toggle mobile navigation

Supporting adults with disabilities to enjoy active and fulfilling lives.

banner image

Former Goodwill Recreation Assistant realizes dream

Posted by Leslie Chisholm on Nov 10, 2017 9:00:00 AM

For many years, Robin was a Recreation Assistant at the Community Opportunities Club (COC) North, which is part of our Day Services program. The participants there loved working with her. Oftentimes she made wonderful meals, special treats for holidays and other celebrations at the club. Cooking was a passion for Robin. For a long time she dreamed of opening her own restaurant. Last year, she finally did!

But, let me tell you a little bit more about Robin. She grew up in the West Allis area, learning to eat what was fresh and was taught that canning the best foods was important as well— even in the off season. In 1985 Robin married a Sailor from the East Coast who was born and raised on a five-generation dairy farm. And that's how she came to be known as “The Farmer's Wife!”

Fast forward to 2017 when she opened “The Farmer’s Wife,” which was an older home converted into the restaurant. It’s located on the corner of West Mitchell Street and South 66th Street, and you can see the West Allis Farmer’s Market from inside the restaurant. If you are looking for unique cuisine that includes local produce and other items, this is the place for you. You’ll be treated to menu items like Lobster Roll and Stuffed Quahog. According to Robin and Dick, “Local means Wisconsin made and grown and this is so important to us at "The Farmer's Wife." At least 95% of our product comes from right here in Wisconsin. That's what it is all about.”

Once our members of the COC West found out about the restaurant, they decided to check it out. And, boy were they impressed! They enjoyed an excellent lunch from the former Goodwill employee, who they remember with fondness —not only for her great cooking but also for her fun-loving attitude at Goodwill!

I’m guessing COC South group will be making a trip to “The Farmer’s Wife” very soon!

Read More

Goodwill Day Services quarterly collage

Posted by Guest on Nov 3, 2017 11:50:51 AM

As promised, each quarter we will feature a collage that showcases all the fun our participants in our Goodwill Day Services and Life Skills Development Programs have had year to date!

We invite you to view the fantastic activities our participants at the Goodwill Center for Work and Training–Southwest Campus enjoyed so far! We hope you like them too! If you have any questions on our programs feel free to contact us at (855) 455-1110.

Read More

Day Services Participant Choir to Perform for Disability Awareness Month

Posted by Nichole Uecker on Oct 16, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Musician Roy Ayers said, “The true beauty of music is that it connects people. It carries a message and we, the musicians, are the messengers.” For Goodwill participants in the Day Services Choir at the James O. Wright Center for Work and Training (JOW) program, the message expressed through song is that regardless of individual differences, we all have a gift to share with the world.

Read More

Dan the Cartoon Man Amazes Community Opportunities Club South

Posted by Jan Kruk on Sep 29, 2017 2:46:08 PM

Goodwill Community Opportunities Club members enjoy the activities and events we plan for them, but they really enjoy seeing  Dan the Cartoon Man. We discovered Dan Kashian many years ago when he was doing a weekly cartoon for the Bay View Press. Read More

Follow the Yellow Brick Road…to a lovely garden

Posted by Nicole Michalak on Aug 22, 2017 1:24:41 PM

In the past two years, Goodwill Life Skills Development and Day Services have taken over the responsibility of a large garden at the Center for Work and Training campus in Greendale. Last year the theme of the garden was Alice in Wonderland. Included in the garden was an array of perennials that consisted of hostas, lilies, roses, hydrangeas, lilacs, an evergreen tree and decorative grasses. Also planted last year, was a “healing” herbs section that included five different varieties of mint, lemon grass, bee balm, rosemary and lots and lots of lavender. The Alice in Wonderland theme garden was polished off with ornamental items such as tea pots, the Cheshire cat, the Queen of Hearts and her guards, and about twenty teacups that had flowers and grasses planted in them. The tea party was complete.

Read More

Fun and Sun at Goodwill’s 2017 Day Services Carnival

Posted by Nichole Uecker on Jul 20, 2017 12:37:33 PM

On Friday, June 23, Day Services and Life Skills Development programs at the James O. Wright Center for Work and Training (JOW) in Milwaukee hosted their third annual Day Services Carnival. This event generates tremendous excitement from both participants and staff who look forward to the carnival throughout the spring. For the 85 participants enrolled in the two programs, this event is an opportunity to socialize with friends and Goodwill employees, sample treats and drinks, win fabulous prizes, and enjoy the beautiful summer weather.  It also provides them with a fun way to develop fine and gross motor skills, math skills, and self-advocacy skills through the games, activities, and tickets earned during their participation in the carnival.

Read More

Goodwill Day Services looks back at good times

Posted by Guest on Jul 12, 2017 2:31:30 PM

As promised, each quarter we will feature a collage that showcases all the fun our participants in our Goodwill Day Services and Life Skills Development Programs have had year to date!

We invite you to view the fantastic activities our participants at the Goodwill Center for Work and Training–Southwest Campus enjoyed so far! We hope you like them too! If you have any questions on our programs feel free to contact us at (855) 455-1110.

Read More

Community Opportunities Club North hosts Flower Power 5K run/walk

Posted by Jennifer Houston on Jun 22, 2017 4:09:48 PM

Goodwill’s Community Opportunities Club North started their very own Mileage Club with the help of Recreation Assistant Joey James. Participants walk laps daily on the outdoor, paved, quarter-mile track. With hard work and a competitive spirit, they built up their stamina to participate (and host) in the program’s first ever Flower Power 5K fun run/walk held on May 25.

Read More

Fresh, Fun, Fabulous tour at Waukesha Floral & Greenhouse

Posted by Leslie Chisholm on May 26, 2017 3:36:50 PM

Sarah H., Carleen D. and Lorraine L., Goodwill Community Opportunities Club members, had a fresh, fun and fabulous tour of  Waukesha Floral & Greenhouse on Prairie Avenue back in April.  They viewed the beautiful atrium decorated with seasonal items, cooler room filled with available floral selections,  and the greenhouse and the warming house with the variety of potted flowering plants.  They learned about the different “seasons/times” that the floral shop prepares for throughout the year.

Read More

Students learn a lot through Senior Shared Life program

Posted by Jennifer Ott on Apr 20, 2017 1:02:16 PM

Each year, Marquette University High School (MUHS) seniors volunteer at Goodwill’s Day Services as part of the school’s Senior Shared Life program. This year, two young men helped at the Waukesha Adult Center (WAC) and one young man helped at the Community Opportunities Club (COC) South. Although the Goodwill participants and staff received a great deal of help and happiness from the three students, it was the men themselves who feel that they were rewarded even more.

Jack Sheffield of Cedarburg and Jake Klenz of Muskego, both volunteered at Goodwill’s WAC. Jack also works at the Goodwill Store & Donation Center in Grafton and that was the reason why he chose Goodwill for his Shared Life assignment. “The Shared Life program usually has opportunities in nursing homes, schools, and places with underprivileged children. Because I knew about the [Goodwill] day centers, I asked to work there,” said Jack. “Probably the biggest thing I learned was how welcoming everyone was to me, a stranger. The participants are really friendly to everyone they meet. They are so neat.” Jack’s highlight of each day was reading the newspaper to the participants. Jack’s future plans include studying at UW-Madison for a degree in law, eventually becoming an attorney.

Jake Klenz was intrigued by the ability of participants to communicate so well – nonverbally. He learned how to connect with them using gestures, expressions and other signs. “I was fascinated by their ability to adapt and be creative in their communication. They were perfectly fine figuring out how to tell me things,” he said. “They have a lot to say and aren’t going to let obstacles stop them from saying it. I was really impressed with them.” After graduation from MUHS, Jake plans to attend the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland to study Chemical Engineering. After four years of college, he will have five years of service to complete for the Navy. His favorite memory of his time at Goodwill was making the Mardi Gras masks. “The creativity of it all was amazing. There was glitter everywhere; ribbons were hanging off of the masks; feathers were flying through the air. And all the participants were so happy having all that fun!”

John Wallace, an Eagle Scout from Milwaukee, had a very positive experience at COC South. Through his scouting, he had previously worked with people with special needs and found it quite rewarding. In fact, John knew one of the participants at COC South from the LeFeber Northwoods Camp last year, where John was a counselor and the participant was a camper!

John’s future plans include entering the Navy Reserve and studying IT. In 2018, he wants to attend UW-Platteville and major in Mechanical Engineering. One of the surprising things he learned from working at Goodwill is that we have many services at Naval Station Great Lakes, where he will undergo basic training. He was thrilled to find out that Goodwill issues uniforms, sorts mail, and handles food service in the galleys. “That will be a cool continuation of my Goodwill connection,” he said.

When asked about his favorite memories of his Shared Life experience at Goodwill, John reminisced, “Al’s and Marvin’s personalities remind me so much of my grandfather. They joke around just like him and love playing games – especially cards – just like my grandfather.” The biggest thing he learned from COC South: “We’re all pretty much the same. Each of us has certain abilities and every one of us has different disabilities, if you stop and think about it. We’re not really that different from one another.” Read More

Mission Support Center
Tel: (414) 847-4200

James O. Wright Center forWork & Training
Tel: (414) 353-6400

Metropolitan Chicago -
Tel: (312) 994-1440