Good to Know

    Take your legislator to work dayTake Your Legislator to Work Day

    Sarah James was recently hired at the Best Western Plus Milwaukee Airport Hotel and Conference Center as a dining room attendant. Her job includes serving breakfast, setting tables, and cleaning the dining area, among other things. Both Sarah and Best Western were very excited to be a part of the Take Your Legislator to Work Campaign. The Take Your Legislator to Work Campaign is organized each year by the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities.

    Sarah was lucky to be visited by not one, but two local legislators – State Senator Chris Larson and Representative Christine Sinicki. Sarah was excited to show the senator and representative her various jobs and they all were able to work side-by-side sweeping, mopping and cleaning. Sarah loves her job and is always learning new tasks to keep her moving forward.  When asked what she likes most about working at Best Western, Sarah said, “I like talking to the guests and the other girls I work with.” She was proud to say how much Goodwill has helped her on her journey to community employment and how Goodwill’s Supported Employment program continues to support her at Best Western.

    Executive Chef Tim Buldak, works closely with Sarah and said, “It was a balancing act to find what she wanted to do, not just what we wanted or needed a person to do. We really, really enjoy having her here. Goodwill’s Supported Employment is a great program and Sarah is a proven success story. ”

    Cleaning Olympics Held in RockfordCleaning Olympics Held
    in Rockford, Illinois

    Goodwill provides custodial services at the Federal Courthouse in the Northern District of Illinois. Coinciding with the Olympic competition in Sochi, Russia, Goodwill’s Custodial Contract Services recently held its Cleaning Olympics in Rockford, Illinois. On February 28, the much-anticipated medal ceremony was held amid other closing festivities. Medals were awarded for events like the Lobby All Around, Jury Room Relay, Terrazzo Floor Routine and others.  

    Special guests attended the closing/medal ceremony, including Honorable Judge Thomas Lynch from the Federal Bankruptcy Court, Shawn Lewellen from General Services Administration (Goodwill’s customer), and several tenants for whom the Goodwill employees keep the building so clean.  Judge Lynch said, “People involved in court proceedings here can be under a lot of stress. The comfort and cleanliness of this building helps them feel better.”  Mr. Lewellen added, “Everyone loves being in such a great environment – one that you all created and keep up. It’s amazing to come to work every day for me because you are so joyful to be here working.”

    Jill Boepple, Goodwill Director of Environmental Services & Business Development, organized this second annual event and although it is a tremendous amount of work, she said it’s worth the effort. “We have a lot of SourceAmerica participants in our group. SourceAmerica is the national leader in creating job opportunities for a skilled and dedicated workforce of people with significant disabilities. One of the goals of that organization is to graduate participants from the program so they can go out into the community to work. In fact, Diane F. is one example of the program’s success. Her last day was at the closing ceremonies on a Friday and she starts a full time job with benefits at Lowes on Monday!” Diane said, “I’m wonderfully grateful for this experience. Federal Court – that’s big! Everyone was so patient with me as I went through training. This is an amazing team and I will miss them.”

    Dwight Ferguson, Goodwill Vice President of Food and Environmental Services, said the event serves multiple purposes. “It improves teamwork and morale. Also, we can assess skills and time management. This helps us refine our training as well as cross-train. Finally, by involving personnel from the courts and other building tenants, we are educating them about Goodwill being here and taking care of them and their environment,” he said.

    Goodwill Receives Award for Electronics Recycling

    Dell ReconnectGoodwill prides itself in being “green” and practices the “reduce, reuse, recycle” adage every day. In order to expand that philosophy to include today’s plethora of electronic equipment, Goodwill has partnered with Dell computers to “reuse, refurbish, recycle” these products through the Dell Reconnect Program. Dell has recognized Goodwill of Southeastern Wisconsin as the "Best in Dell Reconnect 2013" for achieving near perfect metrics in the Dell technology recycling program.

    The Dell Reconnect program makes it easy and free to get rid of old technology. Just bring your computers, keyboards, mice and hard drives to a participating Goodwill Store & Donation Center and it will be inspected so as to determine whether to reuse, refurbish, or recycle it. Reuse means the device is in good condition and can be resold at Goodwill after it is cleaned and tested. Refurbish means the device needs an upgrade or repair before being resold. Recycle means the device will be broken down securely and recycled responsibly so as to protect our planet.

    Here are some tips to remember:

    • The program is free to consumers.
    • The program accepts any brand of computer in any condition.
    • The program practices responsible and safe recycling.
    • The program helps divert e-waste from landfills.
    • The program is offered at over 2,000 locations throughout the United States.
    • Donations help communities by offering affordable used computer electronics to people in need, as well as provide job training and opportunities for individuals with disabilities or disadvantages.

    Click here to locate a Goodwill Store & Donation Center.

    Goodwill Gets Another Award

    Suburban Family Magazine has named Goodwill a 2014 Reader’s Choice Award winner in the Best Thrift Shop category. Both the magazine and its website,, accepted ballots for a four month period. Suburban Family (magazine and website) reaches over 185,000 readers in family-friendly Chicagoland suburbs, a market area of over two million residents. To view the entire listing of winners, go to

    © Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin