Do a little dance..make a little love...DONATE tonight, donate tonight
Yesterday was the store opening in Williamsburg! My day started at 5:30 a.m. (Yeah, I am NOT a morning person.) and I got to the office a little before 7 (Coffee + 2 splendas in hand) and we headed off to Williamsburg! We all had these blue Goodwill shirts on--that say "Donate. Shop. Do Good. Repeat" on the back. When we arrived to the Williamsburg store, a little before 8:00 a.m., there was a line of people outside waiting. This was my first sign that the day was going to be busy. Especially because the store wasn't set to open until 9:00 a.m... The day started with getting everything all perfect-- And a little song and dance by some of the store employees (where I got the title for this post.) They danced and sang "do a little dance, make a little love, donate tonight, donate tonight." And the doors opened! In rushed a bunch of people--I was so overwhelemed! For a Goodwill store, I was not expecting much (and honestly, before this internship I had little experience in Goodwill stores). But boy was I proved wrong! 200+ customers in the first HOUR! On a random Thursday? I can't wait to see how they do in the next couple days!
I got to do a little bit of everything yesterday. I took pictures, greeted people inside, greeted people outside, bagged people's purchases, and whatever else people needed me to do. I really liked bagging--I not only got to interact with some of the store employees, but I got to interact with the customers, and see the treasures they found! I didn't even get a chance to go through what all we had--expect I did see a pair of sandals that were SO cute! They still had their original tags on them! I thought about hiding them and miraculously "finding" them later on and buy them--but they were gone in the first couple minutes. Bummer! By lunchtime, we were crazy tired and the store had already made over $6,000 dollars! We managed to work until about 3:30 p.m. when we decided to head back to Richmond.
The day was crazy--I didn't get much time to catch my breath! And with record breaking temperatures (102 degrees..come on, as much as I LOVE summertime, this is ridiculous. Especially when I am working and not at the beach!!), it was a hot day. I was outside for awhile opening the door with Bob Hicks (a R-MC alum!). By the end of the day, I was tired and hot, but felt so good! The day was exciting! We even had press come in and do stories!
More secret donor, preparing for store opening, and advertisments...oh my!
Why is it so ridiculous hot outside? High of 99 degrees today... 101 degrees tomorrow. Seriously? While it is a bit of a tease to have to drive by the James River every day on my way to work. As much as I would like to pull off and enjoy laying out by the river, getting my tan (or burn, in my case,) on, I actually do enjoy coming to work. The time is flying by, though. But, I am trying to soak up as much as I can--and I can tell you how more I am getting out of this job than I usually get out of my summer jobs.
Last week I got to do my second dosage of secret donor work. I feel so sneaky when I go--I act like I am just donating, but in reality, I am critiquing the entire experience. I had three more locations to go to. I got myself into a system where I jot little notes after each donation and wait until I get back here so I am able to give a detailed discription. I designed this cool spreadsheet on the computer that is modeled off the actual survey, it is just easier to read and cleaner than having however many hard copies. I've found both times I've done secret donations I've had a "favorite." Both of my favorites have been places where the attendants engaged me in conversation--making me feel welcome and appreciated. This past donation rotation (rhyme not intended.. :) ) I definately had a favorite. The lady at my first location was so pleasant. She had a smile on her face the entire time, and struck up a conversation immediately. She started inquiring about whether or not I had shopped at a Goodwill store--even offering me coupons and telling me about some of the great deals she had found. After I left, I was in the best mood--and I really did want to donate some of my own things back to this location (despite the fact that it is at least 20 minutes out of my way...) Not only that, but I wanted to go look through a Goodwill store. Because Goodwill depends on donations and people going to the stores to buy things in order to accomplish their main goal (help people help themselves through jobs), these attendants are so so important! If they can inspire more and more people to donate, Goodwill is better able to accomplish their missions!
This week has been busy getting ready for the Goodwill Store opening in Williamsburg (EEK It's only TWO days away.) I have heard so many good things about these store openings-- and I can tell you how excited I am to be able to experience one of these! I got to go through and pick out different things that we will be giving out to the first 200 people who arrive (At (9:00 a.m. Thursday morning, just in case any one is interested!! :) )
Last week I was asked to put lables on all of the advertisements. This required going through the ads on the computer and finding out where they were advertised. I actually so enjoyed this task--I was able to look through advertisements for the past 6-9 months and see some of the cute advertisements that Goodwill has come up with. Now I am going through other stores back-to-school ads from previous years to help Goodwill focus in on some back-to-school ads of their own for this coming year.
I am definately keeping busy here--but I wouldn't have it any other way! Keep a look out for my blog (and hopefully pictures if I can get my camera to work!) of the Williamsburg store opening!!
Woo! I can't believe it's already been two weeks at Goodwill! Yesterday I got to start my "Secret Donor" project. I was assigned three different Goodwill donation centers around the Richmond area. They gave me three different bags of clothes/toys/etc. that had already been donated, and my job was to go to these locations and "donate" them again. Then I had a survey that I could go by to evaluate the location, attendant, how smoothly it went, what they did or didn't say, etc. It was so interesting--especially going to one right after the other. I was really able to compare the three different locations and evaluate them.
Once I was back in the office today, I was able to go through and type up a report on my first three secret donor missions. I evaluated them on whether or not I was greeted appropriately (eye contact, smile, welcoming, etc.), the location, parking, safety, cleanliness of the drop-off area, the appearence and friendliness of the attendant, if I was offered assistance, how helpful they were, if I was made aware of the tax-write off policies, offered a receipt, and my overall experience. At first, I felt really bad about writing a negative review about my experience, however, after I went to the first one and was so welcomed and told how much my donations were appreciated, I really felt like I wanted to go home and find my own clothes and other things that I haven't used in years. The other two locations just made me want to get out of there--they weren't friendly at all. I was really able to see how much the attendant's attitude affected whether or not people want to donate again or not.
I will be going to three more locations tomorrow--and several more over the next couple weeks. I will also be doing some secret shopping missions--where they give me a couple dollars and I have to go in and evaluate the store.
The Goodwill location that I am working at is the central office for Central VA (Around Richmond and Hampton Roads). They have a whole section of career services for people--computer classes, resumee classes, and they offer computers for people to come in and search for jobs. It is a really cool operation--and to be honest, I had no idea Goodwill did all of this before I started here! They have career skill services for people who are mentally or physically challenged. I got to meet some of them today--they are so friendly and welcoming.
I have had so many cool experiences since starting at Goodwill--and it's only been two weeks!! I am looking forward to seeing what else I get to experience--and am definately looking forward to the Williamsburg store opening next week!
Hi! I started my internship at Goodwill Industries of Central Virginia on Thursday, June 3, 2010. What a comfort it is that I am working with two R-MC grads!
Day 1 went by fairly smoothy--just an introduction into what Goodwill does and a tour around the offices. I will be working in the Marketing department with a recent R-MC grad. I started my internship by doing some research. While each Goodwill central office has the same mission and values, each central office is run independently. The Goodwill of Central Virginia is in charge of the stores around the Richmond and Hampton Roads area. They are preparing to open a store in Williamsburg--so things are a little hectic around here. I am so excited to be able to go with them when the store opens later this month. I will really get to see how a store runs--from behind the scenes. I was asked to help do some research on some neighborhoods around the new Williamsburg store so it is easier to advertise for new customers. We will be putting advertisements in the different neighborhood flyers. I really had no idea how much work and effort went into running the Goodwill stores--and I am only seeing the Marketing department!! The next couple days were spent preparing for the store opening and other events that Goodwill will be at. I got to sit in on a conference call with several of the people from around the office about an event that Goodwill will set up a booth at later this month. The idea is to really get more and more people to help Goodwill help other people--through donating old/unwanted items instead of throwing them away and shopping in the Goodwill stores.
For this event coming up, the Marketing department will be deciding what would be good to advertise what Goodwill does--handouts, t-shirts, flyers, etc. that will be useful in getting people interested. I got to make a spreadsheet of all of the potential handouts and figure out how much this event will technically cost Goodwill.
I am also doing different kinds of research on social networking sites and how best to advertise on these. Like I mentioned earlier, each Goodwill is run by separate central offices. So, I was able to look through different Goodwill's Facebook pages and see how they advertise and run their Facebook pages. It is so interesting to see how much the social networking sites are affecting the way people advertise.
On that same page, I also signed up for different newsletters for the Goodwill stores around the country. They come every couple weeks and I will be looking at them to see how they run these newsletters to see if there is anything our Goodwill store can do better. It will be interesting to see how it changes during this summer.
Not only will I be working in the offices, but I will also be doing some "Secret Donor/Secret Shopper" duties around the different Goodwill donation/shopping stores around the Richmond area. I will also be working, throughout the summer, on how to implement a Goodwill donation site at R-MC at the end of the school year so when students are moving out they are able to donate their unwanted items rather than throw them away. While we had one this past year, it was not as successful as it could have been.
I am so excited to be working here this summer--I am looking forward to everything I will get to do.