Job Match Q&A with Luis

Today’s Job Match Q&A, we get to meet Luis! Through Goodwill’s Employment WORKS, a supported employment program providing individualized job placement and retention services to adults living with mental health diagnosis, Luis was able to get back on his feet and dive into the workforce with ease. 1)      What is your first name, where do you work, and what is your job title? My name is Luis, I work at Dollar Tree, and I’m a cashier. 2)      What was your biggest barrier to getting back to work? My mental health and the struggles with life were my biggest barriers. 3)      How did Goodwill Employment WORKS help you get back to work and maintain your job? They helped me look for a job throughout the process, they called me to check-in with me and they helped me get back on my feet. 4)      What is it like being a cashier at your job? Being a cashier at my work has been good. I help people as I clean my station, as well as provide good guest service. 5)      How is working improving your quality of life today? It has made my life easier. I couldn’t find work on my own without this program. 6)      What is your final message to anyone contemplating working or volunteering? Stay strong, and go little by little. Eventually, everything gets better from here.

Goodwill of Orange County | National Thrift Shop Day

August 17 is a big deal for all of us here at Goodwill of Orange County, because it marks National Thrift Shop Day!  On this day, we celebrate the power of thrifting and, most importantly, we celebrate YOU, our loyal thrifter! Your purchases fuel OC Goodwill’s mission of helping people achieve their goals through a journey of personal support, work experience and career development.   Here’s a sneak peek at all the good that’s to come on this special occasion! Fivestar Discount The best way to celebrate National Thrift Shop Day is, of course, by thrifting with us!. Existing Fivestars customers can enjoy $5 off any purchase of $35 or more at all Goodwill of Orange County stores on August 17. This is the perfect opportunity to score some incredible finds all while supporting people in the community! Join our customer rewards program today to redeem this offer (and future offers as well)!   In-Store Giveaways Who doesn’t love free stuff?! On National Thrift Shop Day, we’re giving out an OC Goodwill exclusive enamel pin in all of our stores (while supplies last), featuring a cute little Goodwill storefront! There is a limited supply so be sure to be the first in line at one of our 23 Goodwill of Orange County stores on August 17! If you receive a pin, be sure to check the back of the card – you might find a $10 OC Goodwill gift card attached! 👀   Weekly Dose of Good Giveaway One lucky Weekly Dose of Good subscribers is about to receive a whole lot of GOOD! To show our appreciation for our subscribers, we are hosting an exclusive giveaway for our Weekly Dose of Good subscribers. One lucky winner will receive a $100 Goodwill of Orange County gift card! How do you enter? Just sign-up for our newsletter here Already signed up? First of all, you are AWESOME and are already entered for your chance to win!  💙🌟 Can’t make it to the store on National Thrift Shop Day? No worries, you can always follow along on our social media channels to stay updated on all the fun activities. Share your love of thrift shopping and sustainability with us on our socials! Together, let’s make this National Thrift Shop Day a memorable and meaningful experience! Happy thrifting!  

Goodwill of Orange County’s LifeLaunch: Growth Opportunities (GO)

We’ve all made mistakes. Many of us just need a second chance. For youth who have been impacted by the justice system, Goodwill of Orange County can provide just that – a second chance to succeed. Goodwill of Orange County’s LifeLaunch: Growth Opportunities (GO) training program is designed to prepare justice-impacted young adults, ages 18-24, for success in the workplace. Participation in the program is free.

Services include:

  • Education and Occupational Skills Development
  • Job Search and Placement Services
  • Paid Work Experience
  • Conflict Resolution and Leadership Development Training
  • Support Services, including Housing, Transportation, Clothing and Legal Assistance.


  • Ages 18-24
  • Resident of eligible areas in North Orange County
  • Justice-involved
Get in touch today. 714.547.6308 Ext. 3615

Salvador’s Second Chance

For Salvador,  LifeLaunch gave him the chance to start over. Determined to overcome his past and be a positive role model for his siblings, Salvador was eager to find work to help support his family. All he needed was someone who saw past his record to his potential. Salvador’s manager Ted looked beyond his past and gave him a job as an E-commerce Clerk for Already, his job has brought a shift in confidence and instilled purpose in him. In the same way that Salvador takes pride in his job, many others have found purpose and support from the LifeLaunch GO program. You deserve a second chance.  Get in touch today. 714.547.6308 Ext. 3615 The LifeLaunch: GO program is made possible with a $4 million grant award, covering 86% of operating costs, from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. Goodwill® is contributing leveraged funding valued at $667,414 to cover the remaining 14% of operational costs.

Top Six Mental Health Resources in Orange County

Mental Health Action Day serves as a day to raise awareness on the significance of mental health and to encourage individuals to take action and prioritize mental health support. At Goodwill of Orange County, we recognize the unique challenges faced by people with mental health diagnoses and are committed to providing resources, employment opportunities, and a supportive community to help them thrive. Here are six mental health resources available in Orange County, CA.

Goodwill of Orange County’s Employment WORKS Program

Our Employment WORKS program provides individualized job placement and job retention services to adults living with a mental health diagnosis. Each Program Participant works with an employment specialist and peer mentor to identify promising job opportunities, achieve vocational goals, and succeed in the workforce. Individuals who are at least 18 years of age, receive mental health services from within the Orange County Health Care Agency’s network of care, and are able to provide proof of work eligibility and valid right-to-work documents are eligible for this program.

Mental Health Association of Orange County (MHAOC) 

The MHAOC provides comprehensive mental health services, including counseling, advocacy, and education. They offer a wide range of programs to promote mental wellness, address mental health challenges, and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. Visit their website to read more information about their services and valuable resources available in the community.

Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA)

The HCA’s Behavioral Health Services Division offers an array of mental health resources, ranging from crisis intervention to outpatient treatment programs. They operate several mental health clinics throughout Orange County, providing assessments, therapy, medication management, and referrals. Visit their website to see a comprehensive list of available resources and services.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

NAMI Orange County is a nonprofit organization that provides education, support, and advocacy for individuals and families affected by mental illness. They offer support groups, educational programs, and community events. NAMI Orange County’s helpline is a valuable resource for immediate assistance and information about local mental health services. Call the NAMI Helpline at 800.950.6264. Or text “HelpLine” to 62640.

211 Orange County

211 is a free, confidential helpline and online directory that connects individuals to essential community services. They provide information and referrals for various mental health resources, including counseling, crisis intervention, and support groups. By dialing 2-1-1 or visiting their website, individuals can access information about available services tailored to their specific needs.

OC Navigator

The OC Navigator is part of the Orange County Behavioral Health System Transformation Innovation Project. The project seeks to help people find supportive resources including mental wellness programs, treatment for substance use, someone to talk to, and so much more. Visit their website for a comprehensive list of mental health resources and guides to help manage and improve your mental health.   Mental Health Action Day reminds us of the importance of prioritizing mental health and taking action to support our well-being. Goodwill of Orange County plays a vital role in supporting individuals with mental health diagnoses by providing job training, employment services, mental health support, community integration, and advocacy. Through our various programs and services, we strive to empower individuals with mental health diagnoses and promote their overall well-being.

Donating with Goodwill of Orange County

Earth Day is right around the corner! 🌎 One impactful and easy way to celebrate our wonderful planet is by donating your gently used goods to Goodwill of Orange County! Donating is a great way to declutter your home, support the environment, and help people in Orange County achieve their career goals and aspirations. 💙 Your donations make a difference. In 2022, Goodwill of Orange County received 1.2 million donations and diverted more than 57 million pounds of goods local landfills. As a zero-waste organization, you can be sure that your donations are in good hands with Goodwill. We see the value in every item entrusted to us and the resale of those goods provides the fuel to make our workforce development programs and services possible. It’s a beautiful circular effect. You donate. You create opportunity. Our donation centers accept a wide variety of items, including clothing, electronics, furniture, and household goods.  Are you ready to donate your goods for Good? Go Green with Goodwill this Earth Day and year-round. Here’s a full list of all the items that we accept. 1. Clothing & Accessories From your husband’s old high school basketball jersey to your 35-year old daughter’s baby shoes that you’ve kept all these years, we take all seasons of men’s, women’s, children’s and infants’ clothing, including shoes, handbags, and accessories. 2. Housewares We’ll accept any unwanted housewares such as cookware, dishes, silverware, glassware, artwork and picture frames, luggage, blankets, puzzles, and books off your hands. Got toys? Your child’s old action figure will be given a second, or even third chance, at making another child happy.  3. Small Appliances Time to let go of that waffle maker that you once vowed to use everyday, but haven’t made a single waffle in years. We accept any small appliances such as toasters, coffee pots, electric frying pans, irons, mixers, blenders and microwaves. 4. Large Appliances Refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers — we’ll take them so you don’t have to worry about them! You’ll finally be able to get your dream stainless steel,  refrigerator that sings to you when you dispense ice. Large appliances are only at our Santa Ana Corporate Campus Donation Center located at 📍 410 N. Fairview St., Santa Ana, CA 92703. 5. Furniture We accept any antiques, bedroom furniture, chairs, and dining tables. We’ll find your grandma’s “tasteful” vintage floral printed sofa a new home where it will be loved and appreciated much more than you (or grandma) could have ever loved it.   Mattresses are accepted only at our Santa Ana Corporate Campus Donation Center located at 📍410 N. Fairview St., Santa Ana, CA 92703. Got something too heavy to carry out or you simply don’t have the time to make it to one of our donation sites? Schedule a donation pick-up with ReSupply, a veteran-owned organization that makes donating a whole lot easier. Simply click the blue “Donation Pick Up” button on our website to get started. 6. Electronics Do you have a junk drawer with a ton of miscellaneous plugs that you have no idea what they’re used for, or have you recently treated yourself to a fancy, new computer and have no idea what to do with your old laptop? We will happily accept any electronic donations, including working and non-working televisions, computers, monitors, DVD players, radios, stereo systems and power tools. We also accept old video games, controllers, DVDs, or CDs. To learn more about our electronics recycling process and for more specific details on what electronics we do and do not accept, visit this link. Donations are accepted daily at our 25+ drop off locations. Monday – Saturday 9AM – 7PM and Sunday 10AM – 7PM. By donating to Goodwill, not only are you receiving financial benefits from your donations’ tax deductions, but you are helping both your community and the environment. Your donations are simultaneously helping the environment by keeping unwanted items out of landfills, and they are also supporting Goodwill’s mission of helping people achieve their goals through a journey of personal support, work experience, and career development. Sales in our 23+ retail locations directly fund our job training and placement programs that help people like veterans, justice-involved youth, and people with disabilities or mental health diagnosis, start a new chapter and find a pathway to sustainable careers. More than 92 cents from every dollar spent goes directly towards these programs that help people in our community. Donating to Goodwill is a great way to give back to your community, help the environment, and potentially save money on your taxes. Celebrate Earth Day with us and declutter your closet, your garage, your home, and consider donating to Goodwill of Orange County — you’ll be making a difference in someone’s life and our environment. 🌎 Visit our website to find a donation site near you!

Job Match Q&A With Aaron

Today’s Job Match Q&A, we get to meet Aaron! With the support from our Employment WORKS program, Aaron was able to polish up his skills, resume, and land TWO jobs!  

1. What is your first name, where do you work, and what is your job title?

My name is Aaron, and I work as a Guest Services Associate at Knott’s Berry Farm and a Sales Associate at Big Lots.

2. What was your biggest barrier to getting back to work?

My biggest barrier was trying to make a new resume that looked nice enough for companies to want to interview or hire me.

3. How did Goodwill Employment WORKS help you get back to work and maintain your job?

They helped by giving me job leads each week and also in giving me tips, tricks and advice for interviewing.

4. What is it like being a Guest Services Associate and a Sales Associate?

It makes me happy because I like helping other people, and it can be fun at times as well.

5. How is working improving your quality of life today?

I am able to keep myself fed and healthy and pay my bills.

6. What is your final message to anyone contemplating getting back to work?

Just because you get turned down from one job doesn’t mean that you’ll get turned down from the next one. You won’t find out until you give it a shot.

Sharing Goodwill: Nithin Jilla of Dreams for Schools

On this episode of Sharing Goodwill, Eric Smissen connects with Nithin Jilla, the founder and executive director of the nonprofit Dreams for Schools. Listen now on Spotify! Nithin dives into the importance of STEAM and computer science education during students’ K-12 years and how his organization is leveling up education systems across the region.  As the founder and executive director of the nonprofit Dreams for Schools, Nithin and his organization aim to inspire, create, and educate students to be STEAM and computer science literate.  Nithin started Dreams for Schools during his undergrad at University of California, Irvine. During his college years, he saw a lack of practical computer science experiences for students and decided to take matters into his own hands. After collaborating with computer science clubs on campus to coordinate technology initiatives and after creating AppJam+, a program that teaches middle school students how to create mobile apps, the development of Dreams for Schools came to fruition.  Not only does Dreams for Schools educate students with fundamental STEAM and computer science knowledge, but it also aids individuals in their professional development. The organization works with teachers who are interested in computer science and allows them to build their CS knowledge and also trains them to be effective teachers in the field. The nonprofit also creates career growth opportunities for college students by teaching them effective leadership skills to teach and mentor others. As technology advances everyday, Dreams for Schools is bridging the gaps within STEAM and the K-12 education system and preparing the next generation’s top technology leaders and innovative thinkers by equipping them with essential tools, knowledge, and skills that will aid them in their future endeavors.  Tune in to this discussion on Spotify now! To learn more about Dreams for Schools, visit interviews Goodwill of Orange County About Changing Lives in the Community

Danielle Riberio from interviewed Goodwill Orange County as part of their ‘ Talks With…’ podcast. This series is an antidote to negative news stories that aims to shed light on organizations and experts whose work is making a positive impact on the world. Listen to the full podcast here!  

Helping People With New Employment Opportunities in Orange County

There are many reasons why people face employment barriers. Some include personal, military, mental health, or a myriad of others. Regardless, these people need our help to get their lives back on track.  We are a nonprofit organization and a leader in the health and human services sector. We have the highest level of accreditation from CARF and make it our mission to empower, serve, and change more lives than ever.  

Believing in the Power of Working Together

Our Orange County affiliate helps change lives in several ways. We achieve this through a series of programs, put into three categories which are disabilities services, workforce development, and veteran services. The dozens of programs in these categories help change lives for people of all backgrounds. Our goal is to provide purpose, pride, and dignity to those who face barriers when finding jobs and keeping them. We also have thrift stores where you can come in and shop or donate which helps fuel our organization. More than 93 cents of every dollar is used to power our life-changing programs and services. is an innovative charity project working to solve the climate crisis. They believe that climate change is the most pressing issue facing mankind today and ending it will take swift action and creative problem solving.’s founder, Erik Bergman, has a background in online casino marketing and started with the goal to move money from the New Jersey online casino industry to climate research.

Check out the podcast on Spotify!

Goodwill Fullerton Store Guide | Thrifting & Things To Do

Rich in history and culture, this 135 year old city has plenty to offer. Fullerton, CA is the city of fun&food and also fun food! Venture out into the city and discover unique scenes and Instagramable treats – after you visit our Goodwill Fullerton store, of course!  We rounded up our favorite local places to visit the next time you go thrifting at our Fullerton #OCGoodwill store! 📍GOODWILL FULLERTON STORE: 130 N. Raymond Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92831   No. 1 – Fullerton Arboretum Located on the northeast corner of the California State University, Fullerton campus, this 26‑acre botanical garden has a mind blowing collection of plants from around the world. This beautiful garden is sectioned into different biomes. One minute you’re walking through a desert, the next you’re walking through a bamboo forest. After a long day of thrifting for treasure, head over to the Fullerton Arboretum and chill out under a shady tree with a lovely view of the pond. 📍 1900 Associated Rd, Fullerton, CA 92831 No 2. – Veronese Café Check out this hidden gem! This café is actually disguised as a house with an art gallery and garden woven in, creating the ultimate artsy space for all you coffee-house bums. Serving Italian fare, ramen, crêpes & crafty drinks, Veronese will meet all your cravings and needs. This extraordinary café is a perfect spot to dine with family, drink fancy lattes with friends, or have a solo study session for those upcoming final exams. 📍 419 W Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, CA 92832 No 3. – Early Bird This little restaurant is a great place to go if you’re craving a classic breakfast. With a modern and friendly atmosphere, this cute spot serves market-fresh breakfasts and sandwiches alongside single-source coffee. Grab some grub here before you thrift with OC Goodwill – their pork belly benedict is everything you need in life. 📍 1000 E Bastanchury Rd., Fullerton, CA 92835 No 4. – Downtown Fullerton With a cluster of more than 70 historic buildings, beautiful shade trees, and decorative walkways, this rustic old town atmosphere provides folks a comfortable setting to gather with friends, vibe to some music, and catch up on the latest news. Enjoy a walk down the strip of diverse shops and eateries. If you’re feeling up for it, join the nightcrawlers of Downtown Fullerton for a night of fun and memories.  No 5. – Zombee Donuts Open since 2014, Zombee Donuts has been putting a spooky twist on your typical pastry shop. Known for their tasty flavors, fillings, and themed donuts, this family-owned, zombie‑themed bakery is bringing treats to life. They serve gourmet donuts, espresso drinks, and a whole lot of fun every day! Stop by for a sweet treat after scoring some sweet deals at our Goodwill Fullerton store.  📍 802 E. Chapman Ave., Fullerton, CA 92831  

No 6. – Dripp Coffee

Get a caffeine boost for your OC Goodwill thrift trip at Dripp coffee, a unique specialty coffee bar located at Downtown Fullerton. This coffee shop serves delicious handcrafted coffee beverages, freshly baked pastries, and a good time. With a modern, decorative interior and a charming courtyard, there’s plenty of space to lounge, hang, or study with a coffee at hand.  📍 500 N. Harbor Blvd., Fullerton, CA 92832

No.7 – Polly’s Pies

After a successful thrift at Goodwill Fullerton store, walk right next-door and enjoy a satisfying all American style meal! What better way to end the day with a delicious freshly-baked pie?! Fun fact – this is actually the original location and it’s literally next store to our Fullerton store!  📍 136 Raymond Ave., Fullerton CA 92831

Goodwill Costa Mesa Store Guide | Thrifting & Things To Do

Costa Mesa, California has a vibrant collection of delicious stops and enticing entertainment. With the beach close by and countless shops and restaurants to explore, the fun is endless in this wondrous city.  We rounded up our favorite local places to visit the next time you go thrifting at our Costa Mesa #OCGoodwill store! 📍GOODWILL COSTA MESA STORE 620 W. 19th Street Costa Mesa, CA 92627 No. 1 – The LAB (Anti-Mall) The LAB, also known as the Anti-Mall, is the perfect place to hangout. This modern, open‑air destination features trendy retail shops, a wide range of restaurants and cafes, and aesthetically pleasing artworks all around. There are plenty of spots to lounge around or to snap artsy selfies for the GRAM.  📍 2930 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, CA 92626 aesthetically pleasing outer view of THE LAB No. 2 – Sidecar Donuts Meet the “World’s Freshest Doughnut”! It is doughnuts galore at Sidecar Donuts with their wide selection of unique, hand-crafted doughnuts. Doughnuts are made daily every hour, from scratch, using only the finest ingredients with no preservatives. Passion Fruit Pavlova, Blueberry Corncake, and Dulce de Leche Churro are just a few examples of their deliciously addicting doughnuts.  📍 270 E 17th St #18, Costa Mesa, CA 92627 Donut and iced coffee No. 3 – Trenta Pizza and Cucina Marco and Giorgio have brought the true taste of Italy to Orange County with their restaurant, Trenta Pizza and Cucina. Get ready for authentic Italian food made the way it’s supposed to be made, with Italian passion! Don’t skip dining on the bustling outdoor patio! 📍 1661 Superior Ave Ste. D, Costa Mesa, CA 92627 different types of Pizza and cheese board No. 4 – Neat Coffee Good people, good coffee, good vibes. Neat Coffee is a quaint and cute neighborhood coffee shop with immaculate cozy vibes. This coffee shop is a multi‑roaster shop carrying some of the world’s highest quality coffee from some of the best and sustainable roasters on the West Coast. With housemade seasonal syrups and locally made almond milk, they’ve got a perfect drink for everyone. 📍 1922 Pomona Ave, Costa Mesa, CA 92627 iced black coffee in a glass No. 5 – Taco Mesa Right across the street from our Costa Mesa Goodwill store is Taco Mesa, a healthy and authentic Mexican cuisine restaurant. For over twenty years, Taco Mesa is devoted to serving customers high quality food over the counter and at much lower price points. When you eat at Taco Mesa, not only are you eating amazing, authentic food but you are also supporting an establishment that is helping the environment. Taco Mesa is committed to recycling and composting along with using earth-friendly, biodegradable USA-made products. 📍 647 W. 19th St Costa Mesa 92627