Goodwill NCW

Goodwill teams with EAA AirVenture to provide donation bins

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 will team with Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin later this month to provide a way for AirVenture attendees to donate equipment and supplies that will benefit Goodwill’s human services mission in the local area.

The program will allow AirVenture campers, exhibitors and others to donate excess campsite equipment, supplies and other materials to Goodwill on the AirVenture grounds. At least six blue donation bins will be placed in highly visible and accessible locations throughout AirVenture week, July 23-29.

“We know that AirVenture visitors already use the Goodwill stores in Oshkosh to purchase such items as bicycles that they use in the campground all week, then donate them back to Goodwill at the end of the fly-in,” said Steve Taylor, EAA’s director of facilities. “This is a way for our attendees, exhibitors and other to have a ready outlet for those items that they are unable or unwilling to take back home, while helping Goodwill fulfill its wonderful mission right here in our hometown.”

The donation bins also help campers and exhibitors maintain the AirVenture grounds when they break down their campsites and displays, instead of simply abandoning unwanted goods. That makes cleanup of the grounds more efficient following the AirVenture fly-in, which annually attracts hundreds of thousands of global visitors.

“It’s great to have an opportunity to create a program that enhances something that many AirVenture campers and exhibitors have already been doing on their own,” said Dan Flannery, Goodwill NCW’s vice president-community relations. “Putting these materials back into circulation where others may use them reduces waste and provides an additional resource for Goodwill to support our programs throughout our area that elevate people and transform our area.”

Goodwill NCW served 72,937 individuals and families each year through more than two dozen human services programs in 2017, including job training and placement, financial counseling, restorative justice, Miracle League baseball and other.

About EAA AirVenture Oshkosh: EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is the “World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration” and EAA’s yearly membership convention. Additional EAA AirVenture information, including advance ticket and camping purchase, is available online at EAA members receive lowest prices on admission rates. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or visit Immediate news is available at

About Goodwill: Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that in 2017 helped improve the lives of more than 70,000 people across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin. Goodwill NCW is one of four companies in the nation to be honored with a Platinum Well Workplace Award from the Wellness Council of America, which recognizes our commitment to wellness in the workplace. The organization includes 27 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, 24 human services programs, a unique shopping experience at its Appleton outlet store, plus online shopping at, a women’s apparel website, and It offers four Donation Express sites and 10 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Cities. Goodwill NCW is a Platinum Level member of, the world’s largest source of nonprofit organization information. Visit


Youth-led vigil for Orlando victims Tuesday at Goodwill campus

Menasha — A youth-led candlelight vigil in memory of the victims of the weekend’s mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., will be held Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Goodwill Community Campus, 1800 Appleton Road.

The vigil — developed in partnership with the coordinators of Tuesday’s vigil at Rascals, an Appleton bar — was suggested by young members of the Fox Valley’s LGBT community as an alternative memorial event for people under 21 years of age.

The event will be hosted by the LGBT Partnership, a program of Goodwill NCW that provides leadership development and support groups for youth who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning or allied.

The LGBT Partnership serves the Fox Cities and Green Bay communities.

Goodwill NCW support for the victims of Orlando tragedy

To: Our Communities

Re: In the wake of Orlando

Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin supports the families of the Orlando, Fla., mass shooting, which ended the lives of 49 victims.

We grieve for the victims and their families, and keep them in our thoughts and prayers.

We also support those in the LGBT community who might be concerned for their own safety. We also note that many shooting victims had Hispanic names, and we are saddened by the loss of life within that community as well.

Goodwill NCW’s vision statement — “To create a world where every person finds joy and purpose, free from fear, inclusion, want or need” — brings our support into focus.

Goodwill NCW has a diverse workforce and a breadth of programs and services that serves an equally diverse clientele. We are stronger for that. But there are times — and this is one — when that vision is more important than ever.

We’ve reminded our team members that our support for them is strong, and also reminded them of ways they can find help through counseling provided by our organization. We remind those served by our programs and services that we support them as well.

We also support the efforts of the Fox Valley LGBTQ Anti-Violence Project, which is hosting a Tuesday evening vigil for the Orlando victims and to stand together against hate. The event will be at Rascals, 702 E. Wisconsin Ave., Appleton, from 7-8 p.m.

This organization stands with the victims and families of Orlando.

Keep the spirit of #GivingTuesday alive

Menasha — While the actual day of #GivingTuesday has passed, the season of giving has not.

Financial donations can still be accepted for 2014 by Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin.

Coinciding with Thanksgiving and the kickoff of the holiday shopping season, #GivingTuesday inspired people to take action to improve their local communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they support and help create a better world. Goodwill NCW, which served more than 67,000 people in 2013 and is on pace to exceed 70,000 in 2014, seeks contributions to increase the scope of services and programs that help people across its 35-county footprint.

#GivingTuesday, a firstof-its-kind effort to harness the collective power of a unique blend of partners — charities, families, businesses and individuals — transformed how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season. And in the holiday season (and spirit), there’s still time to make that difference.

From our Vocational Support Services to Early Intervention Services programs, from financial counseling services such as FISC (Financial Information & Service Center), Payment Partner, Prosperity Center and VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), from Goodwill Grows (small-form agriculture and community gardening) to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) Services and more, Goodwill NCW makes significant efforts to create a better world for all people across our footprint.

Donors can make a monetary contribution to supplement existing programs and to enhance potential for new programs and services across the state. To donate to Goodwill NCW:

  • Online:
  • Phone: Contact Nancy Heykes at 800-482-0030.
  • Mail: VP of Development, Goodwill NCW, 1800 Appleton Road, Menasha, WI 54952-3729

“There’s never a bad time to donate to Goodwill NCW,” said Dan Flannery, vice president of community relations for the organization.

“When you consider the scope and the depth of our organization’s commitment to helping people with barriers find a better life, we hope it’s clear that an online donation can be a life-changer for any of our neighbors in north central Wisconsin.”

About #GivingTuesday: #GivingTuesday is a movement to celebrate and provide incentives to give. It will culminate with a global day of giving on December 2. This effort harnesses the collective power of a unique blend of partners — charities, families, businesses and individuals — to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season. #GivingTuesday will inspire people to take collaborative action to improve their communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they celebrate and help create a better world. #GivingTuesday will harness the power of social media to create a global moment that is dedicated to giving around the world. To learn more, visit, or

Pete Helein joins Goodwill NCW team

Former Appleton police chief joining Goodwill NCW team

Menasha — Pete Helein, former Appleton, Wis., chief of police, will begin his new career at Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin.

Helein, 55, will join Goodwill NCW on Jan. 5, 2015, in a two-pronged position: Overseeing the organization’s Circles of Care program; and building and overseeing the organization’s Goodwill University program.

“While exploring new opportunities to serve our community, I was attracted to Goodwill’s mission, vision, and values,” Helein said. “Goodwill’s mission of ‘Elevating People, Transforming Communities’ captured my attention and interest. What a powerful mission to embrace. People helping people can be a promising and rewarding endeavor.

“Goodwill’s vision — ‘To create a world where every person finds joy and purpose free from fear, exclusion, want or need’ — is thought-provoking. What a heartfelt and sincere promise to the communities served by Goodwill. The importance of treating all people with dignity and respect has always been important to me.”

The Circles of Care program provides financial, wellness and emotional counseling support for all 1,500 of Goodwill NCW’s team members.

Rev. Dottie Mathews, organizational chaplain who currently oversees the Circles of Care team, has announced plans to retire in July 2015. The organization is seeking a successor to Mathews as organizational chaplain.

Goodwill University is an investment in the growth of the organization’s team members, intended to offer learning and training opportunities through internal, external and digital opportunities. The program will seek partnership opportunities with educational systems throughout Goodwill NCW’s 35-county footprint in Wisconsin, and Helein will be charged with development of curriculum for the program, as well as oversight.

Bob Pedersen, Goodwill NCW’s president and chief executive officer, said Helein’s high-level experience as a manager of people and creator of training opportunities makes him a great choice to lead these two important services for the organization.

“Pete has tons of curriculum development in his background,” Pedersen said. “Much of that has been focused on bringing training on domestic violence and sexual abuse issues for his officers. That development has been a big part of his life.”

“The healthy growth and development of team members and team leaders is critical to the success and well-being of the communities served by Goodwill.” Helein said.

“The growing complexity and pace of life will continue to physically and mentally challenge people. Meeting the complex needs of people who are overwhelmed by an unforeseen tragedy, or who experience stress and anxiety trying to resolve an ongoing problem, or who face a health-related issue will be essential to the health and well-being of all people.

“Goodwill’s Circles of Care program is an investment in Goodwill Team Members. Investing and supporting people throughout their service to Goodwill, and to the community, is essential to a resilient and sustainable culture. The recruitment, selection, and retention of new team members and team leaders, willing to embrace and contribute to Goodwill’s mission, vision, and values, will remain a critical role as services evolve.”

Helein served his full 31-year career in the Appleton Police Department before his Sept. 5, 2014 retirement. The final 32 months of his law enforcement career were as chief of police.

Before assuming the department’s top position, Helein served as a patrol officer, police-school liaison officer, resource development unit specialist, accreditation manager, operations supervisor, commander of the Downtown, Northern and Southern police districts, commander of the detective bureau, and deputy chief of operations.

Helein has conducted extensive training across the nation on victims’ rights, domestic violence, and community policing. He represented the Appleton Police Department in an alliance with the Harbor House Domestic Abuse Programs and the Wisconsin Department of Justice to implement strategies to integrate a community-policing philosophy and meet the needs of domestic abuse victims.

“My passion and desire to help people and serve communities is consistent with Goodwill’s mission, vision, and values,” Helein said. “While exploring Goodwill, I had the opportunity to listen to team members and team leaders passionately talk about their commitment to Goodwill’s values. The level of commitment, support, and positive energy was compelling and convinced me to join the team.

“By joining the Goodwill team, I will be able to contribute to the vibrant and sustainable circle of community support Goodwill has created. I will bring positive energy, creativity, and confidence. My compassion, sense of humor, and sincere desire to help people are a great fit for the position. The ability to work closely with people to impact their future in a meaningful way is a wonderful and rewarding endeavor.”

Helein earned a Bachelor of Science degree (major: law enforcement) from Northern Michigan University (Marquette, Mich.) and a Master of Science degree (criminal justice) from Eastern Kentucky University (Richmond, Ky.).

Helein has served as the co-chair of the Governor’s Council on Domestic Violence and the chair of the Attorney General’s Crime Victim Council, and was honored as the state’s Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

Helein traveled to Kurgan, Russia to lead a training team that was awarded an International Domestic Violence Prevention Training Program Grant by Sister Cities International. The training initiative focused on establishing a domestic abuse shelter, the creation of multi-specialty work groups, and promoting violence prevention and awareness.

Jacob Herda makes a Miracle League difference

Lakeshore teen earns Youth in Philanthropy award, but work remains

Sometimes, really good things happen to really good people.

Jacob Herda, 15, is one of those really good people.

Receiving the Youth in Philanthropy Award at last Friday’s National Philanthropy Day northeast Wisconsin awards luncheon in Green Bay, hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, is the really good thing.

Jacob was nominated by Nancy Heykes, Goodwill NCW’s VP of Development, for his amazing role in bringing a Miracle League baseball field to Manitowoc.

“Jacob Herda experienced a stroke before birth which has limited his vision, speech, mobility and other development — yet he has been one of the most visible fundraisers for the Miracle League of the Lakeshore’s capital campaign to build a baseball field for kids like himself,” Nancy wrote in her nomination last year.

“Through meeting participation, presentations to groups, TV and radio interviews and even YouTube videos, his enthusiasm for getting ‘his’ field built has made the life-changing possibilities of Miracle League participation visible to so many in the Lakeshore area.”

A program of Goodwill NCW, the Miracle League of the Lakeshore facility opened in June 2014, with more than 50 players.

The Miracle League of the Fox Cities, also a Goodwill NCW program, began on-field operation in 2010, and last year served more than 200 players.

Jacob’s work in building community and philanthropic support for the Lakeshore’s Miracle League field was nothing short of amazing, and focused on his abilities, not his challenges. He did radio and TV interviews, YouTube videos, and public speaking with service and business organizations.

And, yes, he appointed himself “President” of the Miracle League of the Lakeshore, and has been unafraid to use that position to ask for financial backing.

Jacob’s acceptance speech Friday at the Tundra Lodge was among the highlights of the event, and earned a standing ovation from the audience of nonprofit and fundraising professionals, a group that included his parents (Robb and Nicole); other family members; Laura Ziemer, commissioner of the Lakeshore Miracle League organization; Nancy Heykes and Bob Pedersen, Goodwill NCW’s president and CEO.

“Laura is the commissioner, but as president, I talk for the players and people on the field,” Jacob said. “I stand for them, because this is our field and our playground.

“Not all the kids in our league can talk, but I can speak when I’m at meetings. We talked to everyone — businesses, service clubs, schools, and churches raising money for our field. Even family and friends donated money and help.

“I want them to know about my friends and our league. This year, we got play baseball in Manitowoc on our field! People we talked to, who helped donate, saw our field of dreams. They could see what we talked about in real life! they could see how everyone can make a difference.”

Jacob, with an assist from his mom, Nicole, told the crowd that while he was thrilled with what’s happened to date, his work is far from finished.

“The field is paid for, but we are still working toward a playground that is accessible,” he said. “Right now, I can’t play on the playground because my wheelchair can’t climb ladders or stairs.

“We still have $60,000 to raise, but I’m not going to give up! We are going to keep talking to people and fundraising until all the kids can use the playground.

“It’s not just about other people donating, it’s about putting our time, energy and money into our projects that we do. I feel pretty blessed when I get to put money I earned myself into the Miracle League of the Lakeshore.”

We feel pretty blessed to have Jacob on our side, too.

Good things happen to all of us because of good people like him.

Thanks, Jacob. We’re proud to be on your team.

3rd Annual Compassionate Fox Cities Symposium

This year the Compassionate Fox Cities Symposium theme is “Food for the Heart of Community.”  It’s about what we consume in media, in human interactions, in our culture and in food. For us, a steady diet of compassion in our community supports the heart of community for a strong culture and a culture on which to thrive personally and collectively.

Join us October 15th for networking over heavy appetizers beginning at 4:00 pm at the Neenah Public Library. You can register below, or visit the registration page here.

Our keynote address will be given by Erin Buenzli, Director of the Wellness Center at Lawrence University. Erin brings new tools and strategies to the Lawrence community which are designed to help students, faculty and staff live well and healthy.

The Symposium will feature two representatives of Miron Construction who will receive the first Compassionate Fox Cities Season of Compassion Community Award. Learn why Miron was selected and hear about what is happening in that organization which cultivates a culture of compassion.

A brand new Compassion Café will also be demonstrated. The Compassion Café brings participants together in small group dialogue, not to strategize, plan or prioritize, but rather to carefully and kindly, listen to each other’s stories in response to specific compassion prompts.  We will build this Café experience on a Circle of Trust foundation. Circle of Trust comes from Parker Palmer’s Center for Courage and Renewal and will be shared by Dr. Albert Bell.

Proceeds from the event will be used in outreach and programming with Conversations About Compassion, Compassion Cafés, the International Day of Happiness on March 20, PEACE Camp, and other community compassion development opportunities.

Food for the Heart of Community

August 2014 Achiever of the Month: Sandi Sweney

Passionate. Committed. Community minded. These are just a few descriptors that come to mind when talking about Circles of Support volunteers. Volunteering is often a “feel-good” opportunity where one walks away feeling appreciated and sees some immediate results for their efforts. Not necessarily so in our realm! There is a lot of planting and sowing.  The reaping takes time.  Not taking things personally when a set-back occurs is truly a gift our volunteers possess.

Sandi Sweney, Circles of SupportOur Neenah-Menasha Circles group is a prime example of commitment. They say they are only doing what needs to be done. What they are really doing is saving people from living behind bars and giving them another chance at life.

Gloria is our “resource lady.”  When needs arise Gloria is our go-to person.  She doesn’t quit until she succeeds!

Jerry walks a participant five blocks to the meeting every week in good weather or bad!

Richard drives from Clintonville. He built and delivered a bed-frame for a participant who had been sleeping on the floor.

Lou, our ambassador, gets the word out to community clubs and organizations.

David is a trucker. He’s been our resource for participants choosing a trucking career.

George is a participant who has terminal cancer as well as suffers with anxiety. John, not an avid fisherman, takes George fishing. This is a vital experience which adds to George’s quality of life.

The leader of this remarkable team is Sandi Sweney. I cannot begin to express all she has done for so many in the valley. She has saved lives and made our community safer. Sandi not only leads the N/M group but also groups on Saturdays and Tuesdays. She does intakes, provides rides, presents for Circles in prisons, and mentors new volunteers.  She is my go-to person when I need to be grounded.  Her common sense leadership is enhanced by her ability to relate to anyone on any level in all environments.

Goodwill is fortunate to have Sandi leading this outstanding team.

Learn more about Circles of Support here.