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Volunteers sought for VITA tax-preparation program

The VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program needs volunteers to assist in the free preparation of tax returns for low- to moderate-income taxpayers for the 2018 tax year.

Volunteers are asked to serve at least 20 hours between Jan. 30 and April 15 and will receive training in small-group sessions. VITA is seeking greeters, basic and advanced tax preparers, screeners, and quality reviewers.

All volunteers must complete a background check before volunteering.

In preparation for returns filed for the 2017 tax year, Goodwill NCW’s VITA program trained more than 50 volunteers (students, professionals and community members), who prepared more than 1,600 federal tax returns for low-to-moderate income, disabled or non-English speaking residents of the Fox Valley.

VITA volunteers helped tax filers save thousands of dollars in commercial tax preparation fees and claim valuable refundable tax credits like the Earned Income Credit, Child Tax Credit and the Wisconsin Homestead Credit.

VITA (www.filetaxes4free.org) is one of 24 programs supported by Goodwill NCW with revenue generated from community donations and store purchases. A program of the IRS, VITA is designed to help low and moderate-income taxpayers complete their annual tax returns at no cost.

VITA services are available nationwide; each year, millions of low-to-moderate income tax filers are provided free tax assistance, preparation and electronic filing through VITA programs.

Two information sessions are scheduled for prospective volunteers, all at the Goodwill Community Campus, 1800 Appleton Road, Menasha:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 28, 4:15-5:15 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 1, 1-2 p.m.

Register online for the information sessions at: https://tinyurl.com/VITAInformation.

To apply as a volunteer, and for more information:

About Goodwill NCW: Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that in 2017 helped improve the lives of 72,937 people across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin. Through the sale of donated and new merchandise at 27 retail stores and an Outlet Store in Appleton, plus online shopping at www.reStitch.com (women’s apparel) and www.shopgoodwill.com, Goodwill NCW supports the work of 24 programs and services, and partners with dozens of agencies and organizations across the state. Goodwill NCW’s service area extends from Manitowoc to La Crosse, and as far north as Rice Lake and Rhinelander. It offers four Donation Express sites and 10 donation bins throughout the Fox Valley. A member of Goodwill Industries International and Rehabilitation For Wisconsin, it is based at the Goodwill Community Center in Menasha. Visit the website at www.goodwillncw.org.

Registration open for Voices of Men’s Call to Action event

Menasha, Wis. — Registration is open for the ninth annual Call to Action event hosted by Fox Valley Voices of Men, scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Red Lion Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton.

Registration is $20 per seat for the annual event, with free registration for students and their chaperones. To register online, go to: http://bit.ly/VoicesOfMen2018.

The program for the annual Call to Action event runs 8-9:30 a.m., with a Q/A session with keynote speakers 9:30-10 a.m. Light refreshments will be served at the event.

The event will be livestreamed on the Voices of Men website (www.voicesofmen.com), and it also will be available in recorded form.

Voices of Men, a program of Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin, provides training and messaging for males of all ages to create a more respectful, safer world.

Voices of Men was launched in 2007 as an initiative of four Fox Valley domestic abuse and sexual assault programs: Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services (Oshkosh), Harbor House Domestic Abuse Program (Appleton), Reach Counseling (Neenah-Oshkosh), and the Sexual Assault Crisis Center (Appleton).

While those programs generally serve a female population, the issue of sexual assault and domestic abuse is generally a male-population issue. Multiple studies show that approximately 90 percent of sexual assault and domestic violence perpetrators are men.

Voices of Men’s mission statement is: “Fox Valley men helping end sexual assault and domestic violence by dismantling Man Box culture and building a culture of Healthy Manhood.”

The event, which usually attracts an audience of 1,000 people from Fox Valley schools, organizations and businesses, will be led by Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre, a two-time National Poetry Slam champion, activist and educator. A native of the La Crosse area, Guante has performed at previous Call to Action events.

Guante, now based in Twin Cities, creates challenging and often uncomfortable work, defying societal norms on treatment of, and attitudes toward, women.

According to Guante’s website (www.guante.info), “Guante strives to cultivate a deeper, more critical engagement with social justice issues, one based in both empathy and agency. An educator as well as a performing artist, Guante completed his master’s studies in 2016 at the University of Minnesota with a focus on spoken word, critical pedagogy, and social justice education; in that spirit, his performances use poems as jumping-off points for authentic dialogue, critical thinking and community-building.”

Voices of Men became a program of Goodwill NCW in September 2016. It is guided by a leadership team that includes executive directors of its founding agencies, 10 volunteers and Goodwill NCW.

About Goodwill NCW: Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that in 2017 helped improve the lives of 72,937 people across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin. 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 www.reStitch.com, a women’s apparel website, and www.shopgoodwill.com. It offers four Donation Express sites in the Fox Cities and Green Bay, and 10 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Cities. Goodwill NCW is a Platinum Level member of GuideStar.org, the world’s largest source of nonprofit organization information. Visit the website at www.goodwillncw.org.

Original Halloween Headquarters has everything for season

Since 1971, Goodwill NCW has been serving up deals for Halloween that fright and delight.

Whether our costume consultants help you pull together the perfect one-of-a-kind look with our donated treasures or you choose one of our ready-to-wear costumes, Goodwill has everything you need for the season and is the place to be for adding ­air or scare to your costume, home décor, party or yard.

And by shopping Goodwill, you’re helping the community you live in. How’s that for a treat!

This Halloween — and every Halloween — your local Goodwill store comes to play for Halloween ghosts and goblins, princesses and cowboys, kiddos and grown-ups.

In each of our 27 retail stores and training centers across Wisconsin, row after row of donated clothing items and accessories give the creative Halloween shopper a great place to stretch themselves and find a distinctive look.

Gowns, dresses, pants, shoes, purses, scarves, belts, hats, sweaters and more … it’s all here for you.

Goodwill also offers new Halloween costumes and accessories — Wigs! Masks! Robes! And more! — for shoppers who need a great look in a big hurry. We also supply Halloween and fall décor to help make your home look as frightening or as welcoming (for little trick-or-treaters) as you like.

There’s no need to be scared of your Halloween costume options at any of the 27 Goodwill NCW retail stores, from one side of Wisconsin to the other.

But we urge shoppers to take advantage of not only what we have in our stores, but HOW we help you get the most for your money: We give you hands-on help in creating the best costume you can buy!

  • A costume idea book will be available in every Goodwill NCW retail store, offering dozens of suggestions for your distinctive look.
  • That 38-page book is also available online at http://bit.ly/GWLookBook
  • A wide selection of makeup to change your usually cheery look into something far more ghoulish.
  • Every store has hundreds of apparel and ready-to-make costume items. If the costume is for neighborhood trick-or-treating or a night out on the town, Goodwill NCW has what you’ll need for a great memory in the making!
  • Shoes, hats, accessories, gowns, beards, masks, wigs … all at bargain prices, and all for a great cause.
  • The princesses in your world will want to see our tutu collection. We have a LOT!
  • Want to be a cheerleader for the local team? We can make that look happen in green and gold, red and white, and other team-color combos.
  • Goodwill team members will dress up to make the shopping experience fun. Steal their ideas!
  • Throwing a Halloween party? We have party accessories for the perfect gathering.
  • Beginning Oct. 5, costume consultants will be available in all Goodwill NCW stores to help you create a one-of-a-kind costume.
    Here’s when you’ll get a great hand-up in pulling together your Halloween costume:

    • Friday: 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
    • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
    • Sunday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
    • Special weekday additional hours:
      • Monday-Thursday, Oct. 22-25 and Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 29-31: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • For the fourth consecutive year, we’re getting help from radio personalities across our 35-county footprint. They’ll be dressing in full costume and competing on social media as best-dressed! More details when we get closer to their online contests.

No doubt, Goodwill NCW stores come to play for Halloween. But shoppers make a difference in ways other than their looks. Every purchase supports Goodwill NCW’s 24 programs and services. In 2017, those human-services programs touched the lives of 72,937 people across Wisconsin.

From providing employment opportunities to people with disabilities through job training and job placement to Miracle League baseball (kids from ages 4-19 play the sport on a special rubberized field, with volunteer “buddies”) to FISC (financial counseling) from Payment Partner (payee services and money management) to our VITA program (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance), shopping at Goodwill makes a hometown difference.

Goodwill NCW’s mission — Elevating People — is lived 365 days each year and supported by retail revenue and generous donations, many of which are part of Halloween costumes.

Goodwill NCW partners with Christopher & Banks for promotion

Goodwill, the United States’ leading workforce development nonprofit, and Christopher & Banks, a national specialty retail company that provides expressive styles for women of all sizes, have partnered for the Goodwill Giving Event (Aug. 30-Sept. 9), encouraging individuals to donate to a local Goodwill store in exchange for coupons valid at Christopher & Banks stores.

Beginning Thursday, Aug. 30, donors at 17 retail store and training center locations, four Donation Express locations and an Outlet Store operated by Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin (Goodwill NCW) will earn coupons worth $10 valid on purchases at any Christopher & Banks retail store or online at www.christopherandbanks.com. Participating C&B stores also will accept donations to Goodwill and distribute a coupon for each total donation.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the national retailer Christopher & Banks,” said Chris Hess, president and CEO of Goodwill NCW. “We know that C&B believes in doing good for others, and with the Goodwill Giving Event, shoppers can score great items while elevating the lives of people in their community.”

More than 85% of the revenue from the sale of goods in Goodwill stores creates job training and placement, plus a variety of other community programs. Goodwill NCW uses the revenue from the sale of goods to support 24 human-services programs in its 35-county service area, from Manitowoc to La Crosse, Rice Lake to Plover and Rhinelander to Tomah. When donors contribute used clothing, sporting goods, housewares, electronics and furniture, they help people in their community gain skills and support to fulfill Goodwill NCW’s mission of Elevating People.

Christopher & Banks provides its customers with relevant style and exceptional service and deeply believes in shopping for a cause.

“The Goodwill Giving Event and our collaboration with Goodwill is an opportunity for our company, as well as our customers, to make a positive impact in the lives of others,” said Keri Jones, CEO of Christopher & Banks. “Christopher & Banks always strives to be a good neighbor and invest in the success of the communities where we operate.”

Seventeen of Goodwill NCW’s 27 retail store and training center locations are participating in this pilot program. Here’s where donors can receive C&B discount coupons in the Goodwill NCW service area:

Fox Cities:

  • Appleton Donation Express (1033 W. Northland Ave.)
  • Darboy (N189 Stoney Brook Road, Appleton)
  • Grand Chute (4759 Michaels Drive)
  • Kaukauna Donation Express (211 E. Ann St.)
  • Menasha (1800 Appleton Road)
  • Neenah (907 S. Green Bay Road)
  • Outlet Store (1341 W. Spencer St., Appleton)

Green Bay Area:

  • Ashwaubenon (2814 S. Oneida St.)
  • De Pere Donation Express (575 Swan Road)
  • Green Bay East (1301 Brosig St.)
  • Green Bay West (1660 W. Mason St.)
  • Howard Donation Express (2465 Lineville Road)

Stevens Point Area:

  • Plover (1017 Commons Circle)
  • Stevens Point (5373 U.S. Hwy 10)

Eau Claire Area:

  • Eau Claire (3605 Gateway Drive)
  • Lake Hallie (2759 S. Prairie View)

La Crosse Area:

  • La Crosse (3954 Mormon Coulee Road)
  • Onalaska (200 Theater Road)

Wausau Area:

  • Rib Mountain (1100 Morning Glory Lane)
  • Weston (2713 Schofield Ave.)

Marshfield (2220 N. Central Ave.)

Rice Lake (2850 College Drive)

Participating Christopher & Banks stores in our service area are in:

  • Appleton/Grand Chute: Fox River Mall
  • Ashwaubenon/Green Bay: Bay Park Square
  • Eau Claire: Oakwood Mall
  • La Crosse: Valley View Mall
  • Marshfield: Marshfield Mall
  • Plover/Stevens Point: Crossroads Commons
  • Rice Lake: Cedar Mall
  • Wausau: Wausau Center

About Goodwill NCW: Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that in 2017 helped improve the lives of 72,937 people across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin. 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 www.reStitch.com, a women’s apparel website, and www.shopgoodwill.com. It offers four Donation Express sites in the Fox Cities and Green Bay, and 10 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Cities. Goodwill NCW is a Platinum Level member of GuideStar.org, the world’s largest source of nonprofit organization information. Visit the website at www.goodwillncw.org.

About Christopher & Banks: Christopher & Banks Corporation is a Minneapolis-based national specialty retailer featuring exclusively designed privately branded women’s apparel and accessories. As of August 24, 2018, the company operates 461 stores in 45 states consisting of 313 MPW stores, 79 Outlet stores, 36 Christopher & Banks stores, and 33 stores in its women’s plus size clothing division CJ Banks. The company also operates the www.christopherandbanks.com ecommerce website.

 

Goodwill NCW earns Platinum Well Workplace Award

The Wellness Council of America (WELCOA), with local affiliate Wellness Council of Wisconsin (WCWI), recently presented its coveted Platinum Well Workplace Award to Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin (NCW), which employs more than 1,200 team members across 35 counties.

The Platinum Well Workplace Award recognizes an organization for its commitment to the health and well-being of their employees. According to WCWI, the Platinum designation honors organizations that “have distinguished themselves as not only leaders but innovators in workplace health promotion.”

By achieving the Well Workplace Award, Goodwill NCW is honored for its long-lasting commitment to the health and the well-being of its employees. The designation is good for three years.

“We’re extremely proud of our culture of holistic wellness for our team members,” said Chris Hess, Goodwill NCW’s president and chief executive officer. “The commitment to serving the full person has been a critical part of our organization for years, and it will continue to be. It separates Goodwill from other employers.”

Goodwill NCW joins just three other companies in the nation awarded Platinum-level recognition in 2018.

“Good companies know that their employees are their most valuable asset,” WELCOA President Ryan Picarella said. “Great companies adopt policies that support employees’ efforts to reduce health risks and are bold about motivating them through bold strategies, programs and tactics. Great companies know that by improving their employees’ health, they can reduce health care costs.”

Goodwill NCW’s workplace wellness initiatives are a part of its Circles of Care program, which supports a full range of issues that team members might encounter. To that end, the organization employs two full-time health and wellness specialists and a corporate chaplain.

“We take a holistic approach to wellness,” said Jeff Stieg, Goodwill NCW’s senior health and wellness specialist. “We work to support our team members’ overall well-being, whether it’s their physical health, mental health, financial well-being, or career goals. We offer tools and programs that support our team members in each area.

“We support team member well-being in many ways, including running health education programming throughout the year, offering free ongoing wellness coaching during work time, offering a free onsite clinic for team members and offering financial reimbursements for gym memberships and continuous learning. Our on-site chaplain is also available to support mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Wellness is part of our culture here.”

In 2017, Goodwill NCW’s Circles of Care program served 554 team members through health and wellness counseling, 345 team members through emotional and spiritual support, and 324 team members through financial and career counseling.

The organization operates 27 retail store and training centers, plus an Outlet Store, e-commerce operation and logistics hub at the Shiner Center in Appleton. Goodwill NCW’s human services programs served almost 73,000 individuals and families — a one-year organizational record — in 2017.

Here are several examples of how Goodwill NCW cares for its team members:

  • A wellness room for team members is established in each of the retail store facilities and the Shiner Center.
  • A variety of wellness programs and motivational methods are offered during the year, including:
    • GoodWeighs (a 10-week team-based weight-loss and weight maintenance effort)
    • an annual personal wellness assessment and biometrics testing
    • awareness-building displays in our break rooms
    • participation in the National Bike Challenge or Sole Burner Runs
    • a free Team Member Assistance Program
    • individual wellness coaching
    • visits from our interfaith chaplain
    • free oatmeal and tea at all facilities
    • daily GoodMoves pre-shift stretching program and more
  • The organization also offers partial reimbursement to team members for health club/gym memberships, personal training, nutrition education, group fitness classes, fun-run/marathon entry fees and wearable fitness trackers.
  • Team members are also eligible for a lifetime maximum reimbursement of $200 for FDA-approved products and programs that help in quitting tobacco use.
  • A nurse practitioner staffs the GoodCare Clinic at the Shiner Center, providing first-line health care support and access to other health care providers to create personal plans of care.
  • On the career-path and continuing education front, all full-time team members are eligible for tuition reimbursement for higher education, up to $1,500 year for undergraduate certificate programs and up to $2,500 for graduate programs.
  • A Hand-Up Fund that supports team members in a time of great or urgent need. Team Members can contribute to the fund at any time or elect an ongoing payroll deduction. In 2017, 40 team members received an average of $414 for emergency needs.
  • Goodwill University, which creates a culture of servant leadership by providing opportunities for continuous learning and dream discovery.
  • A robust and enhanced Learning Management System, to deliver digital learning, enroll in courses and track and report on completion rates. Educational components can be internal (for training and opportunities within Goodwill) or external.

The impact of this holistic approach on the organization is more than personal. In the past two years (2016-2017), Goodwill NCW’s medical plan costs per team member have trended considerably lower than national benchmarking surveys such as Kaiser and Mercer, with no reduction in benefits or team members enrolled in the plan. In a 2017 Team Member survey, more than 94 percent of team members said that Goodwill cares about their health, and 97 percent said that Goodwill is a safe place to work.

That feedback suggests that a robust wellness program contributes greatly to team morale and team member satisfaction and improves the organization’s results.

The Well Workplace Awards initiative is driven by a rigorous set of criteria outlined in WELCOA’s seven benchmarks to a result-oriented Well Workplace. Since its inception in 1991, over 1,000 organizations, ranging from educational institutions to non-profit and profit sectors have joined the list of “America’s Healthiest Companies” by receiving the Well Workplace Award.

“Goodwill NCW has clearly demonstrated their commitment to protect and enhance the health and well-being of their employees,” said Marissa Kalkman, Wellness Council of Wisconsin’s executive director. “By meeting the standards necessary to achieve the Platinum Well Workplace Award, Goodwill NCW is prioritizing the well-being of their employees as a foundation of their organization’s culture.”

The Wellness Council of Wisconsin was founded in 1985 by nine employers from the Wisconsin business community. With more than 6,000 member organizations located throughout North America, WELCOA is highly recognized and regarded for their innovative and result-oriented approach to worksite wellness.

About Goodwill NCW: Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that in 2017 helped improve the lives of 72,937 people across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin. The organization includes 27 retail stores and training centers from Manitowoc to La Crosse, 24 human services programs, a unique shopping experience at its Appleton outlet store, plus online shopping at www.reStitch.com, a women’s apparel website, and www.shopgoodwill.com. It offers four Donation Express sites in the Fox Cities and Green Bay, and 10 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Cities. Goodwill NCW is a Platinum Level member of GuideStar.org, the world’s largest source of nonprofit organization information. Visit the website at www.goodwillncw.org.

Goodwill’s Neighborhood Partners program to host PorchaPalooza

PorchaPalooza opens its third year of “live and local” music on the front porches of homes in Menasha’s Jefferson Park neighborhood on Broad Street (east of Racine Street) on June 19. A week later on June 26, the Heart of Menasha neighborhood on Broad Street (west of Tayco Street) will host performances. The events are part of Neighborhood Partners, a community-building program of Goodwill NCW.

Both events will run from 7 to 9 p.m., over three or four blocks within each neighborhood.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to get folks into those areas, and share great music and great camaraderie,” said Julie Filapek, Neighborhood Partners program leader.

“It’s also a way for us to build trust and relationships within neighborhoods. That’s the essence of Neighborhood Partners.”

Food vendors will be on hand to provide refreshments for purchase. Seating will be in lawns, with lawn chairs. Participating music hosts will provide some lawn chairs, but attendees are encouraged to bring their own as well.

Seven local acts will provide the music to enjoy, from blues to classical and country. Attendees can walk from porch to porch to hear performances and meet musicians and hosts.

“Front porches invite friendly behavior,” Filapek said, “and music is a common bond for all of us.

“We’ve seen this combination work well over the first two years of PorchaPalooza, and we’d love to see music fans from throughout the Fox Cities take advantage of it again this summer.”

For details on Neighborhood Partners, go to www.goodwillncw.org/programs/family/neighborhood-partners/

About Goodwill NCW: 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. 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 www.reStitch.com, a women’s apparel website, and www.shopgoodwill.com. It offers four Donation Express sites in the Fox Cities and Green Bay, and 10 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Cities. Goodwill NCW is a Platinum Level member of GuideStar.org, the world’s largest source of nonprofit organization information. Visit the website at www.goodwillncw.org.

Two programs merge under Neighborhood Partners banner

MENASHA — Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin (NCW) is pleased to announce the merger of two innovative programs — Neighborhood Partners and NeighborCARE — to operate under the banner of Neighborhood Partners.

Neighborhood Partners was established in 2013, piloting its approach in the Historic Central Neighborhood north of downtown Appleton and became a permanent program of Goodwill NCW in 2016. As a standalone program, Neighborhood Partners has used a grassroots, asset-based, intergenerational approach, building the capacity of neighbors to build relationships, determine priorities, mobilize assets and take action to enhance quality of life.

NeighborCARE, established in 2014, has helped neighborhoods identify and leverage their strengths to meet the challenge of isolation and loneliness of adults 55 years and older. Through its efforts, it quickly became apparent that an intergenerational approach is necessary for success in this work and that relationship-building is good for all members of a neighborhood.

The specialized focus on addressing senior isolation through neighborly connections is now fully integrated into the broader work of Neighborhood Partners. As of Jan. 1, 2018, the newly combined program supports the work of engaged neighbors in Appleton, Menasha and Oshkosh, and the rural community of Denmark.

In 2017, through the work of NeighborCARE and Neighborhood Partners, more than 950 people were actively engaged in their neighborhoods, including more than 280 people over age 55. Both programs share a goal to enhance the quality of neighborhood life, using similar principles, practices and approaches.

Goodwill NCW is grateful for the early partnerships between our organization and the Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) of Brown, Outagamie, and Winnebago counties that launched the NeighborCARE work, and the grant funding from the Basic Needs Giving Partnership of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, made possible by the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs, the J. J. Keller Foundation and other community donors.

On March 14, the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation awarded an additional $13,915 grant for Neighborhood Partners’ work in Denmark. Much early work in the former NeighborCare program began in Denmark, with the assistance of funding from the foundation.

Tanya Rabec, community engagement partner and former program leader of the NeighborCARE program, will serve on a three-person panel interviewed on the Milwaukee PBS program, “Next Avenue Community Conversations,” to be recorded at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc on Tuesday, March 27.

According to a press release, “Next Avenue” hosts several workshops each year, followed by broadcast on Milwaukee PBS. The Manitowoc taping will focus on the topic of loneliness for people over the age of 50, who are prone to feelings of loneliness and loss.

Also serving on the panel will be Asta Timm, a certified life coach and relationship coach, and Michelle Birschbach, an attorney who specializes in trust and estates, and elder law.

About Goodwill NCW: 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. 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 www.reStitch.com, a women’s apparel website, and www.shopgoodwill.com. It offers four Donation Express sites in the Fox Cities and Green Bay, and 10 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Cities. Goodwill NCW is a Platinum Level member of GuideStar.org, the world’s largest source of nonprofit organization information. Visit the website at www.goodwillncw.org.

Goodwill NCW names Chris Hess new President and CEO

Chris Hess, vice president of market development and sales for ThedaCare, has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin.

Hess, 37, replaces Bob Pedersen, who retired at the end of 2017 after 26 years at Goodwill NCW. Hess will begin his new job on March 26.

“I’m honored to join such a wonderful organization,” said Hess, who lives in Appleton with his wife and two children. “Our team members have built a legacy in the communities we serve by impacting and elevating the lives of those who might be marginalized.”

Chris Hess

Hess joins a nonprofit human-services organization that in 2017 touched the lives of 72,937 people — a one-year organizational record — through its programming, serving 35 counties from one side of the state (Manitowoc) to the other (La Crosse). The organization also employs more than 1,200 people statewide.

“I believe we have a great foundation to build on and that the future of our success depends on deeper collaboration with all of the stakeholders in our community,” Hess said. “I look forward to working together and building on our past success to impact the future generation.”

“We’re thrilled to welcome Chris to Goodwill,” said Gregg Curry, Goodwill NCW’s board chairman. “He brings an exciting combination of experience, innovation and compassion to our efforts, and we’re confident that with his leadership, we’ll serve our communities across Wisconsin at even higher levels.”

Goodwill NCW offers 24 human services programs, including traditional job training and placement, financial counseling, tax preparation, three Miracle League baseball programs and three restorative justice programs across Wisconsin. The organization supports those 24 programs and the fuller organization through the sale of donated goods at 27 retail store and training centers, two online shopping portals (restitch.com and shopgoodwill.com) and the Outlet Store in Appleton.

Hess is a graduate of St. Norbert College and earned his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. He is involved in various community organizations and serves on the boards of directors of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Fox Valley.

Hess, a native of Kenosha, joined ThedaCare in 2013 as a senior brand manager in the marketing department and was promoted to vice president/market development and sales in June 2014. He also has worked as corporate marketing manager at U.S. Venture and as director of business development for Genco (now FedEx Supply Chain).

Goodwill NCW is one of 162 independent Goodwill organizations across North America and is known for its innovation in how it serves communities. Under Pedersen’s leadership, the organization grew from serving 718 people in 1991 to almost 73,000 in 2017 — 101 times more people served than when he joined Goodwill.

The Goodwill Community Campus at 1800 Appleton Road, Menasha, is home to more than 20 community agencies and programs, not all of which are Goodwill programs. Opened in 1996, the Goodwill Community Campus has become a blueprint for similar nonprofit collaborations across the country.

About Goodwill NCW: Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that in 2017 helped improve the lives of 72,937 people across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin. 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 www.reStitch.com, a women’s apparel website, and www.shopgoodwill.com. It offers four Donation Express sites in the Fox Cities and Green Bay, and 10 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Cities. Goodwill NCW is a Platinum Level member of GuideStar.org, the world’s largest source of nonprofit organization information. Visit the website at www.goodwillncw.org.

Goodwill NCW reaches GuideStar’s Platinum level

Menasha, Wis. — Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin (NCW) has earned the Platinum GuideStar Nonprofit Profile Seal of Transparency, honoring the organization’s committment to openness.

By sharing metrics that highlight progress Goodwill NCW is making toward its mission, the organization is helping donors move beyond simplistic ways of nonprofit evaluation such as overhead ratios.

GuideStar is the world’s largest source of nonprofit information.

“In accordance with our long-held belief in being transparent about our work,” said Dan Flannery, Goodwill NCW’s vice president of community relations, “we’re excited to convey our organization’s results in a user-friendly, visual manner. We can now easily share a wealth of organizational metrics with our supporters as well as GuideStar’s huge online audience.”

To reach the Platinum level, Goodwill NCW added information to its GuideStar profile: basic contact and organizational information; in-depth financial information; qualitative information about goals, strategies and capabilities; and quantitative information about results and progress toward its mission.

By providing this information, Goodwill NCW gives donors and funders meaningful data to evaluate the organization.

“We understand that our current and potential partners, donors and collaborators want to know that we’re being responsible stewards of resources,” Flannery said. “We need to provide them with a reason to continue their relationship with us.

“Reaching GuideStar’s Platinum level allows everyone to see how we serve our communities and how responsible we are on an ongoing basis.”

Visit GuideStar’s website: www.guidestar.org.

About GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles: The GuideStar database contains a profile for every tax-exempt nonprofit registered with the IRS. GuideStar encourages every nonprofit to claim and update its profile at no cost to the organization. Updating allows nonprofits to share a wealth of up-to-date information with the more than 8 million people who visit GuideStar to learn more about nonprofit organizations each year. Updating also allows nonprofits to share information with the more than 200 philanthropic websites and applications that are powered by GuideStar data. To reach a given participation level, organizations need to complete all required fields for that participation level. The GuideStar participation levels, acknowledged as symbols of transparency in the nonprofit sector, are displayed on all updated participants’ profiles in the GuideStar database.

About Goodwill NCW: Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that in 2016 helped improve the lives of 63,368 people across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin, through 29 programs and services. The organization includes 27 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, a unique shopping experience at its Appleton outlet store, plus online shopping at www.reStitch.com, a women’s apparel website, and www.shopgoodwill.com. It offers four Donation Express sites in the Fox Cities and Green Bay and 10 donation bins throughout the Fox Cities and surrounding communities. Visit the website at www.goodwillncw.org.

Volunteers sought for VITA tax-preparation program

MENASHA — The VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program needs volunteers to assist in the free preparation of tax returns for people in need in the community for the 2017 tax year.

Volunteers are asked to serve at least 20 hours between Jan. 24 and April 17 and will receive training in small-group sessions in November and December. VITA is seeking greeters, basic and advanced tax preparers, screeners and quality reviewers.

All volunteers must complete a background check before volunteering.

In preparation for returns filed for the 2016 tax year, Goodwill NCW’s VITA program trained more than 60 volunteers (students, professionals and community members) who prepared more than 2,000 tax returns for low-to-moderate income, disabled or non-English-speaking residents of the Fox Valley.

VITA volunteers helped tax filers save thousands of dollars in commercial tax preparation fees and claim valuable refundable tax credits like the Earned Income Credit, Child Tax Credit and the Wisconsin Homestead Credit.

VITA (www.filetaxes4free.org) is one of 29 programs supported by Goodwill NCW with revenue generated from community donations and store purchases.

Three information sessions are scheduled for prospective volunteers, all at the Goodwill Community Campus, 1800 Appleton Road, Menasha:

  • Saturday, Nov. 11, 10-11:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 15, 4:30-5:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 18, 8:30-9:30 a.m.

Register online for the information sessions at http://tinyurl.com/VITAInformation.

To apply as a volunteer, and for more information:

About Goodwill NCW: Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that in 2016 helped improve the lives of 63,368 people across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin, through 29 programs and services. The organization includes 27 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, and as far north as Rice Lake and Rhinelander, as well as provides a unique shopping experience at its Appleton outlet store and at reStitch.com. It offers four Donation Express sites and 10 donation bins located throughout the Fox Cities and surrounding communities. Goodwill NCW uses the revenue from stores to fund a variety of innovative programs and services that serve north central Wisconsin communities.

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