to Career Solutions in July of 2013, he had never been employed before.

He entered Goodwill’s Transitional Employment Services Program and was placed in a paid training program. When the program ended, he continued to come to the Shelbvyille Career Solutions Center every Monday for help with his resume, job-seeking skills and in completing online applications.

He interviewed for jobs several times without success, but he persevered and even encouraged and assisted other Goodwill clients. As he did, Joey went from being very shy to very confident. After nearly a year of hard work, Joey landed the position at Dollar Tree. Since then, he has convinced his store manager to increase his hours. Joey’s example shows what hard work and determination can do.

 110% Award
This award is given to a Career Solutions client who has succeeded beyond all expectations in their new job.

“Thank you for calling Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee. My name is Terrell, how can I help you?”

Callers to Goodwill’s Nashville headquarters might be interested to know that professional, friendly voice belongs to someone who has only been on the job for five months.

Considering how quickly Terrell Jones types on his computer keyboard and provides the needed information or connection, they might be even more impressed to learn that the Call Center position is the first job the 29-year-old has ever held. But they would be surprised, indeed, to learn that Terrell Jones, the efficient and knowledgeable phone operator, cannot see his keyboard or his computer because he has been blind from birth.

While talking to callers, Jones uses special software to scroll through over 900 pages of information that are read aloud to him through his headset. It took six weeks of intense training to become the first visually impaired client to work in Goodwill’s Call Center, but Jones’ hard work and determination have paid off for him and paved the way for others. He credits Goodwill Career Solutions for answering his call for help and connecting him with fulfilling employment.

Graduates of the Year
The recipients of this award have achieved great success since enrolling in Goodwill Career Solutions.

Terry Key lost everything in the Nashville flood of 2010. Three years later, he signed up for job training at Goodwill in hopes of starting over. The instructor encouraged Terry to follow his dream. Terry founded the Edgehill Bike Club, a nonprofit that mentors children and has given away over 400 refurbished bicycles.

When Marcia Brown came to Career Solutions late in 2013, she feared her age would keep her from getting a job.But the former stay-at-home mom tackled Goodwill’s job readiness classes and joined the Beyond Jobs program for women. In April, she was hired as a retail assistant at Goodwill’s Mt. View store, where she remains an outstanding employee. She has since bought her first car.

Over 15 years, Myrel Despot lost several jobs to closures, acquisitions and layoffs. The last time left her unemployed for three years. At Career Solutions in Murfreesboro, she completed digital literacy classes and online job search training. After expressing an interest in working for Goodwill, she was hired at the Murfreesboro store on Memorial Boulevard. in less than a year, she has been promoted twice and is now assistant manager.

Dallas Hamilton’s hopes for a military career were cut short by a physical ailment. After three civilian jobs in a year, he was struggling to find the right fit. He had some experience in food service, and after some counseling at Career Solutions, he attended a job fair at which Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen was hiring. He aced the interview and has been a valued employee at the Popeyes in Clarksville for more than a year.

A skilled handyman, William Hearn was nonetheless having trouble finding an employer who would give him a chance because of some troubles in his past. He came to Career Solutions in Mt. Juliet in May. With coaching from his career counselor, William became more comfortable talking to employers. He attended two more job fairs and met a recruiter from HotelPro, who hired him as an exterior cleaner. He remains employed there and says Goodwill helped restore his self-respect.

Eve Jones moved to the U.S. from Thailand in 2011, armed with a business administration degree and international sales experience. But after taking a few years off to raise a family, she found language and cultural barriers were keeping her from finding work. At the Shelbyville Career Solutions Center she got help with her interview and search techniques. To earn a current work history and work references, Eve participated in a situational assessment at the Goodwill store. She performed so well, she was hired as office administrator.

Amgad Moawd brought his wife and three children to the U.S. from Egypt last summer. Despite having a degree in Egyptology, he was hampered in his job search by the language barrier. He sought help from Career Soutions and completed job readiness, digital literacy and online job search training. Thanks to that help, he obtained a maintenance job at the Saint Cecilia Motherhouse.

Brenda Pett was ready to get back into the workforce but, despite being a registered nurse, she was unsure how to begin in the current market. A married, stay-at-home mom who had been out of the workforce for 20 years, she came into the Murfreesboro Career Solutions Center for help. There she completed training programs including digital literacy, resume writing and online job search. With her refreshed skills and a little coaching, she was ready for interviews. She now works as an RN case manager for St. Clair’s Senior Center.

Youth Graduate of the Year Stefanie Toups was an early participant in Goodwill’s Summer Work and Training for Retail Associate Certification programs. She also participated in the Youth-Building Program, which helped her land an internship and eventually a permanent position with Crossroads Campus, a non-profit agency that connects people with pets through innovative community programs.

Community Partner Award

The Shalom Zone, an organization that works to promote peace and improve life for citizens in Gallatin’s Clearview Community, has worked with Goodwill for more than 10 years to achieve its mission. As Goodwill clients have found assistance with child care, mental health and other services from Shalom Zone, that agency has sent its clients to Goodwill for assistance and training. This year alone 30 Shalom Zone clients got help from Goodwill Career Solutions, and nine were placed in jobs.

Employer Partner Awards

Several businesses were also recognized at the luncheon for their enthusiastic support of Goodwill’s mission. Speedway, Lowe’s and Waffle House, were honored for contributing to the success of Career Solutions through their employment practices and hiring of clients.

About Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.
For more than 55 years Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee has provided job training and job placement free of charge to people with disabilities or other barriers to employment through the sale of donated items. In 2013, Goodwill served 17,498 people in Middle and West Tennessee and placed 5,615 people in jobs. For more information about Goodwill’s Career Solutions, retail stores and donation centers, please visit www.giveit2goodwill.org or call 1-800-545-9231.

 

 

U.S. Sen. Corker Tours Goodwill’s Nashville Plant

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker poses with a group on Goodwill employees after his tour of the downtown facility on Thursday, November 6.

 

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker toured Goodwill’s downtown Nashville facility on Nov. 6 and saw for himself how donors’ gently used clothing and household items are turned into employment and training opportunities for thousands of Tennesseans each year.

Corker met with Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee employees including President and CEO Matthew Bourlakas, Board Chairman Donna Yurdin and Vice Chairman Fred McLaughlin for a video and discussion of Goodwill’s operations and mission before touring the plant. Bourlakas explained how money raised in Goodwill’s stores through the sale of donated items is used to provide numerous types of employment training, certifications and job placement services at Goodwill’s 29 Career Solutions Centers. So far this year those centers have served nearly 25,000 people and placed more than 7,600 in jobs.

Next, Goodwill Director of Production Joan Sundstrom led the senator on the path taken by donated clothing as it moves through the plant, from the dock, down an array of conveyors and past row upon row of employees who sort, tag and package the textiles for allocation to 34 Goodwill stores. About 450 people work at the plant, while total employment for Goodwill of Middle Tennessee tops 2,200.

“I was impressed by how much time the senator spent talking to the employees,” Sundstrom said.

One of those workers, Grace Wade, had been out of work for three years before being hired as a production associate at Goodwill.

“I didn’t have a job when I came to Goodwill,” she told the senator. “They gave me a chance to take my life back, and I love them for that.”

Corker concluded his tour by shaking hands and posing for photos with a group of plant workers who have disabilities. They presented him with an autographed picture of themselves.

“I am proud of the inspiring work Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee is doing to impact the lives of so many Tennesseans, and I enjoyed touring their facility in Nashville,” Corker said. “When most people think about Goodwill, they think about donating clothes, and while that’s certainly important, the work Goodwill is doing for local communities goes so much further.

“I was particularly touched by their work to provide opportunities for the disabled and individuals in need to find and maintain jobs,” he added.

Bourlakas said after the tour that the Senator’s reaction was gratifying but not surprising.

“For everybody who visits this plant, a huge takeaway is, ‘I had no idea of the size and scope and the impact of what Goodwill is doing,” he explained. “When you have a senator who shares those same reactions, it inspires me to work that much harder to get Goodwill’s message out.”