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The GRID: Not Your Average Tech Store

July 4, 2014

Summer is a prime time for scooping up terrific savings on back-to-school necessities, and deals are sizzling this season at our new store The GRID: Powered by Goodwill. We carry just about anything you can imagine that relates to computers and technology—at Goodwill prices!

Most technology buyers tend to overspend in traditional retail stores. At The GRID: Powered by Goodwill, you can select from a range of Internet-ready computer systems or purchase those hard-to-find individual components—all at discounted prices that reflect a 15%-65% savings from retail markups.Whether you choose to tinker with a Raspberry Pi, upgrade your television or discover virtual reality through the groundbreaking Oculus Rift technology, The GRID has it all for you to experience.

Learn what tech-savvy shoppers are saying about our new store located in University City:

Elizabeth Isenhour

Elizabeth Isenhour

Have you stopped by The GRID yet? Tell us what you think in the comments.

Goodwill Construction Students Donate N.C. SAFE Box

July 1, 2014

Participants in Goodwill’s Construction Skills Training program recently partnered with a local middle school student to help children during times of crisis. Using materials provided by Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC), the class constructed a donation box to collect items for the organization N.C. Stuffed Animals For Emergencies (SAFE). The donation box was presented at the Matthews Free Medical Clinic during a special dedication ceremony on June 26.

The project was first introduced to the class by Ashton Gerlach, a seventh grade student at Providence Day School. Ashton asked Goodwill to construct a donation box for the N.C. SAFE chapter that she was beginning in Charlotte. N.C. SAFE collects new and gently-used stuffed animals, toys, books and blankets, and redistributes them to emergency organizations that help children undergoing traumatic life events.

“This partnership demonstrated how a little good can go a long way,” said Brian Otto, General Manager of Goodwill Construction Services. “The work these students completed not only sharpened their construction skills, but it also helped them find a meaningful way to give back to the community.”

Goodwill’s Construction Skills Training program is a seven-week class taught in partnership with CPCC that arms individuals with basic knowledge and skills needed to obtain a position in the construction industry. In addition to receiving training in construction math, blueprint reading, and the use of power and hand tools, students also gain important skills in résumé development, interviewing, work ethics and effective communication methods. Upon completing the program, students receive a 10-hour OSHA safety card and may also be awarded a forklift certification.

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Elizabeth Isenhour

Elizabeth Isenhour

Ashton’s partnership with Goodwill was featured in an article appearing in the Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly. How do you give back to your community?

DIY: Men’s Shirt Refashion

June 26, 2014

Pop quiz: When is a men’s shirt not a shirt? Answer: When it’s a skirt, of course! From dressy button-downs to oversized tees, Goodwill is a treasure trove of men’s shirts in every color of the rainbow, which is exactly why these ubiquitous staples should not be overlooked by women. We’ve rounded up the best tutorials on the Internet for turning dress shirts into high fashion (no sewing machine required).

Shirt-to-Skirt

Transform a classic men’s dress shirt into a high-waisted pencil “shkirt” in less than five minutes using this tutorial from Mommy Chic. Style tip: When paired with a sleek black tank, this skirt will add an effortless pop of color to your summer wardrobe.

shirt to skirt

Shirt-to-Strapless Top

You can turn a men’s shirt into a strapless top via this illustrated tutorial from Brit + Co. First, button up the shirt without the sleeves on. Take the sleeves and twist them, then criss-cross them around your back. Bring them back to the front, tie a little knot and you’re done! It’s perfect for a modern cowgirl look.

shirt to top

Shirt-to-Dress

This tutorial illustrates how to transform a dress shirt into a form-fitting minidress perfect for a beach cover-up or a night on the town. For a more demure look, try pairing it with some skinny jeans and heels. You can also refashion an oversized tee to achieve a similar look.

shirt to dress

Elizabeth Isenhour

Elizabeth Isenhour

How do you upcycle thrifted clothes?

Success Story: Rashad

June 20, 2014

Goodwill Cornerstone_Good Work! Award_Rashad JonesRashad, a graduate of Goodwill’s Occupational Skills Training program, says the best way to learn is to “close your mouth and open your ears.” Before coming to Goodwill, Rashad knew he had hit rock-bottom and wanted to make a change for himself and his family, including his mother, significant other and two kids.

Rashad participated in Goodwill’s Construction Skills Training program, where he earned his OSHA license, forklift certification and NCCER (National Center for Construction Education Research) card.

His positive attitude and eagerness to learn made a lasting impression on his teacher, fellow students and team members at Goodwill. “Rashad came in focused, energized and motivated,” said Thomas Elijah, a construction instructor with Central Piedmont Community College who teaches at Goodwill. “He is a success story—a model student, smart, and a leader of his class.”

“What inspired me was looking at Mr. Elijah and saying, ‘that could be me,’” said Rashad. “He patted you on the back saying you could do it. He made me feel like I could become a man.”

Rashad was skeptical about Goodwill at first because he thought it was just a retail store, but he found that Goodwill gave him the confidence to turn his life around. Says Rashad, “Goodwill is a one-stop shop. You’ll get what you need if you’re willing to put in the work.”

Today, Rashad works at Zemko Supply in Fort Mill, SC where he recycles and refurbishes electronics. He also participated in a welding program at Central Piedmont Community College. “I never realized that hard work could be so fulfilling and give you a sense of pride,” he says. “Goodwill has given me my confidence back.”

Elizabeth Isenhour

Elizabeth Isenhour

DIY: Transform Your Goodwill Finds

June 17, 2014

Shopping at Goodwill isn’t just about being frugal; it’s about being fashionable, too! Thrifting experts know how to look beyond an ill-fitting or outdated article of clothing to see the possibilities that lie ahead. With a little work and creativity, you can look your best by transforming a thrifted outfit into something trendy and stylish.

High-Waisted Jean Shorts

High-waisted shorts are everywhere this summer. Embrace this popular trend by transforming a pair of “mom jeans” into this season’s hottest look.

jean shorts

Watercolor Skirt

We are hopelessly in love with the soft and breezy appeal of watercolor prints. Marisa from the New Dress A Day blog shares how she remade a cotton skirt from Goodwill into a chic springtime skirt.

watercolor skirt

Gold-Tipped Ballet Flats

Spruce up a pair of ballet flats using sparkly gold paint. This simple tutorial shows you how to revamp even a scuffed-up pair of shoes.

DIY-gold-tipped-sparkly-ballet-flats-1

Colorblock Handbag

Colorblock purses add a pop of color to your outfit, but can be pretty pricey. Goodwill is a wonderful source for older handbags. With some acrylic paint, you can transform a pre-owned leather purse into the perfect accessory.

colorblock purse

Elizabeth Isenhour

Elizabeth Isenhour

How do you rock thrift store fashion?

Success Story: Curtis

June 13, 2014

Goodwill Cornerstone_Good Work! Award_Curtis BakerCurtis was unemployed for a year and a half after he was laid off from his 18-year job as a heating and air conditioning technician. While being unemployed brought about a lot of hardships for Curtis, there was one silver lining—getting to be a stay-at-home dad. “My kids kept me alive and productive,” says Curtis, who is married with a son and twin daughters.

He credits Goodwill with giving him a support system and the drive to keep going and be successful in his job search. “After I was laid off, I felt like a failure,” says Curtis. “Goodwill helped me to gain my confidence back. Now, I am prepared going into any scenario.”

After deciding on a career in the hotel industry, Curtis applied for jobs at nine local hotels. The last hotel where he interviewed referred him to Goodwill’s Hospitality & Tourism Training program. The seven-week program taught him essential skills for the hotel industry and gave him the credentials and certifications to succeed in any hotel position.

Before he graduated, Curtis found a job at the Hampton Inn in Pineville using the job search and interviewing skills he learned at Goodwill. He started at the front desk, where he learned the value of making himself approachable. His commitment to showing up early, providing excellent customer service and working hard paid off, and he was promoted to Chief Engineer.

“I have been very impressed with all the candidates that Goodwill has sent to me,” says Mae Nelson, Curtis’ employer and the Hampton Inn Pineville manager. “It seems that they bring a special type of positive energy and a real willingness to work, and I think they get that in their training.”

Curtis, a Union County native, says that the thing that most impressed him about the program was the overall willingness to help people. “Goodwill brought me in, treated me like family and made me feel at home. I loved coming here every day and still keep in touch with my fellow classmates, teachers and mentors. We all support each other.”

Elizabeth Isenhour

Elizabeth Isenhour

Create a Floating Bookshelf

June 10, 2014

bookshelf11Making a floating bookshelf is not hard, especially when you can use materials from your local Goodwill! All it takes is some sturdy, hardback books and a couple of brackets to make bookshelves that appear to float in midair.

Things you need:
• Three hardback books
• Three plain metal wall brackets
• Screws
• Drill
• Glue

Directions:
1. Take one book and open the back cover.
2. Lay the base of the bracket on the pages with the spine of the book facing out.
3. Using short screws that will not go through the cover of the book, screw the bracket through the pages of the book.
4. Glue the back cover to the bracket and pages so that it will not hang.
5. Screw the back of the bracket into the wall.
6. Stack books to cover the back of the bracket.

That’s all there is to it! I like making three floating shelves so that you can stagger them on the wall for a fun look. Alternatively, you can do a little more work if you have extra books on hand. Create shelves for plants, art or other small items by adding a book to cover up the back of the bracket, To create this one-of-a-kind display shelf, follow the directions above until you get to step five. Before screwing the bracket into the wall, place the back cover of a book between the bracket and the wall. Then, when you screw it in you can simply shut the book to cover the bracket completely.

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It is so easy to make great unique shelves from your book finds at Goodwill. Try it today and see what you can come up with!

Always curious, Ashley Hardway is constantly learning and passionate about sharing what she learns with others. Based in the Houston, Texas office of Morningside Nannies, she loves to help families grow stronger, help their environments and communities, and keep moving forward! Check out @NannyLady on Twitter to connect and find out more.