Frequently asked questions
This page has frequently asked questions related to our organizational mission and this website.
What is the relationship between Goodwill and Easter Seals?
Goodwill has been a strong contributor to the development of Minnesota’s workforce since 1919, as an affiliate of Goodwill Industries International. In 1984, Goodwill in Minnesota also became an affiliate of Easter Seals Disability Services, expanding the organization’s program and service mix. We offer job training, placement and related services to people with disabilities or other barriers to independence and employment. Goodwill Industries International and Easter Seals Disability Services have separate affiliate offices in most states. The two national parent organizations are not affiliated with each other.
What services do you offer?
We offer career assessment services, job search and placement help, job coaching. In addition, we offer English Language Learning, math and life skills classes. Our skills training programs offer hands-on training in careers that have the potential for higher income, career advancement and benefits, such as health insurance. Current skills training programs include the automotive, banking, construction, customer service, medical office and retail industries. We also offer College and Career Navigation Services. Get more information about our services.
Who benefits from your help?
Last year, Goodwill-Easter Seals provided more than 63,000 services to nearly 30,000 people, so they could reach their goals of employment and independence. Services are offered throughout Minnesota and in western Wisconsin, to meet the needs of people with disabilities and other disadvantages – services that help them prepare for work, get jobs and advance in their careers.
Do Goodwill stores support your mission?
Our stores support our mission in two important ways. First, proceeds from your household donations and purchases help fund our many programs and services. Second, many of the people we prepare for employment get their first work experience at Goodwill stores. They process your clothing and other donations for sale in our stores.
Where can I donate my stuff?
Goodwill has several stores in Minnesota and western Wisconsin where you can donate clothing, furniture, books, games, toys and other quality used items. Find a donation center near you.
How can I refer someone to Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota?
It’s easy to learn more about our job skills training programs. We offer free information sessions, downloadable referral forms or you can contact us at 651-379-5800 and ask to make a referral.
How do I hire one of your trained participants?
We have a variety of support programs to improve employee retention when you hire one of our participants. Please call our Business Development Manager at 651-379-5976. We have a variety of support programs to improve employee retention when you hire our participants.
How do I know my donation to Goodwill-Easter Seals will make a difference?
We have been helping Minnesotans with disabilities and other disadvantages prepare for work, get work and advance in their careers since 1919. Last year we provided services to more than 30,000 people. Our organization exceeds the standards of the Charities Review Council (this link opens in a new window). Our programs have been continuously recognized by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. And, year after year, we demonstrate that more than 85 percent of all funds raised go directly to strengthening our programs and services. Learn more about our qualifications to provide services.
Does Goodwill-Easter Seals offer volunteer opportunities?
Yes! Volunteers play key roles in our success. As a tutor, you can teach English, math or reading to a job skills participant or help prepare them for job interviews. You can also volunteer in our stores and donation centers; repair wheelchairs and other assistive products for our equipment loan program; help plan or work at one of our special events or donate your time and talent countless other ways. For more information, call 651-379-5937. View a list of current volunteer opportunities.
How can I learn more about Goodwill-Easter Seals?
We would welcome the opportunity to show you how we make a difference in your community. If you have questions related to specific programs, donating or giving, please contact us.
Do you need or accept financial gifts?
We certainly do. Many of our programs have waiting lists due to limited funding. If you'd like to support us, you can make a financial gift online.
Why does your name have both Goodwill and Easter Seals in it? I thought they were two separate organizations?
It’s true; they are separate nonprofit organizations. Each organization has a national office and state or regional offices. The state offices are affiliates of the national organization. Affiliates in both national organizations offer varied services based on the needs in the community. In Minnesota, Goodwill Industries and Easter Seals merged in 1984 because of the overlap in employment services for persons with disabilities.
The core mission of Easter Seals is to provide services that improve life and independence for people of all ages who have a disability. Of the core services that Easter Seals offers, we offer employment training and support services for youth age 14 and older and adults with disabilities. Our goal is to help people with disabilities transition into adulthood with dignity and independence. Visit the Easter Seals Disability Services national website.
The core mission of Goodwill is to provide employment services to help anyone who is struggling with independence and employment due to cultural, physical, environmental and emotional barriers. This includes disabilities. Each affiliate does this in different ways. Some offer sheltered workshops, while others partner with business leaders to integrate persons with barriers into the workforce and to develop skills training in industries that have a demand for workers and potential for livable wages. We fall under the latter category. Visit the Goodwill Industries International website.
Do you offer a camp for children with disabilities?
No. Many Easter Seals affiliates offer services for children. If you have a child with a disability, we’d like to refer you to the Wisconsin Easter Seals, North Dakota Easter Seals or Iowa Easter Seals for camp options.
Why don’t you offer services to children?
In Minnesota, another well-respected organization offers rehabilitative and other services for children and adults with disabilities. It isn’t efficient to duplicate what another organization is already doing well. Instead, we choose to pick up where other nonprofits leave off. We offer services to help people with barriers and disabilities transition from childhood into the adult world of independence and work. We serve youth and adults with disabilities and other barriers to help them achieve their career, independence and educational goals.
On the registration and log in forms on your website, I noticed that it says Remember me. What does this mean?
This links to our privacy page to inform you that by checking this box, a cookie will be downloaded to your computer enabling automatic sign-on to our website whenever you return. If you visit often, it can be helpful. We do not use this information in any way, except to improve our online communications as outlined in our Privacy Policies.