#GoodwillDateNight CHALLENGE TIME: $10 per outfit = an awkwardly hilarious date night

Have you heard about ‪#‎GoodwillDateNight? (http://abc6onyourside.com/news/offbeat/couple-goes-viral-after-boldly-embracing-goodwill-date-night).

A fun-loving couple, “Roger and Ethel”, bought each other outfits for $10 each to wear on a Date Night. What started as a donating and shopping trip to a Goodwill store has now turned into viral hashtag.

So now it’s our turn to keep the fun going…

The rules are:
1. LIKE US on Facebook: Goodwill Easterseals of the Gulf Coast and/or FOLLOW US on Instagram: @GoodwillEasterSealsGulfCoast
2. Each person can only spend $10 on clothes for their significant other or friend.
3. Go out on a date wearing the outfits! Have fun with it like this couple did!
4. SHARE the photo by posting on Facebook and/or Instagram with the hashtags #GoodwillDateNight and ‪#‎GESGoodwillDateNight (MAKE SURE you use the second hashtag, otherwise we won’t know it’s for the contest). Don’t forget to tag us in the photo!
5. GET LIKES! That’s how you win!
6. ***Optional*** DONATE the clothing back to us, and help more people on the Gulf Coast find their brighter futures!

Winners will be chosen based on the most combined likes from Facebook and Instagram. Only one photo will be counted in the contest (a photo grid is fine, but please only enter one photo with the #GESGoodwillDateNight hashtag). Each person can enter individually, or you can post one photo of both of you to increase your likes and share the prize!

The top three winners will receive:
1st Place: $75 Goodwill Easterseals Gift Certificate
2nd Place: $50 Goodwill Easterseals Gift Certificate
3rd Place: $25 Goodwill Easterseals Gift Certificate

Could your post will go viral as well? The contest ends at midnight on Friday, August 11th. Winners will be announced on Monday, August 14th.

Heavy Equipment Training

The first heavy equipment/construction training class has been completed! This small group held their graduation on Wednesday, July 5. The 11 graduates received NCCER core and construction equipment job skills training. Some participants already have jobs lined up, while others have interviews scheduled this week. Henry Nunn, who had the highest GPA in the class, says that this training gives him a better opportunity to provide for his family. He learned about the class at the Career Center in Bay Minette. Ty Vaughn was referred by the SNAP Employment & Training program. Both of these men have interviews lined up with Construction companies.

The classes were offered by A Cut Above the Rest Training Facility co-founders, Melinda Ricketts and Juanida Pitts. The Mission of A Cut Above The Rest Training Facility is to provide construction equipment and commercial lawn equipment job skills training (Nationally recognized craft skill training credentials), life skills and employability training to ex-offenders, displaced workers and veterans.Goodwill Easterseals provided the classroom space – in exchange for 2 “scholarship” slots. The regular cost for the program is about $3,000 per participant. Most of the slots were funded by Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services.

What is a Goodwill Bargain Store??

Did you know that there are two different versions of Goodwill Stores? Besides the standard stand-alone retail stores, Goodwill Easterseals of the Gulf Coast has two Bargain Stores, one in Mobile and one in Pensacola.

In the Bargain Stores, the merchandise is not displayed on shelves (except for a few token items). When you walk inside a Bargain Store you will see a sea of blue rolling bins that are filled with everything under the sun. These bins are refilled with goods three times a day. So be ready for the rush each time the new bins are brought into the retail area! The inventory is constantly rotating, so you never know what will be available for purchase.


Rachel, a Goodwill employee, says the Bargain Store is like Good Friday every day, with crowds at the door waiting for them to open. I arrived 30 minutes before the store opened, and a line was already forming.

The items found in the Bargain Store are items that have been on the shelves in the retail store that did not sell or smaller items just not worth pricing. You purchase some merchandise by weight. Large items, books, electronics and a few other items are priced separately, but still at a huge discount.

Here are some of the items the Bargain Store had to offer during my visit.  I was especially excited about the Telescope!


Today we Celebrate Helen Keller Day

On Helen Keller Day, we celebrate human resilience and achievement . Celebrated annually on June 27, the day commemorates the life and achievements of Helen Keller, American activist, author, and suffragist.

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter proclaimed June 27, her birthday, to be celebrated as Helen Keller Day, a celebration of human grit and hard work.  The holiday promotes the idea that people can overcome challenges and achieve anything they want if they put their hearts and souls into it.

Born in Alabama, Helen Keller suffered from an illness in her childhood that left her blind and deaf at the age of two. Despite her challenges, Keller learned to communicate in sign language with the help of her teacher Anne Sullivan. In 1904, Keller became the first deaf and blind person to earn a bachelor’s degree in the US.