Week 25 – Mari

By the pound.

Near the corner of 72nd & F in Omaha is place called Goodwill WearHouse. I’ve driven by this place many times and wondered what it was, so I stopped in yesterday.

First, a little background on Goodwill. Goodwill Industries, Inc. has helped people in Eastern Nebraska and Southwest Iowa fulfill their dreams through work since 1933.  They train and employ people with disabilities and others who may be at a competitive disadvantage in the job market, such as at-risk youth.

Goodwill’s many employment and training services are funded through government agencies, grants, private support, and most importantly, with the proceeds from the sale of donated goods at their 15 locations in the area.

Goodwill is all about giving chances. The WearHouse is another chance for donated materials to be sold. The WearHouse is unique in that it sells all items by the pound.

  • 0 – 20 pounds:        $1.37/pound
  • 20 – 50 pounds       $.97/pound
  • 50 pounds & up:      $.67/pound

goodwill signI briefly spoke with Chantelle (sp?) who works at Goodwill. She told me that the items at the WearHouse are things that did not sell at another Goodwill location. They roll out bins of these items and leave them for about five hours and then take what’s left in the back and recycle the items.

When they are about to roll out bins to the shopping floor area, they announce on overhead speakers and the shoppers crowd to get first shot at the new stuff. Shoppers have to be careful sorting through items in the bins and warning signs are posted on the walls that say “Please use caution. There could be sharp objects in with our goods.”

I saw Mari looking through bins and chose her as my week 25. When I approached her, she was very polite but does not speak much English and didn’t understand me (I wished my daughter, Alia, was with me!). I asked if any of her children were with her and she called for her son, NelsonNelson translated our conversation where I first apologized for interrupting her and then asked her do do me the favor of being my week 25 recipient.

Nelson is a 5th grader and a handsome and bright young man. He masterfully translated our words. I learned from this conversation that Mari is from Guatemala and has been in the U.S. for about 9 years.  They have a family of 5.

If Goodwill is about giving chances then it succeeded today in giving me the chance to meet Mari and Nelson.

2 thoughts on “Week 25 – Mari

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