Creating Opportunity Fundraising Breakfast

Celebrating our first annual Creating Opportunity Fundraising Breakfast.  Thank you to everyone who attended, and the outpouring of support from our community, to make this event such a huge success!  We would also like to thank our sponsors: Willis Tower Watson, Felder Services, Wintzell’s Oyster House, Hancock/Whitney Bank, Motivation Media, Inc., Thames Batre Insurance, and Irwin Siegel Agency, Inc.  Enjoy this video by Motivation Media, which was featured during the event  https://youtu.be/30enh8J_buE

@michaeljosully @MotivationMediaInc @synovus #HereMatters

Getting Organized— As Easy as A-B-C…and D

(Second in a series on Spring Cleaning)

When spring cleaning, you may be taking the opportunity to streamline your accumulation of housewares, clothing, shoes and books. How do you decide what goes and what stays?

Getting organized is all about decisions. My definition of clutter is “delayed decisions and delayed actions.” Everything you see sitting around on your countertops is a decision that hasn’t been made (whether to keep it, where to put it, etc.) or an action that hasn’t been taken (need to return it to the store, need to take it to the garage, etc.).

Our favorite way to help you make decisions is by using our A-B-C-D prioritization tool.

Think of each item and any potential storage places as A, B, C or D, according to the definitions below:

“A” things are used frequently, even daily or multiple times per day, like your toothbrush or your paper towels. “A” spaces are your countertops and other flat surfaces; the most eye-level, easy-to-reach shelves; the handiest drawers; and the other most easily accessible spaces in your home.

“B” things are used often but just not as frequently as the “A” things, like a blender or maybe a large salad bowl. They need to be put in “B” spaces, meaning behind “A” things, above or below “A” things, inside a cabinet or in otherwise less accessible spots.

“C” things are used, but they are used infrequently or seasonally, such as holiday decorations. They need to be in “C” places that are less accessible and completely out of the way of the daily flow of living in your home.

“D” things are items you actually do not use, but you feel you have to keep them anyway, like old tax records or spare furniture. Categorizing something as “D” does not automatically mean it’s bad and should be discarded, but “D” things need to be in “D” places, as out of the way as possible. Of course, we encourage you to think carefully about donating “D” things, since by definition you are not using them, and, well, D is for Donate, right? 😉

The goal is to get the “A” things in the “A” places, and the “D” things in the “D” places. We often see “C” things in “A” places, and so on, taking up valuable real estate in your space.

Ideally, your home would have mostly “A” and “B” things you really use and love, and very few “C” and “D” items.

During this phase of reviewing and deciding, it’s helpful to ask yourself some questions when you are unsure about an item. Here are some of our favorites:

• When is the last time you used this item?
• What does it cost (in both time and money) to replace this item? And how hard would it be to find and purchase this item again?
• What is the worst-case scenario if you did donate this item? The answer to this question might not be so bad, and just the act of considering it makes decision making easier.

What would your home feel like if you only had things you intentionally wanted and needed — things you use and love? Be choosy about what surrounds you, and donate what you no longer need to Goodwill® so it can find a good home and help people in your own community with job training and placement and other services and opportunities. Find your nearest donation center at http://locator.goodwill.org, or download the Goodwill app! For a list of “20 Questions to Ask About Keeping Anything,” visit www.clutterdiet.com/twenty to get a free PDF printable.

12 Ways You Can Help Your Community While Cleaning and Shopping This Spring

As the weather warms and flowers bloom, thoughts turn to exchanging the drabness and darkness of winter for the bright freshness of spring. The annual ritual of spring cleaning has deep roots associated with various cultures and traditions. Today, the exercise of deep cleaning in springtime is practiced by 72 percent of Americans, and more than half (57 percent) of U.S. consumers say they shop for spring/summer apparel items during this time of year.

Whether you plan to rejuvenate your home or refresh your wardrobe (or both!), include Goodwill in your spring plans. You can help give people in the Southwest Alabama & Northwest Florida community a fresh start through job training and placement, which is supported by donating to and shopping at Goodwill Easterseals stores.

Through its social enterprise model, Goodwill Easterseals sells donated items to create job opportunities and programs for job seekers, including youth, older workers, veterans and military families, people with disabilities and disadvantages, and others with specialized needs. In 2015, local Goodwill organizations collectively placed 312,000 people in employment in the U.S. and Canada, and more than 35 million people accessed Goodwill education classes, mentoring services and training online to strengthen their skills.

By donating to Goodwill during this spring cleaning season, you can extend the lifecycle of your goods, which helps the environment while creating employment programs in our community. After you donate, why not also spend some time shopping at Goodwill Easterseals, replenishing your wardrobe while helping even more?

Here are 12 great ways to spring into action!

  1. Head to your local Goodwill Easterseals store and create a mix-and-match collection of glasses to use as a great centerpiece and guest giveaway at your next spring fling gathering.
  2. Put a spring in your step with the perfect spring soundtrack. At Goodwill Easterseals, you’ll find a selection of vinyl records from artists old and new. What’s your pleasure?
  3. Explore. Breathe in that fresh spring air and get outside again! Visit the National Park Service and prepare for your spring camping trip with gear and equipment found at Goodwill Easterseals.
  4. Design a statement wall in your home and show off your individual style with Goodwill’s selection of mirrors, frames, baskets, art, clocks, plates and other decorative items.
  5. Get moving! Spring cleaning isn’t just for your closet. Toss out unhealthy winter habits and shape up for spring with workout clothes and equipment from Goodwill Easterseals.
  6. Donate the business attire you no longer wear. You’ll be helping your community and someone else can use it to rock their interview or first day at a new job.
  7. Did you resolve to stop looking at your smartphone to find out the time every five minutes? Spring forward while being fashion forward with a new watch from Goodwill Easterseals.
  8. Play! Tis the season for spring sports — think, soccer, softball, lacrosse, golf — and you can save on sports equipment. Be a game changer for someone in your community by shopping at Goodwill Easterseals for your gear.
  9. Power up and change your community. Donate your electronics for someone else to enjoy and be a sustainable shopper by picking up something for yourself!
  10. Shop for spring style. Warmer weather means time to shed those layers! Update your wardrobe with bright colors and patterns by shopping at Goodwill Easterseals.
  11. Clean out the clutter and organize your space. Take your unwanted items to Goodwill Easterseals and pick up some storage bins or creative storage items while you’re there.
  12. Grow opportunity and plant seeds of change in your community this spring by donating to and shopping at Goodwill Easterseals. Get your gardening items and creative planting pots to create the perfect outdoor landscapes.

No matter how you celebrate the arrival of spring, by including Goodwill Easterseals in your warm weather plans, you can make a significant and lasting impact in the Southwest Alabama & Northwest Florida community well past summer.

Happy spring from Goodwill Easterseals of the Gulf Coast!

Set Your Sights on Spring

Blog post by  and shared on The Goodwill Blog

Even if you’re currently buried under several feet of snow, we’ve reached a point in the winter season where we can actively start preparing for spring! March is right around the corner, which means that we’re in the home stretch. Cure your cabin fever by setting your sights on spring with these fun fashion tips and projects!

A dresser refinished to be a potting desk
Image via hgtv.com

Keep your eyes peeled for a vintage vanity dresser so you can DIY a perfect potting bench for springtime planting! This one was shared by Goodwill Industries of the Inland Northwest (Spokane), and I’m absolutely smitten. By replacing the mirror with pegboard, this already versatile piece of furniture becomes even more adaptable. Set it up for garden prep now. Then, when all of your plants are in the ground, transition it to an outdoor bar perfect for summer entertaining. Could it also be a hot cocoa station in the fall? You bet! And since you’d be keeping a dingy old dresser out of the dump, this gardening project is twice as nice for Mother Earth. Click through to the original post to see before photos and the summertime refresh, too!

An inspiration board with a striped skirt, white tee, purse, cardigan and sandals
Image via goodwillnm.org

Goodwill Industries of New Mexico (Albuquerque) has some great tips to help you focus on springtime shopping that can also transition into summer wears. Simply find foundation pieces (like this white tank and striped skirt), and then add sunny accessories and accents. This entire look, with shoes and a bag, was found at one of its stores for less than $30. Can you believe it? Goodwill’s network of organizations helps support services for millions of people annually and delivers positive social and environmental outcomes for the global community, so when you shop at Goodwill®, your dollars are going toward a great cause.

Betsy wearing an Army green top, black pants and heels, standing in front of a mural
Image via goodwilldigger.com

Betsy from the blog Goldwill Digger has fashion for the upcoming season on her mind, too. She recently posted a list of 2017 spring trends that she’s shopping for at her local Goodwill, so make sure you check it out before you hit the racks. On her list, she highlights athleisure — workout-inspired clothing pieces dressed up for everyday occasions — as an ongoing trend and exemplifies the look with the army green pants and patterned sweatshirt she’s wearing here. You can nail this trend, too, by sticking with neutral colors on sporty attire that are complemented by classic style elements like the aviators, heels and leather jacket Betsy has chosen here.

With a plan in place for spring shopping, these last weeks of winter will quickly melt away. What’s in the project or fashion forecast for you this season?

Julia Marchand

 is a home decor/DIY blogger at Jeeze, Julia!, and a fledgling seamstress concerned with environmental and social consciousness. With a passion for vintage and mid-century pieces, her New England apartment probably doesn’t look much different than her grandparents’ house did when her Mum was young.