Tomorrow, DECEMBER 1 is GIVING TUESDAY!

Tomorrow, DECEMBER 1 is GIVING TUESDAY!

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We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. Tomorrow, Tuesday, December 1, 2015, people around the world are coming together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

This Giving Tuesday at Goodwill NYNJ, we are putting a spotlight on Veterans.

According to the New York State Department of Labor, the unemployment rate for Veterans in New York State is 7.6%, compared to the national average of 6.5%. (2014)

Each year, Goodwill NYNJ works with hundreds of Veterans who face many challenges to employment and transitioning to civilian life. Your support will help us empower these men and women who served our country to find career paths which suit their talents, strengths, needs, and goals.

Get ahead of the game! Give today to honor #GivingTuesday, and to make an impact in the life of a Veteran.

YOUR SUPPORT TRANSFORMS LIVES – Meet Jonathan

 

Jonathan-CruzJonathan’s lifelong dream of acting on stage and screen took a detour by way of the U.S. Navy. When his enlistment ended, armed with a Bachelor’s Degree and excellent communication skills, Jonathan was excited to begin a new career as a civilian. Unfortunately, he hit many roadblocks. Finding fulfilling work, with a living wage, was discouraging. Being separated from his wife and child, who lived in the Dominican Republic, made life even more challenging.

Through Goodwill’s veterans program, Operation: GoodJobs, Jonathan secured a front desk position at a major hotel chain. He was able to save enough money to move out of his parent’s home, find his own apartment, and reunite his family here in the States.

Jonathan is now able to care for his wife and child and has a job he enjoys, with an added bonus – working nights enables him to pursue his acting career during the day. Jonathan’s perseverance has paid off – he has appeared in several independent films!

SOMETIMES A HAND UP IS ALL FOLKS NEED TO ACCOMPLISH GREAT THINGS IN THEIR LIVES!

Give today to empower more Veterans like Jonathan, and join the #GivingTuesday community!

For more information about the services Goodwill NYNJ offers to U.S. veterans and individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment, please visit the Goodwill NYNJ website

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Is ugly the new cool?

Is ugly the new cool?

For more than three decades, many people have worn an unusual piece of clothing on Holiday parties between Thanksgiving and Christmas: An “ugly sweater.”

But is it Ugly? You be the judge!

Perhaps it’s an extension of bad taste and tackiness, but now gone overboard to make it a fun statement. Can you imagine someone wearing it to a job interview? No!! Nobody would really wear a sweater like that and hope to be taken seriously.

Or maybe someone began this trend as a parody of those sweaters teenagers wore in the fifties? But then it got competitive. The sweater got tri-dimensional with Holiday decorations and other objects.

I think an “ugly sweater” tells the world “I’m ready to have fun and I don’t care what you think!”

So, to help you get ready for your Holiday parties, starting Monday, November 30, three New York City Goodwill stores will feature Ugly Sweater pop-up specials.

 

Goodwill Chelsea Store – Monday, November 30-Saturday, December 5

103 West 25th Street

New York, NY 10001

646-638-1725

 

Goodwill Stuyvesant Store – Monday, December 7-Saturday, December 12

1704 2nd Avenue

New York, NY 10128

212-831-1830

 

Goodwill Livingston Store – Monday, December 14-Saturday, December 19

258 Livingston Street

Brooklyn, NY 11201

718-923-9037

 

Store hours are Monday-Wednesday 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

LAUREN’S GOODWILL GEMS: Get Fresh and Fun for Winter – Now

Get Fresh and Fun for Winter – Now

 

Winter wardrobe staples don’t have to be boring. It’s easy to resort to wearing the same few pieces – the same black and gray and blah pieces – over and over and over again.  But even the most classic or traditional of clothing items can feel almost instantly refreshed with one photo-worthy accessory.

This week’s Goodwill gem is a gorgeous find that can make even the most boring of pieces in your closet feel fun and exciting again.  Found for a real steal at my favorite local thrift, these super-high heels are strappy and oh-so-sassy. The pretty, pointy heel, open toe and black leather straps look a little coy and playful, but still manage to be classy. For winter, of course, you’ll want to pair them with some opaque black tights to keep yourself warm, but what’s even more wonderful about these shoes is that you can easily carry them over from season to season – in the spring, ditch the tights and don’t be afraid to show a little skin!

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Put on a pair of fun, flirtatious heels with any classic ensemble for an instantly updated look.

Looking for something to wear with these seriously sexy and sassy heels couldn’t be easier – you really cannot mess this up. Skinny, tailored trousers or jeans would look great with these sky-high, strapped up heels, but here, I’ve chosen to pair them with a pretty, full, ladylike skirt in a dark, pleated linen and a crisp white blouse. With a pair of solid, go-everywhere tights and a classic bag, this outfit is done (and adorable!) in next to no time. It’s professional and put together, but with the addition of this cute and flirty heels, it becomes a fun ensemble that you can wear pretty much anywhere.

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Go from work to drinks to dinner to…wherever. All in one outfit! It’s easy when you have a few classic pieces and a pair of versatile and stunning strappy black heels like this one.

 

Lauren Haslett writes “Goodwill Gems,” our weekly column about everything accessories here in A Good Look. She is a lover of fabulous fashion, a trained chef and a writer.  Follow her on twitter.

Your purchases support the mission of Goodwill.
To learn how we serve the community, please read our industry blog Where The Goodwill Goes

 

@PlanetBrandee Thanksgiving Mojo and How I Learned to Love the Sweatpants!

@PlanetBrandee Thanksgiving Mojo and How I Learned to Love the Sweatpants!

So here we go. The holiday season is about to rear its holly jolly head, winter. Although, we’re on a serious TiVo delay here in NYC in regards to snow. It’s trying to get chilly on us and we’re faced with PILES upon piles of food to eat. Not to mention your nagging relative asking “when you’re going to do XYZ life goal?”

Same for everyone? Well, not really. Not everyone has the blessings on their table. Although I’m sure most readers thought this would be a post about eating so much you’d need sweatpants -guilty as charge when it comes to my husband’s meatloaf- but it’s actually going to be about giving back and sharing the harvest. So let’s take a good look at how we can do that together, shall we?

DONATE those old ITEMS to GOODWILL!

Don’t tell me that the thought of holding on to all that STUFF you have is a turkey-lurkey good time. Cause’ immmastopyourighttheree! As your organization and close is, so is your mind. Clean out that old work wear that doesn’t fit you anymore, pile up the out-of-season textiles you’re cramming into drawers, and drop off a bag or two -or TEN- at Goodwill.

Every donation helps Goodwill to enable people to work and better their lives. And believe me, every dollar counts. So rally up a friend or two and rather than going Black-Friday crazy buying, actually give some away. Your closet, those who shop at, work for, and love Goodwill will thank you!

Here’s a quick punch list of what’s what. So grab mocha and your bags and head off to Goodwill. For more info on what’s closest to you check out the Goodwill NYNJ website

This time of the year, things that are useful to donate:

  • Old Christmas decorations! Come ON you don’t need THREE mini Christmas trees lol!
  • Heavy coats (mens, womens and childrens)
  • Gloves
  • Winter Boots
  • Hats and Scarfs
  • Warm blankets (cleaned)
  • Anything seasonally appropriate for this time of year

Hope to see you in the stores in the next few weeks. Follow my food, fun and travel treks on Twitter and Instagram @PlanetBrandee – till then, see you on the streets!

4 tips to find the best Thanksgiving outfit

4 tips to find the best Thanksgiving outfit

So here comes that special day when whole families gather to give thanks for all we received and achieved in the past year. Thanksgiving officially launches the End-of-the-year Holiday celebrations – no matter your beliefs, nationality, country of origin, or age. Even if you are not a blood relative, friends who have no place to mark this event, are invited to join in the fun.

Moms all over the country will be stressing out about them meal they’ll prepare, the number of guests, and trying not to forget anything to make sure the whole family enjoys.

But here are some things to consider when looking for the perfect outfit for Thanksgiving.

  1. The weather – Make sure to check the weather forecast in advance and keep checking as the day approaches. As you’ve probably noticed in the last decade, temperature and weather changes are more common than ever. And forecasts change in hours! So be prepared for all: Warmer temperatures or frigid ones.
  1. Will you host or be a guest? – If you’ll attend a party and will not have to slave in the kitchen, you are in luck! Your goal is to look fabulous. But wait! You can’t spend too much because you need to buy presents for your many friends and family? No worries! Goodwill has your back. You can get a stylish attire for $50 or less. You just need to be creative and picture the style you want to sport this Thanksgiving. Then head to your nearest Goodwill store and get ready to enter a world of opportunities! Tons of inexpensive clothing to choose from! If you’ll be the hostess/host and need to serve the meal and make sure your guests are happy, make sure to choose a comfortable outfit. Make sure it’s light. You don’t want to wear cashmere nor heavy wool in the kitchen! Wear light seasonable fabrics, like year-round wool and other knits.
  1. Layer – Whether you’ll be at home or will travel to a party, make sure you wear layers so you can add or take off as the night progresses and the temperature changes. The most important thing is to feel comfortable in order to enjoy the meal and conversations with guests.
  1. Match the rest of your party – Are you attending by yourself? Then your only concern is to make sure you ask your hostess or friends how casual or dressy they’ll go. If you are coming with your significant other or are married and have kids, make sure you all match. You don’t want to look like Anna Wintour, out of a Vogue cover, while your boyfriend/spouse looks like a lumberjack or vice versa. Same goes for the kids! Match, match!

What tips you think might be helpful for your fellow A Good Look readers or want to share any horror stories about the outfit that made your life miserable on Thanksgiving?

GOODWILL, UBER & DELL PARTNER SATURDAY TO RECYCLE ELECTRONICS

GOODWILL, UBER & DELL PARTNER SATURDAY TO RECYCLE ELECTRONICS;
JOIN US SUNDAY FOR MEATPACKING DISTRICT STREET FAIR;
CHECK OUT OUR WEEKEND WINDOW SALES
NYC Tech Takeback – Saturday, November 14, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

techtakebackOn Saturday 11/14, in honor of America Recycles Day (November 15), Goodwill is teaming up with Uber and Dell to help New York City customers and donors get rid of and recycle that used technology you no longer use — and keep it out of landfills.

By simply tapping the RECONNECT option in the Uber app, you’ll be able to recycle your used electronics responsibly and donate to Goodwill NYNJ via the Dell Reconnect program.

Enter the code TECHTAKEBACK and request RECONNECT on November 14 to donate and recycle your used technology to Goodwill

Anyone who recycles with us on November 14 may also have the chance to meet Dell’s Social Good Advocate, Adrian Grenier, who will be riding with Uber making pickups, and thanking New Yorkers for recycling.

How It Works

  1. OPEN Uber app
  2. TAP the profile icon and select ‘Promotions’
  3. ENTER code TECHTAKEBACK to unlock the ‘RECONNECT’ view
  4. REQUEST ‘RECONNECT’ between 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday for an Uber driver-partner (or Adrien Grenier!) to arrive, pick up your donations and bring them to a local Goodwill NYNJ location.

The Details

  • NYC Tech Takeback Day is on Saturday, November 14. Donating will be available via the Uber app between 10a.m.-4 p.m. in Manhattan and areas of Brooklyn and Queens.
  • Donating your technology is totally FREE..
  • All vehicles on the road making pickups for NYC Tech Takeback Day will be energy-efficient hybrids.
  • Click here for Goodwill NYNJ’s list of approved items that may be donated.
  • Donations made as part of NYC Tech Takeback Day are tax deductible. All proceeds go directly to Goodwill, so your donations will not only keep used electronics out of landfills, but every donation helps someone in your community with disabilities or disadvantages receive work and life skills.
  • Some items may require extra preparation before customers donate, as Dell and Goodwill are not responsible for data left on any donated equipment. Please remember to remove personal data from hard drives or other storage media before having them picked up by Uber.

Enjoy Boutique Specials at Meatpacking District Street Fair 11/15

Customers will get another chance to stop by and visit Goodwill’s table at a fall street fair set in Manhattan. We will offer boutique and other quality items for sale.

Sunday, November 15 – Meatpacking District Street Fair

10 a.m.-6 p.m.

9th Avenue from 14th-15th Street

Seven Stores Set Window Sales for This Weekend

Friday, November 13

  • Bronx, 149th St – tickets 7:45 a.m.; starts 8 a.m.
  • East 23rd Street – tickets 8:15 a.m.; starts 8:45 a.m.

Saturday, November 14

  • East Harlem, 3rd Ave – tickets 8:30 a.m.; starts 9 a.m.
  • Greenwich Village, 8th St – tickets 8:15 a.m.; starts 8:30 a.m.
  • Stuyvesant, 2nd Ave – tickets 8:45 a.m.; starts 9 a.m.
  • Washington Heights, 181st St – starts 8 a.m.
  • West 14th Street – tickets 7:45 a.m.; starts 8 a.m.

For store locations, visit our website at http://www.goodwillnynj.org/shop/goodwill-store-locations/all.

Window Sale General Rules:

  • Tickets are distributed to customers in line, first come-first serve
  • Customers may enter the store in numerical order once the doors open to the public
  • Customers may purchase a limited number of window items, check each store for specific details
  • After selecting their window items, customers may shop for other items in the store, go back in line to purchase other window items or exit the store until it opens to the public
  • Check for specific store rules
  • For store locations, visit our website at here.

Your purchases support the mission of Goodwill.

To learn how we serve the community, please read our industry blogWhere The Goodwill Goes

Lauren’s Goodwill Gems: It’s Time to Get Serious…

It’s Time to Get Serious… It’s …about satchels.

Satchels?!

Yes, I’m actually serious. It might sound like kind of a crazy thing to say, but if you’re searching for a new fall accessory, don’t discount an inspired, vintage-looking satchel – if you happen to pick one up, it will easily become your next go-to item – promise. I was so thrilled when I came across this week’s find – a beautiful, retro-styled gem of a bag that you’ll want to wear for years and years. The simple square shape, clean lines, and classic black leather material mean this purse is a must-have in any stylish lady’s wardrobe.

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Skip the uber girly or overly trendy, out-of-style-in-a-year bags and go for a piece you’ll never want to part with — like this gorgeous black leather satchel, spotted recently at my local Goodwill thrift shop.

Don this bag everywhere you go! It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing now – or what you plan to wear tomorrow. Whatever ensemble you’re donning, this bag is the perfect accessory. It looks sleek, chic, and professional – so whether you’re stepping out for a fun night with friends in a flirty dress, or heading off to grab your morning, pre-commute coffee, you’ll always be dressed just right. Here, I’ve paired this lovely new purse with one of my favorite fall outfits – slim, fitted jeans, an always-flattering blazer, and a pretty scarf for a touch of bright color (and to keep warm, of course).

Getting ready to go every day doesn’t have to be a chore – with a perfectly polished, go-to ensemble like this jeans + blazer + scarf combo – and an elegant and constantly classy bag like this gorgeous leather satchel, you can be totally put together and looking fabulous in no more than a few minutes.
Getting ready to go every day doesn’t have to be a chore – with a perfectly polished, go-to ensemble like this jeans + blazer + scarf combo – and an elegant and constantly classy bag like this gorgeous leather satchel, you can be totally put together and looking fabulous in no more than a few minutes.

Photo 2 caption: Getting ready to go every day doesn’t have to be a chore – with a perfectly polished, go-to ensemble like this jeans + blazer + scarf combo – and an elegant and constantly classy bag like this gorgeous leather satchel, you can be totally put together and looking fabulous in no more than a few minutes.

@PlanetBrandee Goes into the VELVET Underground!

@PlanetBrandee Goes into the VELVET Underground!

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Yes, it says Velvet Underground, but we’re not talking about music or movies, but rather that sneaky 90’s trend that somehow has surfaced again on the streets of New York City. So let’s get Stevie Nicks lush and start diving into crushed velvet drama realness!

But first, a glance back at where this imperial fabric came from. Wiki shares this tibit on the sumptuous textile “Because of its unusual softness and appearance as well as its high cost of production, velvet has often been associated with nobility. Velvet was introduced to Baghdad during the rule of Harun al-Rashid byKashmiri merchants and to Al-Andalus by Ziryab. In the Mamluk era, Cairo was the world’s largest producer of velvet.

Hold on! Nobility? ROYALTY? YES! We always knew we were Queens. So let’s find a way to burn this hot trendy fabric into thrifted awesomeness.

CAPES for DAYS!

Velvet is one of those fabrics that can be luxurious OR kind of cheesy. So be mindful when curated your finds. Less Boy George, more Lady Bovary. Since the trend is ALL over runways this fall, its cost is heating up. But at Goodwill, I’m still amazed to find a used 90’s blazer for only $12.99. Not too shabby, considering Ebay has them at over $70!!

A Velvet Frock Fit for a QUEEN!

Velvet dresses? Long duster coats embroidered with golden thread? Nope, it’s not Game of Thrones, it’s midtown Manhattan. Free People, ModCloth and MANY other retailers are scrambling for this super fab fabric, so be sure to grab what you can now before winter comes and all our fun velvet finds are gone with the wind!

Get inspired with this PInterest board and the posts from Nolia Hearts and others who are falling in love with this IT fabric for winter 2015.

So in closing: Can you get your 90’s and 70’s velvet fix on? Is it a floor length super dramatic jacket or a swinging crushed cocktail dress you’ve found? Send us your pics and share comments below until next time, see you on the streets!

Follow my food, fun and travel treks on Twitter and Instagram @PlanetBrandee – till then, see you on the streets!!

DROP BY OUR WINDOW SALES 11/6-8

Upcoming one-time electronics recycling home pick-up

Want to responsibly recycle the used computer or any other electronics you no longer use?

On Saturday, November 14 Goodwill NYNJ will help you get rid of your unwanted electronics from the comfort of your own home!

Stay tuned to this blog to read details this coming week!

This is a one-time home pick-up.

Goodwill NYNJ encourages residents to re-purpose unwanted clothing and household goods and to recycle the electronics they no longer need.

When residents donate these items to Goodwill NYNJ, they help find work for neighbors in their communities!

If you are unable to participate in this upcoming event, drop off your unwanted electronics any time at your nearest Goodwill NYNJ store:

http://www.goodwillnynj.org/electronics-accepted-Goodwill.

DROP BY OUR WINDOW SALES 11/6-8

We invite you to join Goodwill at one or more of the 13 window sales planned at our stores this week.

For store locations,visit our website

Friday, November 6

  • Chelsea, 25th St – tickets 8:45 a.m.; starts 9 a.m.
  • West 79th Street – tickets 8 a.m.; starts 9 a.m.

Saturday, November 7

  • Central Harlem, 5th Ave – starts 8 a.m.
  • Elmsford – tickets 8:30 a.m.; starts 9 a.m.
  • Fairfield – tickets 8 a.m.; starts 8:30 a.m.
  • Greenwich Village, 8th St – tickets 8:15 a.m.; starts 8:30 a.m.
  • Lake Ronkonkoma – tickets 8:30 a.m.; starts 8:45 a.m.
  • Massapequa – tickets 7:45 a.m.; starts 8 a.m.
  • New Rochelle – tickets 8 a.m.; starts 8:30 a.m.
  • Paramus – tickets 8 a.m.; starts 8:30 a.m.
  • Stuyvesant, 2nd Ave – tickets 8:45 a.m.; starts 9 a.m.
  • West 72nd Street – tickets 8:30 a.m.; starts 9 a.m.

Sunday, November 8

  • Livingston, Brooklyn – tickets 8:45 a.m.; starts 9 a.m.

 

Window Sale General Rules:

  • Tickets are distributed to customers in line, first come-first serve
  • Customers may enter the store in numerical order once the doors open to the public
  • Customers may purchase a limited number of window items, check each store for specific details
  • After selecting their window items, customers may shop for other items in the store, go back in line to purchase other window items or exit the store until it opens to the public
  • Check for specific store rules
  • For store locations, visit our website at here.

Your purchases support the mission of Goodwill.

To learn how we serve the community, please read our industry blogWhere The Goodwill Goes

 

An Officer and a Gentleman…

An Officer and a Gentleman…

… Is always ship shape wherever he may land. Our featured veteran and Good Look Guy for this month is Jonathan Cruz. Jonathan is a former Marine who gravitated to the hospitality industry through Goodwill’s Operation Good Jobs since his conduct and comportment were both becoming to the military and mainland.

Jonathan’s spit and polish are evident in his knack for assembling crisp, casual complements which are always stylish and sensible options.  The Marriot East Side Hotel lauds Jonathan’s superlative social skills that have made him a Guest Services star and beloved night shift colleague. By day, this New York native actively pursues his true love – auditioning for acting and singing parts. And as evident with such great genes filling the perfect pair of jeans, we may expect to see even more of him on the silver screen.

For now, this gifted thespian is thrilled with his full-time roles as a doting father to his family in the Dominican Republic, a trusted employee, and a recognized Indie actor. Give a hand to this protagonist who is as gracious to guests as he is engaging to audiences. Whatever the call, Jonathan has chosen versatile performers that suit every part he may play.

Black and blue and way below budget yet a cut above, Jonathan demonstrates yet another talent, finding the very best we have to offer at half price! Every dude loves duds that do active duty for the fewest possible dollars as we know that some men will even (gasp!) hardly ever shop!

Black semi turtle neck sweater – Louie (Italian brand): $4.99
Light blue long sleeve button down – Stafford: $4.99
Blue Jeans – Lee Dungarees: $7.49
Black dress pants – DKNY: $ 7.99
For both of the outfits the total is $25.46

Goodwill’s Operation: GoodJobs provides a holistic integration of career services with family and financial strengthening services. The program serves U.S. veterans (including National Guard and reserves) and their families.

For more information about Operations: GoodJobs or if your company would like to partner with Goodwill, please contact anewton@goodwillnynj.org