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.

Plan an Oscars Party with Goodwill®

Roll out the red carpet, it’s almost time for the Oscars! The 89th Academy Awards Ceremony is just under a week away, so there’s still time to pull together a party if you’re ready to relive your favorite cinematic moments from the past year in the company of your other movie-loving friends. Just set the dress code (full evening dress, of course), dream up some dazzling decor and make a menu worthy of the silver screen. Sound like a lot? It’s easier than you think with the simple suggestions below!

Celebrities and Goodwill shoppers wearing the four flattering colors.

Image via yourgoodwill.org

I recently learned from Goodwill Keystone Area (Harrisburg, PA) that the Pantone Color Institute has identified four colors that flatter every person on Earth, no matter their hair, skin or eye color and tone. Mellow Rose, True Red, Indian Teal and Eggplant regularly grace the red carpet precisely because they complement all features, so for your Oscars party, scope your local Goodwill in search of these four hues to create an award-winning ensemble. You may even find attire that has actually been worn by a star!

A frame with a sign that says "And the Award Goes to..."

Image via catchymyparty.com

Set the scene at home for a glitzy event with a few glamorous touches, like this display pinned from Catch My Party on Pinterest. Another pinner noted there are always a plethora of vases at her local Goodwill, and I’ll add that picture frames are usually abundant, too! Recreate your own version of this table in the entryway of your home to greet guests on Oscars night, and they’ll be buzzing with anticipation even before a category is announced.

Vases filled with flowers and candy

Image via blog.ocgoodwill.org

As with any event, the menu is a great opportunity to drive a theme home, so how perfect would movie theater snacks be? Here on the East Coast, the live event will begin at 7 p.m., so nibbles are all that’s needed. I’d serve some fresh popcorn and dress up concession stand sweets in their award show best just like Goodwill of Orange County (Santa Ana) has done in the centerpiece above. Did anyone else notice that the cloth under the centerpiece is Mellow Rose? Apparently, this color is even flattering for displays!

We love watching characters on screen rise from their struggles to find success, but it’s easy to forget that these stories of triumph are all around us. In fact, Goodwill organizations generate opportunities every day for people to achieve economic stability and build strong families and vibrant communities by offering career training, financial stability tools and other community-based programs for people who have disabilities, people who lack education or job experience, veterans and military families, older workers, youth and young adults, people reintegrating back into society and others who face challenges to finding employment. You can be a part of someone’s happy ending when you support these integral programs simply by shopping at Goodwill for your Oscars party needs!

Julia Marchand

 

 is a home decor/DIY blogger, 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.

Free Help Preparing Your Tax Return

Goodwill Easterseals offers free help preparing your tax return through the VITA program. Click this link to see how you can benefit from VITA:

For more information visit our website: http://gesgc.org/my-finances to access a link to prepare your own Federal and State return for free for households with an income up to $64,000. Telephone and local support will be available.

For more information or to set an appointment please call our VITA Coordinator at 251-433-4900 or click here http://gesgc.org/my-finances to set your own appointment at the site of your choice.