How to Change the Life of a Child

GoodGuides youth and their mentors at the garden

In Roanoke, youth and their mentors are able to work in the GoodGuides Community Garden, which provides opportunities to learn new life skills. In May, GoodGuides had a picnic and games day at their garden that brought together people of all ages.

The Good News About Mentoring
Mentors are making a profound difference for boys and girls in Virginia who face challenges and disadvantages in their lives.

Through one-on-one time with their mentor as well as group activities, youth become empowered to to make choices that transform their lives in positive ways.

Celebrating Achievements
At Goodwill Industries of the Valleys, we have seen young people achieve goals they never would have dreamed of. Accomplishments like being the first in their family to graduate from high school, entering college, or getting a first job are just a few of the successes that GoodGuides boys and girls have celebrated.

 “My life today has really been improved through GoodGuides. It taught me a lot of things. It made me come out of my shell. Now I do theatre in school, when I really didn’t talk to anybody.” – Nari’k Page, youth participant in GoodGuides.

Giving Back
The youth also learn about volunteerism and giving back to their community. Recently they prepared packages of school supplies to contribute to a local back-to-school donation drive.

Why Should I Mentor a Child?
Through structure and supportive relationships with trusted adult mentors, youth in our community are empowered to make positive life choices to maximize their potential. Their successes in life have a positive impact on the communities in which they live.

Click here to find out how you can become a youth mentor and see the tremendous effect your guidance can have in the life of an area young person. You might find that it changes your life as well!

Shop Goodwill and Send Your Kids Back to School in Style!

This week we’re launching a new look for “Inspire In Style”, our online feature designed to inspire your inner fashionista!  The new Inspire In Style will include outfits for children and adults.  Today’s Good News?  Just in time for back-to-school shopping we will show you how to head back to school in style on any budget!

According to the National Retail Federation’s 2015 Back to School Survey, the average family with children in grades K-12 will spend about $630 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics. That’s why so many parents have learned that Goodwill is a great place to find bargains on school supplies and clothing.

Your Goodwill stores have high quality clothes for kids at a fraction of what you would pay at the mall. As we were pulling kid’s outfits together at our Melrose Avenue store in Roanoke last week, some of the great brands we came across were The Children’s Place, GapKids, Mini Boden, Ralph Lauren Polo, Tommy Hilfiger, and Abercrombie & Fitch just to name a few. And as you know, Goodwill store inventory changes daily so you’ll find new selections to choose from every time you shop!

This week’s featured back-to-school outfit for girls includes a pair of red GapKids jeans, a MiniBoden embellished shirInspireInStyle draft verticalt, a Faded Glory jean jacket for those cool early mornings, and a pair of Schwinn roller blades. The entire outfit totals only $8! A similar outfit would cost well over $125 at a traditional retailer.

Does your child’s school have uniform requirements? You can find great basics at Goodwill too, like khakis, solid color shirts, and button downs.

In addition to big savings for your family, your Goodwill shopping dollars go directly to fund a wide variety of programs and services that enable people in our communities to get back to work and gain greater independence. One thing we hear frequently from people who attend our Real Goodwill Tour, which is open to the public and provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the services Goodwill provides,  is “I had no idea Goodwill did all these things!” When you donate and shop, you empower Goodwill to help people achieve their greatest potential.

Find your nearest Goodwill store here and shop today to get quality clothing and supplies for all your back-to-school needs.

Want to be inspired each week by our fashion finds at local Goodwill stores?  Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest!

Vote for the Winners of Goodwill’s 2014 Halloween Costume Contest!

To all the pirates, zombies, and other creative costume artists out there: You are fabulous!   Today’s Good News: We’ve received over 30 entries that showed your creativity, individuality, and “thriftiness”. It was really tough narrowing it down to the final three. Visit our Facebook Page to see all submissions.

This morning the top three contest entries were chosen by a panel of Goodwill employees.  It was a hard choice, but so much fun!  The top three costumes are:

“The Flintstones” – submitted by Andrea S., Natural Bridge, VA

Flintstones - Andrea S.Greetings from Fred, Wilma, and BamBam! These outfits were created from Goodwill Stores all over the Shenandoah Valley! Fred’s costume was constructed from a fleece blanket that was orange on one side and black on the other. The blue tie is cut from a pair of blue scrubs. Wilma’s dress was altered and cut to create the classic Wilma dress. Styrofoam balls, elastic, and paint created the necklace. BamBam is sporting a precious mini cap and sash made from orange fleece pants out of the children’s section. His hair is made of white fleece. Bone accessories were made with papermache and BamBam’s club was made out of a brown suede women’s shirt. All costumes were constructed using a glue gun, iron on hem, and a sewing machine.

“Tusken Raider from Star Wars” – submitted by Cory G., Ferrum, VA

Tusken Raider - Cory G.

Cory created this costume with items found at Goodwill and miscellaneous supply (glue/thread/etc) from home. The inner and outer cloak was made from curtains and a bathrobe. The leather components (mouthpiece and belts) were made out of a jacket, and belts covered in the material from the jacket. The eyes are plastic cups and the tusks sticking out of the top of the helmet are sharpie pens and the helmet itself is made out of a pair of white jeans.

“Soft Served Ice Cream Cone” – submitted by Julie C., Cloverdale, VA

Soft Serve Ice Cream Cone - JulieJulie made this costume from a number of items from Goodwill and the Goodwill Outlet. The base is a laundry basket covered in a waffle type material robe. They used a foam noodle to help add shape to the base of the ice cream. The ice cream was made from sheets stuffed with filling from a couple of pillows. The cherry hat was actually a red Christmas Ornament that was cut and had a strap added. The sprinkles came from a box of foam geometric shapes also bought at Goodwill.

It’s time to vote for your favorite!

Vote here for the costume that you think should be the winner of our Costume Contest!

1st prize: Apple iPad mini
2nd prize: $50 Goodwill Gift Certificate
3rd prize: $25 Goodwill Gift Certificate

Click here to view more information about our Costume Contest and the Terms & Conditions.

Voting will end this Friday, October 31st at Noon.  Be sure to tell your friends and family to vote!

This Halloween, Shop with Imagination at Goodwill then Enter to Win!

Do you want a fabulous Halloween costume, but don’t have much to spend? Today’s Good News . . . look no further than Goodwill! With a little imagination, you can put together a fun and affordable Halloween costume.

At Goodwill you can often find ready-made costumes for the whole family – and if you want to be a little more creative, we also have everything you need to make your own unique costume. Bell-bottom pants, princess dresses, and scrubs are just a few examples of items you can find at Goodwill. Imagine the possibilities!

Plus, when shopping at Goodwill, you always support our mission of helping people get back to work. Stay green by donating your costume back to Goodwill after Halloween!

Need a little inspiration to get started? Check out our Goodwill Halloween Recipe Book to get great costume ideas.

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Goodwill’s Halloween Costume Contest

Enter Goodwill’s Halloween Costume Contest for your chance to win an Apple iPad Mini.  We are looking for the most creative, individual, and “thrifty” Halloween ensembles you can find.

Here’s how to enter:*

  • Use your imagination and create a one of a kind Halloween costume
  • Take a picture and send it, along with your:
    • Full name
    • Phone number
    • E-mail address
    • Mailing address
    • And information regarding your costume, such as how it was created, what Goodwill you shopped, who is wearing it, etc., to
  • Only completed entries will be accepted.
  • All entries must be submitted by midnight on Sunday, October 26th

A panel will determine the top three costumes, which will be placed here, on the blog, on Monday, October 27th. Be sure to vote for your favorite costume on the blog before Noon on Friday, October 31st. Tell your friends and family to vote, too! Winners will be announced and notified on Friday, October 31st. Throughout the month of October the fun and frightening entries will be placed on our Facebook Page!

*Click here to view the Terms and Conditions of the Goodwill Halloween Costume Contest

Costume Contest Prizes
1st prize iPad Mini
2nd prize $50 Goodwill Gift Certificate
3rd prize $25 Goodwill Gift Certificate

A Costume a Day the Goodwill Way

Join us every day in the month of October, on Facebook! See ready-made costumes, as well as those made with imagination from items found in our stores. Let us know what you think! Click Here to visit our Facebook page.

Halloween Commercials

Take a look at our Halloween commercials and become inspired! A hard working housewife, a scarecrow, and even Lady Gaga – that’s how Goodwill spells Halloween fun in these spots celebrating our status as official sponsor of this real scream of a holiday. Have fun watching!

Halloween Commercial #1

Halloween Commercial #2

Fall Looks for Less With Goodwill

It’s hard to believe that Fall is right around the corner. Kids are starting to head back to school, cooler weather is on its way, and leaves will soon begin to change. Today’s Good News? Look great, while on a budget, this Fall with the help of Goodwill! We’ve teamed up once again, with fashion photographer and blogger, Angel, who is guest blogging for us, to show you great outfits you can find every day at Goodwill. . .

With fall quickly approaching, you might think all the fun summer colors have to be packed away until spring; however fall is the perfect time to get out those hearty fabrics. Wools, denims, chambray, and knits in blues, blacks, and browns are your best friend for looking stylish as the temperatures start to drop.  And don’t think you have to get fully covered up. Just look at our Goodwill models for some great examples of layering and mixing warm weather garments like shorts to make a style statement.

Get inspired with these fall looks we found at our local Goodwill Stores…then head to your local Goodwill to see what fall styles you can add to your wardrobe without breaking the bank.

Create a new look by making a long skirt into a dress. Use your accessories, such as the shoes shown here, to add a touch of color to brighten the look. Total cost at Goodwill: Skirt $3.75, Cardigan: $3.75, Shoes: $3.00

You will be ready for date night or a casual day at work, with this fall look. Total cost at Goodwill: Sweater: $3.75, Button-Up: $3.75, Pants: $3.75

Create stylish, fall looks without breaking the bank or budget at Goodwill. Total cost at Goodwill: Shirts: $3.75, Sweaters: $3.75, Jeans: $4.50, Pants: $3.75, Shorts: $3.00.



About Angel

Based in the Virginia, Angel is a professional photographer and Street Style Blogger.

In addition to curating The Stylepreneur, Angel is also the Fashion editor-at-large for The Roanoker Magazine. He was the fashion columnist for The Roanoke Times from 2011-2014 and was the official street style photographer for Charleston Fashion Week  in 2013 & 2014. His work has been featured on The Huffington Post, Who Wear What,, and numerous other online and print publications.

Vote for the Winners of Goodwill’s Ultimate Upcycling Contest

To all you creative, inspirational, reusing, repurposing, and recycling fans who submitted to the Ultimate Upcycling Contest: You are fabulous! Today’s Good News: We’ve received over 100 entries that showed your creativity, individuality, and “thriftiness”.  Visit our Facebook Page to see all submissions.

This morning a committee of four Goodwill representatives narrowed the selection down to 10 entires in upcycling categories including: clothing, jewelry, furniture, and decor. These entries were voted on by a panel of ten Goodwill Employees resulting in the top four entries (there was a tie).  It was a hard decision, but so much fun!  The top four upcycling entries are:



Missy H.
Cushion and Storage Bench
How Missy made her Upcycling Project:  She sanded and painted all surfaces, screwed the end tables on top of the door, then added wheels to the bottom to make it movable.  She then made a cushion to put on top to sit on. Its perfect for shoe storage and for sitting to put shoes on. Items were purchased at the Goodwill Store on Brambelton Avenue in Roanoke.


Kimberly V.
How Kimberly made her Upcycling Project: She bought a headboard and footboard at the Goodwill on Main Street Salem near the old Lakeside.  The footboard was chewed up by a dog.  So she brought it home and used wood filler to repair the chewed up leg.  She cut the footboard in half and screwed each side to the back of the headboard.  Using the footboard as the side rails to her bench.  Than she boxed it in with 2x4s and also used 2x4s to go across the top for her seat.  She filled all holes and repaired with wood filler and put primer on the bench.  After that she painted it with three coats of rustoleum black paint.  Now to decorate the bench… she wanted bright colors.  She bought lime green indoor/outdoor fabric, a piece of foam, and plywood.  She cut out the plywood to the dimensions of the seat and staple-gunned the foam and fabric to the plywood…. Making her bench cushion.  Than to add some fun, she found fun fabric to sew two pillows for each end. She then found black material and stenciled the word “welcome” on it with colors she matched up from the end pillows. Items were purchased at the Goodwill in Salem on Main Street near the old Lakeside.

Lisa-G.-Entry-1Lisa G.
Kids Play Structure
How Lisa made her Upcycling Project: Her entry is a bookcase transformed into a play structure that is a market stand on one side and puppet theater on the other.  She removed part of the bookcase backing and lowered the shelves to create the market.  On the back she attached an empty picture frame and curtains (attached by velcro) made from a drapery panel to create the theater opening. She made puppets by glueing photos of her family members (and yarn hair) to wooden spoons.  They already had some of the play food but the potatoes and watermelons were made from large t-shirts.  The baskets turned into food bins and shopping baskets. Items were purchased at the following Goodwill Stores:  Cave Spring,  and Melrose in Roanoke, the Salem store on West Main Street near Walmart, and the Daleville location.


Wayne & Lois
Ski Bench
How Wayne & Lois made their Upcycling Project: 
These are old water skis that they found at the Westlake Goodwill store… They cut some short & left a couple long for the back of the chair. What a neat bench to go on their dock !! Items were purchased at the Goodwill Store in Moneta. 


It’s time to vote for your favorite!

Vote here for the entry that you think should be the winner of our Ultimate Upcycling Contest!


1st prize:  250 Visa Gift Card
2nd prize: $50 Goodwill Gift Certificate
3rd prize: $25 Goodwill Gift Certificate

Click Here to view more information about our Costume Contest and the Terms & Conditions.

Voting will end this Thursday, July 31st at Noon.  Be sure to tell your friends and family to vote!

Goodwill’s Ultimate Upcycling Contest

Reusing, repurposing, and recycling has become a popular trend over the last few years. But you don’t have to spend a fortune to create these items. Today’s Good News? With the help of Goodwill you can make one of a kind treasures for you and your home and enter to win the title of Goodwill’s Ultimate Upcycler! The ideas of what you can do are endless. Sometimes you just need a little inspiration. Check out a few of our favorites…

Goodwill vases getting a new look with the help of rubber bands and spray paint!

Goodwill vases get a new look with the help of rubber bands and spray paint!

Tie wreath created with Goodwill ties!

Tie wreath created with Goodwill ties!

A Record Bowl made from a Goodwill Record!

A Record Bowl made from a Goodwill Record!

A serving dish made from Goodwill Plates and Candle Sticks

A serving dish made from Goodwill Plates and Candle Sticks

Now are you ready for inspiration? We will be hosting How-To Workshops in our stores.

Date: June 7th
Time: 10am and 11am
Location: Waynesboro Goodwill Store – 132 Lucy Lane

Date: June 14th
Time: 10am and 11am
Location: Roanoke Goodwill Store at Hunting Hills – 4335 Pheasant Ridge Road

Date: June 21st
Time: 10am and 11am
Location: Christiansburg Goodwill Store – 255 Peppers Ferry Road

Date: June 28th
Time: 10am and 11am
Location: Wytheville Goodwill Store – 195 East Commonwealth Drive

Date: July 12th
Time: 10am and 11am
Location: Forest Goodwill Store – 18366 Forest Road

Can’t make one of the How-To Workshops? No worries! Visit our Pinterest page for hundreds of ideas! So now that you are inspired…Goodwill is calling all artists, crafters, and innovators! Here’s your chance to show off your skills, be named Goodwill’s “Ultimate Upcycler”, and enter to win $250 VISA gift card! Visit Goodwill today and find the items that you want to upcycle, using your imagination to create the winning project. Here’s how to enter the Goodwill Ultimate Upcycler Contest: 

June 1st through July 27th
Submit your before and after pictures of an item from Goodwill that you’ve transformed to:
ReBecca Franklin at

What to submit:
1. Your Full Name
2. Email Address
3. Phone Number
4. Mailing Address, including City, State, and Zip Code (Entries are open to those who reside in Goodwill Industries of the Valleys service area. Please click here for details on Goodwill’s 31 county, and 13 city service area in Virginia).
5. Information regarding your entry:
– How you created this item and what items you used.
– If you purchased items from Goodwill be sure to tell us which store.

Entries will be accepted until July 27th at 11:59pm Eastern standard time. On July 28th, a team of Goodwill representatives will vote to choose the top three entries. The top three will be placed on the Goodwill Works blog to be voted on by the public. Voting will begin on July 28th at 12pm Eastern standard time and run through July 31st at 12pm Eastern standard time. On July 31st, at 4pm Eastern standard time the winner of Goodwill’s Ultimate Upcycling Contest.

Click here for Goodwill’s Ultimate Upcycling Contest Terms and Conditions.

Integration in the Community Through Volunteering at Goodwill

April is National Volunteer Month. Today’s Good News . . . Guest Blogger Alina, a Goodwill Volunteer who recently moved to the United States from Russia, shares her experience volunteering in Goodwill’s Resource Room and how it has helped her adjust to life in America.

When I came to Roanoke, I had nothing to do; I knew very few people and that left me feeling stuck at home. My situation might sound like a familiar one to a lot of people. I was spending hours surfing the Internet or trying to read. That did kill the time but not the thought, “What else could I do?”

I was striving to find something meaningful to do. My search brought me to attend a volunteer fair in downtown Roanoke. I was strolling around the hall not knowing where to stop or what to ask. I was on my way out, and I passed by the last table which happened to be Goodwill. I hesitated a little, but Kelly, Senior Director of Marketing & Community Relations, directed her attention to me and spoke. After our conversation, I put my name on the volunteer application and later received an email with an invitation to attend a volunteer orientation. During the orientation, I learned about Goodwill programs and how I could participate in them.


Goodwill’s Resource Room at the Melrose Jobs Campus

I started volunteering in the “Workforce Development” program which provides resources and helps people find a job. I started to help in the Resource Room that provides those who come in with a comfortable and modern working place and includes computers with Internet access, fax, printer, and scanning capabilities. Also, anyone can use the Resource Room along with the provided tools and resources. And it doesn’t cost any money; people just have to be motivated to come!

When I am volunteering, I help individuals set up an email account, assist them as they fill out online applications, and answer general questions they might have like “How to apply?”, “Where to apply?”, “What website should I go to?”. Goodwill provides computer literacy courses, where people can obtain new skills and knowledge to become more independent while looking and applying for jobs online. Again, these classes are absolutely free!

I believe that helping others assists me to further develop my communication, social skills, and helps me build more confidence. Even if your initial reason for volunteering is to enhance your resume, later you will realize something else is becoming more important to you. Volunteering gives you opportunities and skills that are otherwise impossible to obtain on your own.

About Alina

Alina Shockley, originally from Moscow, now calls Roanoke home.

Alina Shockley, originally from Moscow, now calls Roanoke home.

Alina Shockley was born and raised in Moscow, Russia. After graduating the University in Moscow in 2007, she started her career path at the consulting company, Deloitte, as Comp&Ben Specialist in HR. She moved to Germany at 24 years old to work on her Master’s degree. When she was working on her Master’s, she had an exciting experience with an Internship in Campaign Management at Vodafone in Germany. During this internship, she assisted in creating, developing, and maintaining marketing campaigns. In October of 2013, she graduated from the FH Aachen with a Master’s degree in International Business Management, got married and moved to Roanoke, VA. Traveling and learning about new cultures helps her realize who she truly is and who she wants to be.

Goodwill has a variety of volunteer opportunities available. For more information visit our website or contact Sarah Stevens, Volunteer Coordinator, at

Be a Goodwill Who this Holiday Season


The Whos in Whoville, from How the Grinch Stole Christmas, can be an inspiration to all of us this holiday season. With the hustle and bustle, we sometimes lose sight of what we have to be thankful for.

The Grinch hated Christmas.  He didn’t understand it wasn’t all about the toys, decorations, gifts, etc.  In fact, he thought he could ruin everyone’s holiday simply by taking those material things. . . 

“When he packed up his sled,
Packed it up with their presents! The ribbons! The wrappings!
The tags! And the tinsel! The trimmings! The trappings!”

But to his surprise Christmas still came without all of those things.  For the Whos knew that the holidays are about what we are thankful for.  And the Grinch learned what we all need to remember. . .

“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
“Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”

When you reflect this Holiday season on all the things that you are thankful for, do you list your job or your independence? Often times these are things that we take for granted. But imagine if you didn’t have a paycheck or know where to turn for help; couldn’t buy presents for loved ones; or were struggling with a disability that was inhibiting your independence. These are not just scenarios. These are the struggles faced by individuals served by Goodwill each and every day.

We help youth, adults, and seniors with disabilities, economic disadvantages and those who have lost their job due to company closing or layoff.  Goodwill training and employment programs help people get back to work and gain greater independence. Your donations help make these programs possible.  


So we ask you this holiday season, to join us “Whos” at Goodwill.  Stop and remember to be thankful for all the things in your life and join us as we help others in our community get back to work.  

Want to share this Holiday Classic with your family and friends?  How the Grinch Stole Christmas is scheduled to air tomorrow, Friday, December 13th at 8pm on TBS.  Check your local listings for more information.  

And today’s Good News?  We “Whos” at Goodwill are thankful for everyone that has supported our mission of helping people and families in our community get back to work and gain greater independence.   Happy Holidays from Goodwill!

Vote for the Winners of Goodwill’s Halloween Costume Contest!

To all the witches, zombies, and other costume artists out there: You are fabulous!   Today’s Good News: We’ve received over 50 entries that showed your creativity, individuality, and “thriftiness”.  Visit our Facebook Page to see all submissions.

This morning the top three contest entries were chosen by a panel of Goodwill employees.  It was a hard choice, but so much fun!  The top three costumes are:

“Headless Marie Antoinette” – submitted by Misty Valkner, Staunton, VA

Headless Marie Antoinette by Misty Valkner1The wedding dress and white boots were found at Goodwill. The costume also includes a backpack, styrofoam, fake arms, wooden poles, wig, make-up, and blood. The styrofoam was shaped in the form of shoulders, one end of the poles were inserted into the styrofoam shoulders and the other end into the backpack which I wore under the dress. I placed the dress over the shoulders and cut a whole in the body of the dress so I could put my head through. Finished it off with a wig and some blood and make-up.

“Two-Face” – submitted by Amy Kidd, Charlottesville, VA

Two-Face by Amy Kidd

Amy purchased her sons suit, button down shirts and ties from Goodwill in Charlottesville. Half of the suit is duck taped and the shirts and ties were cut in half and sewn together.

“Beetlejuice” – submitted by Amanda Nichols, Rocky Mount VA

Beeetle Juice by Amanda NicholsEverything was purchased from their local Goodwill in Rocky Mount. They took plain black suit and painted it with white stripes. They purchased a long sleeve mens dress shirt and black tie. They placed stuffing from a pillow in the stomach area. Wearing the costume is Sarah Williams.

It’s time to vote for your favorite!

Vote here for the costume that you think should be the winner of our Costume Contest!

1st prize: Kindle Fire HD
2nd prize: $50 Goodwill Gift Certificate
3rd prize: $25 Goodwill Gift Certificate

Click here to view more information about our Costume Contest and the Terms & Conditions.

Voting will end this Thursday, October 31st at Noon.  Be sure to tell your friends and family to vote!

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Sherry Taylor from Z95.1 is broadcasting live from the brand new Charlottesville store until 6pm! Come by and register for #prizes! 34 Mill Creek Dr. near Food Lion.


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