December Chamber Member of the Month
Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska, Inc
The Aurora Chamber of Commerce would like to recognize long time member Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska, Inc for December's Member of the Month.
Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska, Inc first became a Chamber Member in 2009 and first started serving Nebraska in 1968 when they were first incorporated.
Goodwill is a 501 (c) (3) community-based nonprofit organization governed by a local volunteer board of directors, with our CEO, Tammy Slater directing day-to-day operations.
"Central Nebraska Goodwill Industries employed 22 people and provided services to 11. In 2002, our name changed to Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska as we expanded our territory to western Nebraska. In 2018, over 2,000 people received services, with 285 employees," Vice President Compliance and Communications Kim Buschkoetter said.
Although Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska, Inc is not directly located in Hamilton County, they have helped serve Hamilton County for several years with many services.
"While we do not have a service office in Hamilton County, citizens living in the county have received services through our Grand Island location. We provide services through three distinct departments," Buschkoetter said. "Behavioral Health Services meets the recovery needs of individuals diagnosed with a substance use disorder and/or a serious and persistent mental illness such as schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, or major depression."
"Court Appointed Services support court-involved individuals by facilitating access to housing, promoting employment and life skills, and linking to resources, which promote community safety and increased self-sufficiency. Developmental Disability Services supports people diagnosed with a developmental or intellectual disability to help them acquire, improve and retain the skills needed to be as independent as possible. Employment and Career Services serves people diagnosed with an intellectual or developmental disability, acquired brain injury, behavioral health diagnosis and/or substance use disorder or barriers, such as poverty, to work successfully in their community."
Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska, Inc is also widely know around the community for holding donation drives in Aurora. These donated items are either sold in their retail stores or processed for the recycling market.
Something that many people don't know about Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska, Inc is that during our holiday get-togethers, they purchase gifts from a Goodwill store. Everyone finds a great gift to share with his or her colleagues.
Buschkoetter says the best days of work are when they get to support people to live independently, find employment or stay committed to their recovery journey is a great day at work.
She says their favorite part of Hamilton County is all the friendly and welcoming citizens.
"We are very grateful for the community’s support of our donation drives," Buschkoetter said.
When asked what the hardest part of what they do Buschkoetter said it is telling their story about services offered.
"Our services promote independence and access to the community, help people get and keep a job, support goals of wellness and recovery, teach responsible behavior and provide safe and affordable housing. Many people benefit from multiple programs and services."
A typical day at Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska, Inc varies from place to place but you can usually find someone accepting and sorting donations, for others it is working on the sales floor and for others, it is providing direct services.
"When people think of Goodwill, they most likely think of a store and a place to donate. While that is true, there is much more to the Goodwill story," Buschkoetter said. "Goodwill started in 1902 when a Boston minister, Edgar J. Helms, had the idea of collecting unwanted goods from people and then refurbishing them to sell to the public at low prices. This concept has grown the Goodwill movement. We are one of 163 autonomous Goodwill® organizations in the United States and Canada and one of four serving the state of Nebraska."
Buschkoetter says that they depend on the donations we provide to help fund their mission and better serve Nebraska.
"Revenue generated by donated goods supports our programs for people living with disabilities or barriers. While our Goodwill does receive government funding, we depend on revenue generated from the sale of donated goods and fund raising to fully fund our programs and services."
For more information about Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska, Inc, check them out on auroranebraska.com under the business directory.