Author Archives: Shannon Halverson

Goodwill's BRAND NEW Crystal Lake Store Opening Tomorrow at 9AM!

I’ve got some exciting news to share!! Goodwill’s brand new Crystal Lake store opens its doors TOMORROW (March 27th)! Doors open at 9am. Just wait until you see this store! I was there yesterday, and all I have to say is W-O-W! You’re going to love it!

Stop by and see exactly what I’m talking about. In fact, go through your closet and pull out a couple things that you no longer use or wear, and donate them to Goodwill while you’re there. The golden rule is, if you haven’t used or worn an item in one year or longer … donate it! The revenue from your donation (and the treasures you buy when you stop in and see the new store) helps to fund Goodwill’s mission programs that provide job training, employment, financial education, and many other life enhancing opportunities to people with barriers in your very own community! It’s a win/win! You can make room in your closet by donating, help someone in need live a better life, and then fill that closet with great items you’ll see in our new store! Do you see why I love Goodwill so much?

Hope to see you tomorrow in Crystal Lake!
1016 Central Park Drive in Crystal Lake (just north of Walmart)

While Spring Cleaning – Think Green & Donate!

Spring is here and a lot of people typically have spring cleaning on their minds.  This year, be green while cleaning out those closets & cupboards. Instead of throwing away these items and adding to area landfills, donate all of your unwanted gently used items to Goodwill.

Not sure what to donate?  Follow the “One-Year Rule”:  Any article of clothing or item not used or worn in one year probably won’t be used or worn again.  Why not allow someone else to enjoy those “new to them” items.  You’ll be helping the earth and individuals with barriers improve their lives. The sale of your donations fund Goodwill’s many programs designed to help members of your very own community.

Did you know, last year Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois kept almost 7.5 million pounds of recyclable items out of area landfills?  We think that’s a lot, but want to do more!

So whether you received a new coffee maker as a gift and aren’t sure what to do with your used, but perfectly good older model or just need to clear out those jeans and sweaters that you keep saying you’re going to wear again … but never do, donate them to Goodwill.  For a list of items that Goodwill accepts, just visit

You’ll make a difference in not only your closet space, but in the earth and someone’s life.

Top 10 Tips on How to be a Goodwill Savvy Shopper!

Goodwill's top 10 tips on how to be a savvy shopper!

1. Be open-minded –  Keep your eyes open for any surprising deals!  Goodwill inventory is constantly changing – if you hit the jackpot and come across a killer deal or something that you just can’t pass up … go for it!  Goodwill prices are so inexpensive that shoppers can afford to splurge a little bit on unexpected treasures that they find.

2. Look for quality brands – The older you get, the more you realize that inexpensive brands don’t fit as well as brand names like Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, or Calvin Klein.  Who cares if your American Eagle shirt cost $50 or $5 – nobody knows but you.  By shopping at Goodwill, you can afford to have a closet full of these amazing brands!

3. Kids – Going with kids shopping anywhere is tricky, but especially tricky at Goodwill since there are so many items and aisles that you will need to go through.  A simple trick is to reward your child for good behavior.  If your child is good throughout your Goodwill treasure hunting experience, reward him/her with a few minutes in the toy aisle.  A $5 toy is well worth a stress-free shopping experience.

4. Know Your Local Goodwill’s Sale Dates – Each Goodwill store has its own specific sale dates and these sales are something you don’t want to miss.  To find that perfect item for $5, that you wouldn’t normally be able to afford is great!  To find it during one of Goodwill’s Dollar Day Sales for $1 is AMAZING!   You can find out the sale dates at your area Goodwill visit

5. Find Ways to Repurpose – Think creatively when you shop at Goodwill.  If you’re looking for a Christmas tree skirt, but come across a tablecloth with a great wintery design that really fits your theme – this might work better than a traditional tree skirt!

6. Shop Often – If you don’t have luck one time while visiting Goodwill, next week you may just find the item you’ve been dying to have.  With new donations coming in every day, Goodwill inventory is constantly changing.

7. Accessories – Goodwill is a GREAT place to purchase accessories for your favorite outfit.  If you have a great new outfit that you just splurged on – don’t forget you’ll need some great accessories. Purses, belts, hats, even jewelry will only cost you a couple dollars – but can be very expensive when purchased brand new!

8. Don’t be Afraid to Experiment – With Goodwill’s great prices, it doesn’t hurt too much to purchase a $5 cardigan sweater then discover that you’re not the sort for cardigans. Also, fashion trends are always changing, and by shopping at Goodwill you can afford to give the trends a try.  You may just find your “new style” at Goodwill.

9. Know What Your Spent Money Goes Toward – Some thrift or resale stores are run for profit.  Goodwill is a non-profit that uses all of the money from our store sales to go toward its programs and training that help people in YOUR local community to better their lives.  Know that your hard earned money is being put toward a great cause.  Area Goodwills now have various posters throughout the store that give you examples of programs that your money helps to fund.

10. Out With the Old; In With the New – Shopping at Goodwill can be addicting.  If your closet eventually gets too cluttered, make it a point to donate one outfit back to Goodwill every time you visit the store to purchase a new outfit.  Donations from the community are what keep Goodwill’s shelves stocked with these great items!  Donating back to Goodwill instead of throwing items away will help keep these items out of area landfills … which are terrible for the Earth and the Earth’s atmosphere.

Follow these 10 simple steps, and you’re sure to become a savvy shopper in no time and see why shopping at Goodwill is a smart thing to do … and FUN!

You’re Invited to a Fun-Filled Afternoon for a Wonderful Cause

It’s time for Goodwill’s 2nd Annual “Share A Smile” Fundraiser, and I can’t say enough about this exciting event!

Last year’s event was an amazing success, but this year is sure to bring even more fun & excitement. I haven’t been to a fundraiser (and I’ve been to alot of fundraisers) that is more jam-packed full of fun!

This year, you can expect to experience delicious cocktails & hors d’oeuvres catered by the trendy Rockford downtown restaurant, Brio. The Dean Moriarty Jazz Band will be sure to keep your toes tapping while you browse our huge amount of live and silent auction items donated by various local businesses. Just to touch on a few of the over-the-top auction items available for you to bid on are:
o Coach purse
o Motorized Segway
o Door County, WI 2-night stay
o Skydiving Experience
o Gourmet 5-Course meal in your house
o Bears vs. Jets Tickets for Dec. 26th game
o Blue Man Group Tickets
o 4-course golf pass to Rockford courses

You can also get an early start at Christmas shopping for that someone special by purchasing raffle tickets for a chance to win 3 beautiful jewelry pieces donated by Clodius & Co. Winners will be drawn at the event, but tickets can be purchased anytime from now until then by calling (815) 987-6237. Tickets are 1 for $1 or 6 for $5. Winners not be present to win.

Last, but DEFINITELY not least, Goodwill will have a live fashion show featuring a wide gamut of local celebrities such as:
o WREX13 Anchors, Dani Maxwell and Laura Gibbs
o WXRX’s Captain Jack
o Rockford Woman Magazine’s Jennie Pollock
o IGNITE’s Director, Caitlin Ludwig
o Rockford’s own – Miles Nielson

Event is Saturday, October 16th from 1pm to 4pm at the Chicago-Rockford Int’l Airport. Tickets are $35 per person and can be purchase online at or by calling (815) 987-6237.

Plan for a fun fall afternoon & join Goodwill for the Share A Smile Fundraiser. We hope to see you there!

Find Great Items & Save Loads of Money by Savvy Shopping with the Goodwill Gal

Get your patio or deck all ready for summer and save money doing it by shopping smart at your local Goodwill store.

Goodwill’s latest project is a partnership with WREX13 – a monthly Morning Show segment, hosted by anchor Laura Gibbs,  titled “Savvy Shopping with the Goodwill Gal”. Am I excited about being labeled “The Goodwill Gal”?  You bet!  And I’m even more excited to convey to the public that Goodwill has great items for even greater prices!

I think it’s a misconception that Goodwill just sells old over-used donated items.  SO UNTRUE!  Laura gave me the task this month to find outdoor living items for an exceptional price.  I did just that and had a such a fun time doing it!

At first I was unsure which direction I’d head with the “Outdoor Living” theme I was given.  After all, there is so much to find at Goodwill.  My options were limitless.  I spotted this great patio chair at our Machesney store and couldn’t believe the price or the condition – both outstanding!  So I decided to put together a bright summertime patio sitting area.  Even if you already have a great patio – who doesn’t like to change things up once in a while?  I do – especially if it’s not going to cost me an arm & a leg.

Then, at our Dekalb store, I spotted this fabulous patio bistro table – it matched the chair perfectly!  And can you believe this – it was BRAND NEW – still in the box….and half the price of a brand new table.  I quickly snatched this treasure up.

Then, the mother of all finds – this gorgeous fern/bamboo picnic basket complete with 4 plates, 4 cups, and 4 sets of silverware.  I did a little research online to find out similar baskets sell brand new for $100!  Goodwill was selling this basket for $11.99!  Can you believe it?  I hit gold!

I continued shopping at all of our other Goodwill stores to put the finishing touches on my patio sitting area – constantly finding myself amazed at how much I was saving and what great items I was finding, until I had my complete setup (above photo).  What a fun time I had!

June 1st, Laura was amazed.  In fact, Cyndi the weather girl, even stated she wished she brought her checkbook with her!  The segment went over without a hitch and we all had a fun time.  In the end, we showcased a beautiful patio sitting area all purchased at local Goodwill stores.  The brand new retail price I would have spent on this was a tad over $300.  Goodwill’s price was a mere $80.  I saved over $220!  Now that’s savvy shopping at it’s best! 

Brand New Goodwill Store Coming to Ottawa!

Goodwill Staff, Ottawa Chamber Members, and Ottawa Mayor Break Ground for Construction of New Goodwill Store

Goodwill is coming to Ottawa, Illinois!  And the city is excited! 

Ground was broken on May 5th, 2010 for the brand new 17,000-square foot store.  Goodwill staff, Ottawa Chamber members, and the Ottawa City Mayor attended the ground breaking ceremony at Goodwill’s soon-to-be location: 501 West Stevenson Road in the Walmart Shopping Center.

“Goodwill is more than just a place to buy affordable, good quality clothes – it’s an organization which helps people in need of employment and life-changing experiences”, states Ottawa Mayor Robert Eschback.

The opening of Ottawa’s Goodwill is scheduled for fall of 2010.