Tag Archives: Tacoma Goodwill

Holiday Cheer

The holidays are quickly approaching and this month is being spent preparing for them with parties and events such as the one we attended yesterday morning at the Tacoma Goodwill’s Milgard Center.  The Santa Breakfast is a collaboration with the Sunrise Notary and is a wonderful holiday event that is over 10 years old!  We were invited by Christine (thanks Christine! your antlers were really cute!) and were excited to take a trip south to Tacoma to check out a couple of stores new to us as well.

Of course our first stop was for some yummies after our drive.  The volunteers were very attentive, the crowds were full of kids ready to see Santa and the syrup was sticky-sweetness!

Then it was onto the kids craft area… but we got sidetracked easily in the “balloon room” and ended up staying there for a long time having a BLAST!  Next year Tacoma Goodwill should make an entire room full of balloons for another side activity since this one was such a hit with more than one child!

We then tried to see Santa and were offered stuffed animals or books and bags of goodies but our little one was only interested in playing with the balloon.  So we decided to drive over to the other stores and check out the Tacoma Goodwill’s toy sale (currently 30% off most toys and games) and their “Christmas stores” for some extra decorations for our party next Friday night.

By this time the little one was getting ready for a nap so we needed to head back home.  But mommy did find a holiday present, an entire box full of brand-new wooden blocks for 30% off $3.99!

We were still looking for some other items to get our home truly ready for the holiday party on Friday, December 16th so later in the evening we went to the NEW Edmonds Goodwill.  I’ve been to enough thrift store openings to know that they usually stock the store with higher-end pieces and it’s usually like that for up to a month after the grand opening… so since we have 20 people coming over for our party and I’ve been needing to find a couple of last minute holiday gifts Edmonds Goodwill was on our sites!

And believe me… the NEW Edmonds Goodwill did not disappoint!  The store was immaculate, the staff very attentive and helpful and lot of really great goodies!  I ended up finding a designer present for somebody that normally is running at $250 to $300 dollars at discount sites like Overstock.com and is in great condition!  Needless to say it was less than $100 and working just fine!  I also picked up a designer luggage piece to go with that DVF makeup case, a file cabinet for only $4.99 and we dropped off a couple of donations while we were at it.  I will be posting images of all the holiday gifts I’ve purchased in the next week (I’m waiting a bit so I don’t give away my surprise to those friends/family that read this blog) so that you can get your own holiday ideas going!

I will be sharing some of the holiday decorating I’ve done with Goodwill pieces for our party this next week so stay tuned for some ideas for your own holiday parties!


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Sunday drive in the country

This weekend I worked again on looking for a job but I also gave my family some time away from the city to enjoy a nice, leasurely drive in the country.  We dropped off my oldest at the family farm outside Olympia and then ventured north-east to the new Yelm Goodwill.  

I was invited by the Tacoma Goodwill to the store’s opening earlier in July but was unable to justify the 2 hour (one way) trip from our home at that time.  Being a new job-search candidate, you can understand the frugality of not spending all the gas costs but since we wrapped it into an already scheduled trip this time we enjoyed the Sunday drive in the country!  The backroads through winding green fields and passing through small towns like Roy were  pleasant.  But when we got to the Yelm Goodwill store it was evident immediately how much work went into the opening, and how much of that work has remained in place a month later!

From the very first display case you see the visual appeal that was crafted by the store’s opening team.  Just look at all this vintage pottery and glass beautifully staged and inviting you into the store!

Yelm being a major family community (the home of Miss Washington 2008, Janet Harding) and of some of the best rural schools around the state… you can see the family focus immediately with areas for the children to explore like this play area.

And with a toy isle like this there are PLENTY of toys for children to find and explore while parents shop!  I found this refreshing to see Goodwill embrace instead of the normal intercom announcement to “watch your children” thereby making the rest of us parents feel alienated (even if we don’t have children with us in the store at the time!) from the rest of the shoppers and making us feel lesser because we shop with our children?!  It is a difficult boundary to walk as a prior retail manager, there are definitely parents that just let children run wild in the isles breaking things and taking advantage of the customer service aspect of retail.  But there are plenty of other parents that keep our children contained, responsible for any mess or damages that our children might create… and this store’s embrace of that was encouraging for this mommy to see.

The store staff was extremely nice, offering to help us a couple of different times.  The store is stocked with plenty of summertime product like swimsuits, towels and toys.  In fact one of the first things we found was a brand-new-in-package beach ball for $.99 cents.  We then proceeded to find a number of other miscellaneous items like a new package of organic yarn for $.99 cents and a children’s book by National Geographic that looked brand new.

We then continued onto the children’s clothing area and found a pair of ORANGE TAG PJ’s for the little one 1/2 off $1.99 and I found a new Target brand PJ top for ORANGE TAG 1/2 off $1.99!

With such a welcoming child/family area we went through the toy isle and ended up scoring a couple of vintage Fisher-Price toys!  The Food Mart was only $2.99 and the rocking-horse ball (that chimes when the ball moves) was only $.99 cents!

There were plenty of other items that I would of liked to seriously consider but with the extra-job-searching-frugality I decided to hold back and head toward the register.  Wouldn’t you know it… on the way to the register I passed a Calvin Klein button up khaki dress with the elusive RED TAG which meant it was only $1.29.  I held my breath as I tried it on quickly hoping that it fit for such a great price.  Yep!  It was a PERFECT addition to the job-search wardrobe I’ve been on the look out for lately.  Reassuring me that I still have the Goodwill GOLDEN touch, that is for sure!

The baby couldn’t wait for us to get the beach ball blown up and played with it and his new Fisher-Price toy the rest of the evening.  We are heading out after the nap this afternoon to try out the new toy at the beach!

We hope that everybody goes outside and enjoys this beautiful Seattle summer we are getting!  This week is more of the job-hunting for mommy and two interesting prospects for Goodwill shopping trips/blog posts concerning a family’s front room interior makeover and a local mommy that makes the most of her nonprofit employers funds by buying their Head Start group toys at the Goodwill!

Stay tuned for more summer interviews thrift-public and today being August 1st I will start reminding all our readers that August 17th is NATIONAL THRIFTSHOP DAY and Living the Goodwill Life is working on a national collaboration to celebrate the special day.  More to follow!……


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New Goodwill stores!

This weekend is one of those busy summer weekends around the Seattle area.  We are having the Rock n Roll Marathon, it’s PRIDE weekend and the Tacoma Goodwill is celebrating by opening one of two new stores this summer in Gig Harbor.

Their Gig Harbor grand RE-Opening started Thursday, June 23rd but will be going on all weekend long so if you are like Fox Island resident Pam Greinke, then you’ll score lots of goodies too!  (photo courtesy of Tacoma Goodwill)

The next Goodwill store opening is in Yelm and is slated to start Thursday, July 8th.  Go, Go, GOODWILL!

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Our BUY OF THE WEEK April 7th

This weekend I shopped the Seattle Goodwill‘s PINK TAG sales to prep for our Spring/Summer Fashion photo shoot.

While shopping I found so many awesome things 50% off that I made this week’s BUY OF THE WEEK (2) TWO items!

The first is this brand-new Beatles T-shirt that I picked up @ the Bellevue Goodwill (http://www.seattlegoodwill.org/shop/stores/bellevue)  for our little one!  As you can see we also scored a jean jacket for 50% off to pair it with.

The second is this BCBG print dress I also picked up @ the Bellevue Goodwill (http://www.seattlegoodwill.org/shop/stores/bellevue) that I just ADORE!  It was not 50% off but even as a Fashion Focus purchase, it was below $15 and in perfect condition!

This weekend, the deals are: RED TAGS @ the Seattle Goodwill and YELLOW TAGS at the Tacoma stores till Sunday when they change to RED TAGS (http://tacomagoodwill.org/files/Apr_calendar11.pdf).

So go support your local stores with your donations or maybe by looking for your own awesome BUYS of the week!

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President’s Day Thrift

Yesterday we spend the afternoon road-trippin to the Olympia Goodwill stores to not only tape our first of many interviews but to spend the beautiful day back in my old stoppin ground for some deals.  Well, I came down one day too early because today, Monday, is the Tacoma Goodwill stores BIG PRESIDENT’S DAY SALE were ALL donated items are 40% off!

But yesterday yielded some great finds as well!

Take a visit to your local Olympia (or Tacoma-based) Goodwill today and grab up the deals!

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@ the HEART of Thrifting

I started my week with a generous invitation to tour the Tacoma Goodwill Milgard Center, Outlet & Online sales center.  I wrote questions the night before preparing for a typical Q & A session but what I was met with was a warm welcome from their Media Relations/PR Manager, Matthew (Matt)  Erlich.  And even though I had done my fact homework I didn’t yet understand this organization and the community that surrounds it… but that was about to change.

The Goodwill was started by a man with a HEART and a plan, Edgar James Helms who believed people needed “a HAND-UP, not (just) a hand-out” and started employing people to mend donated items for resale back in Boston in 1902.  A concept that has continued to bring jobs (and more importantly HOPE) to ANY person for more than 100 years!

A concept that has locally grown within the Tacoma Goodwill since 1921.

We started our tour in the BUZZ coffee shop, a barista-training program housed under the REACH program for young adults, just one of the many programs offered.  This tour is starting to take shape in my mind… the shape of a community centered around helping people work no matter what their age, sex, ability is… this is getting good!

Then, from the BUZZ coffee shop, we took a walk outside.  Outside not only because it was a pretty day in Tacoma but also because I had been lucky enough to see the work of world-renown Artist/botanist Patrick Blanc back in Paris and I knew that the Tacoma Goodwill had Patrick’s first exterior piece in America.  The “Living Wall” is at the entrance of their REACH center and just absolutely beautiful!

Now while Thrifting, Garage-saleing, Swap-meeting, etc. has been in my blood my entire life… I make no mistake to mention time and time again that I am an avid Thrifter for MANY reasons, most importantly reducing environmental impact.  So to know that a world-renown Eco artist was commissioned by our local Goodwill was a HUGE GREEN-STAR in my eyes because not only do they support reducing waste but they are putting their money where they mouth is with their art work!

Okay… we are off to a good start here!  I’ve been met in a very comfortable setting, more examples of this organization helping it’s citizens are becoming known to me, I’ve just witnessed world-class Eco art…what could be next in this adventure?

So we start touring the Milgard Center and it brings up many questions in my mind.  No, not questions that I had prepared the night before… these were questions just flying off the cuff at every turn because every turn was revealing more than I ever knew possible.  You just can’t prepare for these kind of insights; like their use of technology with “theaters” live-streaming the Tacoma class discussions between both Yakima and Longview.  Their workstations that accommodate any person’s ability with options like voice-command software or large-font capabilities.  The list went on and on as we walked the halls.  I was starting to burst with excitement for the next bit of information to be uncovered… for that next level of this THRIFT community was unfolding before my eyes with each step!

So, let’s just say that the tour of the Milgard Center left me with so much information, so much interest into this organization, that I could NOT explain it all in one post.  Which means I will be writing more about the Tacoma Goodwill for sure!

But WAIT! I’m not done with this post yet!

We haven’t even gotten to the GOODY ROOM yet!  

(Yes, it will be forever-more named the “GOODY ROOM” by me!  But I will also accept “Candy Store“, “Goody Store”, and even the ultimate “When I pass-away from this Beautiful Existence *ha-ha* I’m going to donate a personally-monogramed-legacy-park-bench so that my spirit may sit and drool over every morsel of awesomeness that enters these walls forever more!“)

THAT’S how much you need to keep reading this post!

By this time, with all the downloading of the Tacoma Goodwill, my anticipation level is way past OVERLOAD!  We walk outside to the old Goodwill offices (which now house the outlet center and online sales) and I catch a couple of cold-fresh-air-breaths that do me good!

We open the doors of the outlet center and now my mind turns to THRIFT mode!  We only take a couple of minutes there since we both express the ability to spend hours rummaging so we take a walk to the grand finale of my day (besides the Funky Monkey sandwich in the Neighborhood Bistro that was super yummy)… the ONLINE SHOPPING CENTER!

I mentioned earlier that I’ve grown up around Garage-sales, Swap-meets and Thrift-stores but this unassuming building, the Tacoma Goodwill’s old offices, is a MECCA of GOODIES like I have not seen before!  In these hallow-walls are the people behind the pictures and descriptions of all the best picks from all their donations!  Did you say ALL the BEST of the BEST of their donations???  YEP!!!  All the items in online auctions through Amazon, eBay and ShopGoodwill.com are housed here.

I got to see where the candy (AKA the BEST donated items) gets dropped off and I even got to sneek a peek at the coveted jewelry safe!  OMG thrifters!  All I can say is OMG!  I want my dream job (besides being a Eco-designer turned philanthropist who saves orphaned children from atrocious crimes like lack of LOVE!) to be working in this adult CANDY STORE!  But alas… I will just have to wait my turn for such an honor so in the mean time I will be searching for that perfect park-bench to have my legacy engraved into it for the corner!

So… with all that happened on this day of days, at a local organization that showed me all it had to offer, I will close out this post.  But I will come back to cover more of the Tacoma Goodwill because one posting is not enough to express the amounts of HEART this organization holds for their community!

I LOVE being a Thrifter even more now!  Thanks Matt and Tacoma Goodwill for the tour!

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Thrift 365

By now, most Americans are used to seeing “Top 10 lists”, sub-“reality” TV and the all-so-common “look what happens when you do THIS too much” version of the NEWS.  News that we all so eagerly search for everyday before we actually start working.

So, in the spirit of how we view our current world (2011 style), I hear by commit this next year of my life (January 1st to December 31st 2011) to shop at the Goodwill for EVERYTHING I need!  (except food, hygiene and toiletries)

Yep, you heard it here first…

This Seattleite is going Goodwill for an entire year!

That includes all the items I need for my family and it even includes the gifts I need to buy for all the birthdays, holidays and celebrations happening during this year (including my son’s 1st birthday!).

WHY am I doing this?  Well first of all I LOVE shopping at thrift stores!  Yes, if I win the lottery I will still shop at thrift stores and you know… I bet I wouldn’t be the only millionaire there!  Secondly, I believe in living a balanced life, which means my family gives back instead of just taking & buying in our consumer driven society.  We choose to honor the blessings we receive by giving back.  Giving back by reusing or recycling, volunteering our time for causes we believe in and helping support them by donating to and shopping at thrift stores such as the Goodwill.  Not only is thrift store shopping a GREEN way to live but if you choose stores that support nonprofits/social causes you are helping many other people at the same time!  Finally, during this difficult economy… finding ways to SAVE money we feel is a smart way to live! 

Now I know that there are a million thrift stores out there, and most of them support nonprofits and/or social causes, but for the sake of sanity, for the causes they support and the sheer magnitude of thrift store shopping in the Seattle area, I choose to ONLY shop Goodwill for this entire year.

BUT… I would like to be an equal opportunity blogger so for those other fabulous stores, shoppers and their causes, if you have a web link to an article you have written on a different thrift store please submit it!  I will do my best to provide links and acknowledge your work.  (as with most things now-days… postings with images/video will get my first viewing)

WHY?  This blog, and this year of my life, is not only to show our world what would happen if one person shops at thrift stores for a year.  But this blog is to also showcase the variety of thrift shopping options and to share all the fabulous thrift shoppers who already dedicate their lives to living a GREEN, economical and charitable existence (and of course revel in all their amazing thrift store finds!)



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