Celebrating Leadership in Education: Spotlight on Halle Shine

    [fa icon="calendar'] May 30, 2024 11:30:00 AM / by Halle Shine posted in Indianapolis Metropolitan High School, Education, Educator Appreciation Month

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    May is National Educator Appreciation Month and to celebrate, we are shining a spotlight on some of Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana’s many wonderful teachers and educators. Meet Halle Shine - a math teacher and leader at Indianapolis Metropolitan High School. Prior to working at Indy Met, Halle was a special education teacher with Teach for America, an Americorp graduate and a math tutor. Halle is a graduate of Indiana University where she majored in Public Affairs and Environmental Management. 

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    Removing the Stigma of Mental Health in the Workplace

    [fa icon="calendar'] May 29, 2024 1:06:24 PM / by Jenny Kakasuleff posted in Employment, mental health, Mission Awareness, DEI

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    As part of our One Goodwill Strategic Plan, launched in 2022, Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana developed a number of initiatives aimed at improving the mental health support provided to the people we employ, educate and serve. One of these initiatives included hiring a Mental Health Strategist, an entirely new role created to support the organization as we sought to create a culture that removes the stigma surrounding mental health. 

    Learn more about Sarah Ash, Goodwill’s Mental Health Strategist, and how she envisions making an impact in her new role.

    Tell us about your background and experience in the mental health care field.

    I am a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) and have worked in settings such as schools, child welfare, health care, emergency services and private practice therapy. Depending on the role, my support of individuals’ mental health may have looked like barrier removal (much like Goodwill’s mission and life coaches offer to Goodwill employees and graduates), legal advocacy or traditional talk therapy. Fortunately, this sort of varied experience gave me a tremendous amount of insight into the way we approach “care” for others and how much more creative and expansive our care can be!

    Describe your current role at Goodwill.

    Currently, I serve as Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana’s Mental Health Strategist. This role was created in alignment with the Strategic Plan, which has a strategic objective dedicated to supporting the mental health of the individuals Goodwill employs, educates and serves. So far, this has looked like forming relationships across the organization to understand the unique challenges different areas face before partnering with them to develop ways to address those challenges. It has been exciting to think through the nuanced support we can implement in such a broad and diverse organization.

    What are some of the challenges employers are grappling with in terms of mental health in the workplace?

    The World Health Organization defines mental health as, “a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn well and work well and contribute to their community.” Even if we can all more or less agree on what mental health is, what we each need as individuals to achieve it can be vastly different! For employers, this can be a really challenging reality to navigate because it means that each employee needs something unique. So attempting to build something that is both equitable and adaptable is very difficult, but important work. 

    How is Goodwill responding to these challenges?

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    Empowering Older Americans through Employment

    [fa icon="calendar'] May 17, 2024 1:23:00 PM / by Sam Stockman posted in Employment, Retail, Mission Awareness

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    In recognition of Older Americans Month, we spoke with Patricia Culp about her journey with Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana. Patricia embarked on her journey with Goodwill in 2015, starting as a cashier at the Lafayette retail store. This occurred during a challenging period in her personal life; she had recently lost her father and assumed the role of caretaker for her mother, who was battling dementia.

    As her mother's condition progressed, Patricia transitioned to full-time caregiving, leading to her departure from her job at Goodwill. Following her mother's passing, Patricia found herself grappling with grief.

    "I didn’t know what to do with myself. I got depressed, and I felt like an orphan," Patricia said.

    Soon, Patricia found that she had more time on her hands than what she knew what to do with. Seeking a new sense of purpose, Patricia rejoined the Goodwill retail team at the same Lafayette location in September of 2022.

    "I was nervous, but I started to feel better as soon as I started," Patricia said.

    Thriving in her role on the sales floor, Patricia quickly established herself as a valued member of the retail team. Over time, she honed her skills across various departments, from cashier to textiles, wares, and books, positioning herself for future leadership opportunities.

    In April 2024, Patricia achieved a significant milestone in her career when she accepted the role of Team Lead at the Lafayette retail location. She aspires to emulate the leadership she has received from her mentors within the organization. Looking ahead, Patricia envisions a long-term commitment to Goodwill, expressing gratitude for the supportive environment it provides.

    "They are the kindest, nonjudgmental people I have ever met. I have so much more confidence in myself and others because of them," Patricia said.

    Are you or someone you know seeking employment? Check out current opportunities on our website. 

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    Raising Awareness of Mental Health in the Workplace

    [fa icon="calendar'] May 14, 2024 9:15:00 AM / by Sam Stockman posted in ClickGoodwill, Retail, mental health, Mission Awareness

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    As we enter the month of May, Goodwill wants to take a moment to highlight the significance of Mental Health Awareness Month and why it’s important to us.

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    Goodwill Attends MAVPAK's Annual Pallet Games Competition

    [fa icon="calendar'] May 13, 2024 10:18:17 AM / by Sam Stockman posted in Foundation, ClickGoodwill, Retail, eCommerce

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    Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana made its second appearance at MAVPAK’s annual Pallet Games competition on Wednesday, April 24. MAVPAK, a packaging company founded in 2015, offers packaging, warehousing, and equipment solutions to its customers. The company supplies all of the packaging materials and additional support to Goodwill’s eCommerce division. 

    "Through my faith, I decided that I should take my gifts and create a company that acts as a shining light," said John Goo, the founder and president of MAVPAK.

    John first encountered the idea of these games as a volunteer during a similar event in Louisville, Kentucky. Inspired, he developed his own version, which became known as the Pallet Games.

    "I love to celebrate the hourly workforce and logistics industry. This is the one big thing we can do to give back and have fun for no other reason than to celebrate," John said.

    The competition brings together a collection of MAVPAK’s customers for a day of fun, games, and teamwork. It aims to unite the warehouse, distribution, and manufacturing communities to build culture and inspire teamwork. Each team consists of 10 to 20 players that participate in games that require skill sets found in warehouse environments, such as packing delicate materials, navigating obstacles with a pallet jack, and so much more. 

    Teams are encouraged to dress up and show out. Each team is encouraged to decorate their own pallet and is welcomed to the games on a red carpet with an official introduction from MAVPAK’s team complete with music, cheers, and spirit. During down time, players can partake in a series of mini games throughout the warehouse to keep the fun going at all times. 

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    Goodwill NFP Mom Rewrites Her Story

    [fa icon="calendar'] May 12, 2024 9:00:00 AM / by Jenny Kakasuleff posted in Nurse-Family Partnership, Multi-gen impact, Goodwill Ignite

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    After becoming pregnant as a teenager and leaving high school, NaShae Price enrolled in Goodwill Nurse-Family Partnership® (NFP) for support. Pregnant with her first child, she was struggling to secure stable housing, transportation and a living wage job to help support her growing family. 

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    Introducing Jennifer Heaston, Goodwill NFP Nurse of the Year

    [fa icon="calendar'] May 10, 2024 3:00:00 PM / by Noelle Gray posted in Nurse-Family Partnership, Mission Awareness, Nurses Week

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    Goodwill Nurse-Family Partnership® (NFP) pairs registered nurses with expectant parents for ongoing visits aimed at supporting families in providing the very best start for their children during the earliest, most developmentally critical years.

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    Goodwill NFP Celebrates Successful Parents

    [fa icon="calendar'] May 8, 2024 3:00:00 PM / by Noelle Gray posted in Nurse-Family Partnership, Nurses Week

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    Goodwill Nurse-Family Partnership® (NFP) pairs first-time, expectant parents with a registered nurse for ongoing one-on-one visits aimed at supporting families in providing the very best start for their children during the earliest, most developmentally critical years. Nurses partner with families from their baby’s birth until the child turns two years old, helping them achieve healthy pregnancies and childhoods while uncovering their skills as parents.

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    Celebrating Educator Appreciation Month: Spotlight on Katie Bustamante

    [fa icon="calendar'] May 7, 2024 11:30:00 AM / by Riley McCarthy

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    May is Educator Appreciation Month, and to celebrate we are highlighting Katie Bustamante, the Vice President of Goodwill Education Initiatives and The Excel Center National Office. Katie is a shining example of an educator who not only taught students in the classroom but also became a community builder and impact maker through her role with The Excel Center®.  

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    Empowering Families Through Goodwill Nurse-Family Partnership

    [fa icon="calendar'] May 3, 2024 9:23:27 AM / by Jenny Kakasuleff posted in Nurse-Family Partnership, Parents, mental health, Mission Awareness, Multi-gen impact

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    “When I was first diagnosed with unspecified psychosis, I didn’t want to believe it,” Michaelae Cotton said. “Many times…those with this diagnosis are described as ‘crazy.’ I was embarrassed and felt ashamed. It wasn’t until I found safe spaces that I began to embark on a journey of victory. My nurse came into my life at the perfect time.”

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