Friday, September 19, 2014


Jakelia Taylor is a 23 years old mother of 4. She is the Industrial Services Supervisor at Goodwill Industries of Michiana.

Jakelia got her start with Goodwill through a program called 2nd Chance @ Work.  This program is designed to help people with criminal backgrounds gain career skills with a goal of achieving full-time employment. In Jakelia's words, "Had it not been for the compassion of the caseworkers and staff running this program I really don’t know where I would be in life right now."

Through a string of events and bad decisions, Jakelia turned to a life of crime and drug abuse that led to a conviction and criminal record. As part of her conviction Jakelia found herself required to obtain employment to pay for court fees or face jail time. This is when she reached out to the 2nd Chance program. After 12 weeks in the program, she was ready for a work-place experience. This stepping stone of the program offers hands-on experience in a given field.

Jakelia was able to secure a full-time job and many other resources that aided her in her recovery. She explains the next phase of her journey:
I was released from Community Corrections for good behavior. After about 7 months of working I ran into child care problems and I was forced to stop working for about 2 months. I became very discouraged and I figured the odds were against me. I felt there was no way to get ahead in life with a criminal background. During those 2 months I reached out more than ever to different government assistance programs, again I was turned down because of my prior. I began to slip back into my old habits, doing the only thing I knew to make money. As time went on I began to just see life for what it was. I knew if I sat back and did nothing about the situation I was in, no one would help me. So again I began to ask around for help. Finally I was offered child care. I then was able to get back into the program and start where I left off.

She worked hard and was offered a position as the Industrial Services Coordinator at Goodwill Industries of Michiana. She has held this position for over a year.  Her current goals include starting school.  Jakelia sums up her story by saying, "Who would have thought me, a 22 year old ex-felon, could overcome the odds I overcame. This is really just the beginning of my story. I have not closed my book yet and I am ready for a new chapter in life and very thankful for the chapters leading up to this. I want to give Goodwill thanks for the amazing helping hand to not only me, but my family."

For more information about the 2nd Chance @ Work Program, please click HERE.

Friday, September 5, 2014

We are looking for models!

We are looking for models for our Little Black Dress Fashion show in Merrillville, IN!  Our next Open Call for Models will take place Tuesday, September 9th!  Check out the details below.

For more info about the event, go to:

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Need A Job? Dress the Part!

DID YOU KNOW: Hiring professionals tell me that the number 1 reason a candidate does not get called for an interview, or get the job is because of their first impression?

WHAT YOU WEAR DOES MATTER!  Your First Impression is made up of several elements including:
  • The Clothing You Wear
  • Your Demeanor
  • The Words You Use

When you are searching for a job the first few seconds of the interview can determine the outcome.   Your first impression is critical to your career success. Here are some things to keep in mind to be sure you are offering your best first impression.

IF YOU QUESTION IT, DON’T WEAR IT. When you look in the mirror, what do you see?  How do you feel in the outfit choice you've made? If you wonder if it is the right thing to wear, then don't wear it. That lack of confidence will come through in your demeanor.

COLORS MATTER.  You know those days when someone asks you if you are getting that flu that's going around?  And you feel fine?  Well, what they are telling you is that the color you are wearing is draining the life out of your skin-tone.  The right colors will bring out pink and peach tones in your skin, and the wrong colors will make you look pale and emphasize blue and green undertones (in other words, the undertones you get when you are ill or exhausted). Having said one wants to sit across the desk from someone that looks sick.  Be sure you wear your best color for the interview.  A good safe color for most is blue.

DON'T LET YOUR CLOTHES SPEAK FOR YOU.  When choosing your outfit for an interview, be sure what you wear doesn't wear you.  You don't want to be remembered as the one with the wild tie, overpowering perfume, crazy shoes or bright red lipstick.  You want to be remembered as the one who had the skills and ideas that were perfect for the job.

Now go perfect your interview image and wow that potential employer!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

8 DIY Command Center Ideas

Back-to-school season means back to the daily grind of controlling paperwork, keeping track of schedules, checking homework, figuring out meals, and corralling the backpack clutter in the home. Thankfully, it is easy to create a DIY Command Center for your family on a budget and even in a small home.  Today I want to showcase eight ideas for command centers that would work in small spaces, or in a larger home, and how you can utilize Goodwill for some of the supplies for your project.

Let's get organized!

Transform a Door

One of the most inventive ideas I have seen for a command center comes from Tatertots & Jello. She utilizes a screen door for creating a command center for her family. For families that don't want to mount anything on their wall, this command center created from a door can be propped up anywhere and I could picture this project even as a command center in the garage.

To create a place for jotting down notes, consider heading to Goodwill for a picture frame that you can transform into a magnetic chalkboard and check their baskets section for a basket to gather shoes or for paper storage! 

Use a Folding Chair

Not everyone has a large space to create a command center wall. I adore this idea, from Nalle's House, of creating a mini command center for your family by using an old folding chair. Check the furniture section of Goodwill for this project and with a little chalkboard paint and a basket, you have a spot to jot down messages and to tuck those small & important items like wallets & keys! 

Dedicate an Unused Corner

Unused corners in our home can be the best place to create a small command center. The best part about a small command center is that it is an easier space to manage and clutter can be tidied up quickly. This command center from Hi Sugarplum showcases an unused corner that she now has made into the family's command center.  

With a simple basket, a wall-mounted file folder, a small bulletin board, and a charging station, you now have an organized hub for your family.  

Dedicate a Wall

If you have a wall that you can use for your family's command center, I absolutely love the cohesiveness of this wall command center from The Caldwell Project. They utilize beautiful free printables in picture frames to track things with dry erase markers, they have great storage for cell phones and commonly found paper clutter in the home, there is a spot for the mail, and a place to jot down notes. 

If you want to create this on a budget, consider spray painting picture frames from Goodwill all one color and utilizing the free printables to keep your command center on budget. Be sure to visit this post for their free printable resources for your own command center. 

Use a Cabinet Door

Although Domestic Imperfection actually built this beautiful command center out of wood, a cabinet door from Goodwill would work perfectly in creating a command center for a small space. I love that she decoupaged a map of somewhere special on her door to create this command center. To keep it on budget, stop at the visitor's bureau to snag maps of the places you visit for a special and personal touch. 

Again, this command center is perfect for limited wall space and I love that you can personalize this one to your own needs! 

Create a Chalkboard Wall

This chalkboard wall command center, featured in BHG Magazine, illustrates that you don't need a lot of space to create a command center that functions well for your family. I love that everything is on one wall and that you can chalk captions on the wall to remind people where their items are and that items can be switched out based upon your family's needs from year-to-year! 

Make It Fun

The Homes I Have Made has the happiest of all happy command centers that I have ever seen. It makes me so happy that I want to replicate this one for our own house. She chose an eye-catching color scheme and adds beautiful details to make this a cheery place to organize and drop your belongings.  A handmade bunting brightens the space and the happy pieces of art in her color scheme make this place feel whimiscal and not utilitarian.

Use Open Framing to Organize

One last idea that I love is this command center made with open frames created by Wid Kids. Picture frames are a great item to find at Goodwill and utilizing just the framing of them creates a unique and open detail to your command center for creating with. In this case window frames were used, but you could utilize whatever type of frame you can find at your store and replicate this same concept in your own home. 

I love that it adds a fun detail to the wall and is open and airy enough to make the space not look cluttered.

Do you have a command center in your home? What do you do to keep your family organized in this space? 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Goodwill Back-to-School Fashion Show in Rochester!

You are invited to join us at a BACK-TO-SCHOOL Fashion Show at the Rochester store!  The show will feature some amazing local kids showing their unique style for this school year.  The show starts at 1:00 pm.  See you there!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Cute kids wanted for Back-to-School Fashion Show!

We are looking for your cute kids to be part of our in-store Back-to-School Fashion Show in Rochester on Saturday, August 23rd.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Goodwill Success Story - meet Roberto!

A gang lifestyle. Convicted of a crime. Serving time at the Juvenile Justice Center.  High school drop out. Ready to make a change.  This was Roberto's reality in February, 2014.  

Isaac Hunt of Goodwill Industries of Michiana began working with Roberto.  One of Roberto's first goals was to achieve his high school diploma by passing the GED test. In April, Robert met his first goal. He is the first member of his family who has received his high school diploma.

Since then, Roberto was released from the Juvenile Justice Center and has enrolled with Goodwill's  Violence Intervention Program.  In just 3 months, he has completed the required classes: anger management, resume building, financial, and conflict resolution. He is now part of the work experience program and is looking forward to starting college at Ivy Tech in the Fall of 2014. 

His willingness to change through hard work has changed the trajectory of his family for generations to come. Way to go Roberto!  We are very proud of you!