Wednesday, November 29, 2017

After #GivingTuesday, We're #GivingThanks

In Honor of #GivingTuesday, Facebook and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation matched every dollar you gave to go twice as far, on Tuesday, November 28, 2017! We had an amazing start to our 2017 Holiday Help Campaign and could not be more gracious. You all doubled the impact for children with incarcerated parents, individuals who need job training and assistance following a felony conviction, families of those currently incarcerated with travel and emergency assistance, persons who want to start their own businesses, people who need interview clothes and work boots/shoes, and so many other programs that help reduce recidivism and crime in our communities throughout Virginia.

But it's not too late to make an impact. Our Holiday Help Campaign will run until 12/17/17. Make your tax deductible gift via Facebook now!

THANK YOU to everyone who supported Nolef Turns Inc. and the Institute of Forgiveness, as we kicked off our 2017 Holiday Help Fundraiser on #givingtuesday. Even if you just thought of us enough to like or share a status, THANK YOU!

We will continue our fundraiser until 12/17/17 to support those with justice involvement.

Not on Facebook? 

You can also get involved by donating through Give Lively


Text FORGIVENESS to 1-844-544-7171

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

It's #GivingTuesday... Who will you impact???

Nolef Turns Inc. and the Institute of Forgiveness are committed to helping reduce recidivism by helping those with justice involvement and their families successfully thrive post-conviction. We believe in supporting our community to reduce crime and build the economy around us.

Help us kick off our 2nd Annual Holiday Help Campaign on #GivingTuesday. We will help kids with incarcerated parents and their families have a memorable holiday. On #GivingTuesday, Facebook and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be matching up to $2 million of funds raised on Facebook for US nonprofits. Any amount is appreciated, everyone can make an impact. Let's brighten someone's holiday together! Join us on 11/28 by giving back to your community!

Not on Facebook???  Donate directly via Give Lively 

Text FORGIVENESS to 1-844-544-7171 to support Nolef Turns Inc. and The Institute of Forgiveness on this #givingtuesday

Thursday, November 9, 2017

2017 Saxon Shoes for the Needy

Styles by Sheba / Nolef Turns Inc. / Institute of Forgiveness is a proud partner of Saxon Shoes and Salvation Army's "Kick Off Your Shoes and Donate". Donate your new and gently used shoes to benefit deserving area families NOW through December 23rd at our office at:
1805 Monument Ave. Ste. 315
Richmond, VA 23220
Unable to make it to the office? Call 804-918-6470 to arrange a pick up of your donations. Thank you for being a blessing to others in our community!

Monday, October 16, 2017




Many people are under the misconception that once they have walked out of an interview the only thing left to do is sit back and wait for notification of the start date. They are wrong. How you follow up afterward can tell an employer a lot about the type of employee you would be and at this point, it is too late in the game to give them any reason to say no. So, unless during the interview you were offered a job on the spot, there's still work to do.

The Review

Right after the interview, one of the best things you can do is to take a moment and review how well you think everything went.  Ask yourself the following questions and take note of your answers:

·        What went right during the interview? Do you believe you effectively presented your qualifications and skills?

·        What went wrong during the interview? Were there any awkward silences? Were there any questions you were unable to answer?

·        What questions were you asked? Were there any you were unprepared for? Are there any you wished you had answered differently?

·        Do you like the company? Is the work, pay, and schedule a good fit for your life?

Taking the time to answer these questions serves several purposes. First, knowing what went right, what went wrong, and what questions you were asked are all good notes to have for any future interviews. You can make sure you don’t repeat past mistakes and be prepared for future questions you may not have thought of otherwise. Second, taking a moment to really think about how you feel about the company could help you decide if you should accept when/if an offer is made. The hours they offer may not be a good fit for your household or the pay may not have been what you need. Consider these things before you say yes.

The Thank You Note

Thank you notes are often forgotten or deemed unnecessary. While not sending a thank you note won't necessarily keep you from getting the position, it can set you apart from the other candidates. If you do decide to send one, and I strongly suggest you do, here are few tips to keep in mind:

·        A thank you email should be sent out within 24 hours of the interview. You can also follow up the email with a handwritten letter 2-3 days after the interview.

·        If you met with more than one person you should send each one a separate letter and don’t copy and paste. It is very likely that they will compare the two letters.

·        Use the thank you letter to address any questions you were unable to answer or forgot to ask.

·        Recap your strengths and reiterate your interest in the job.

·        As with your resume, please check, double check, and then triple check for any grammatical errors.

The Follow-Up

Before you walked out of the office you should have obtained the information needed regarding the follow up procedure.  You should know when to follow up, how to follow up, and to whom you need to follow up with.  Keep in mind that it is extremely important that you follow all directions. If you are told to follow up in a week, do not call the next day. If you are told to follow up by email, do not call. Continue to show them that you can follow simple instructions. Another point to remember is to do what you say. If you told them you would be providing further information (such as references) the next day, make sure that they receive them THE NEXT DAY.

Don't forget to consider what resources you may already have at the company. Maybe you have a friend in human resources or management that could give the interviewer a good recommendation.  

Don’t Stop Looking

Do not stop looking. The job may be offered to someone else or there may be a better job out there for you. Until you accept a position, continue filling out applications, keep going on interviews, and don't stop sending out your resume. That way, if you do not get the job you haven’t fallen behind on the hunt.

If you do find out that you did not get the position,  REMAIN PROFESSIONAL. Do not risk burning your bridges by being rude or unprofessional. There may be another job opening down the line that they may consider you for or the candidate that was chosen may not work out. If it’s a company you really have a desire to work for, check in every few months to see if any positions have become available.

Looking for work can be stressful. Even more so when you have made mistakes in the past that employers can hold against you. Being prepared every step of the way throughout your search is a great way to stand out and get their attention. We at Nolef Turns Inc., hope that you were able to find some helpful tips to help you get your yes.

Sunday, September 24, 2017




 You got the call to come in and interview. You have impressed them on paper and now it's time to do the same in person. Interviewing can be a stressful experience but with a few preparations and tips you can walk into any interview confident and prepared. 



Your appearance at an interview can be a deciding factor as to whether you get the job. When you are employed by a company you represent that company. How you look reflects how they look. Because of this, employers hire individuals they know will dress professionally and make their company look good.  The question is, how do you show them that you are that person?

·        Your attire should be neat, clean and matching. Avoid showing up with wrinkles or holes in your clothing.

·        Clothing should fit. They should not be excessively tight or loose (“low-riding”)

·        No chips in your nail polish. This may seem small but employers could view it as a sign of someone that lacks attention to detail. 

·        Hair may be a form of expression but for the interview, try to keep it simple and avoid bright colors or loud styles. You want your qualifications to be the center of attention; NOT your hair. 

If you need assistance with obtaining proper attire, contact the Nolef Turns Inc. during business hours and ask about our Clothing Closet.


The only thing worse than arriving at an interview with unprofessional attire is arriving unprepared. The simplest way to avoid this is to prepare the DAY before.  Notice it says day before and not night before? That’s because sometimes the night before is a little too late. Think about this, let’s say you purchased a new shirt specifically for the interview. You wait until the night before to try it on and realize the shirt is a size to small. It’s after closing time for the mall and your interview is at 9 am the next morning - same time that the mall opens. Your options are limited at this point. The latest you should be preparing your interview outfit is the day before. It is also a good idea to gas the car the day before to avoid having to make a morning stop.

Clothes are picked out, ironed, and ready to go. Gas is in the car. Now, do you have all of your paperwork together that you have been asked to bring? This may include your driver’s license, social security card, or any certifications or professional licenses you may have. It is also a good practice to take a copy of your resume with you to have on hand.

If you haven't done so already, research the company you will be interviewing with. This will give you an idea of what may be expected of you if offered a position. You should also research possible interview questions and practice them in the mirror or with a friend. 


Do not show up late. Do not show up late.

This is a point that cannot be stressed enough. Being late to an interview tells the employer that the position they may be offering you is not a top priority. They will also be left wondering if being late is a habit of yours.

Fifteen minutes before the interview, you should be at the location and parking your car. This will give you a few moments to do a last-minute hair check, double check you have all paperwork together, and practice what you may want to say.  Before you exit your vehicle turn off your phone or leave it behind.

 Five minutes before the interview, you should be walking into the office.


The moment is here... your chance to prove that you are the person for the job.  Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake and remember to smile as you greet them. A few tips to keep in mind throughout the interview:

·        Make eye contact.

·        Use appropriate and correct language. Avoid profanity, slang words, and improper grammar.

·        Conversate but don’t take over. Let the interviewer stay in control of the interview and allow them to lead the conversation. Keep personal talk to a minimum.

·        Listen. Don’t make the interview repeat themselves too often. Stay focused on the topic at hand to avoid missing any important information or questions.

The Final Five

You’re down to the last moments of the interview and you want to leave a lasting impression.

1.      Ask questions. Try to avoid questions that can be answered by visiting the company website.

2.      Summarize your skills and reinstate your interest in the job. Leave out statements about how much you need the job or that you are willing to do anything.

3.      Ask about the next step in the hiring process and if you should follow up. If you can follow up, make sure you write down the contact person’s name and contact information.

4.      Ask the interviewer if any additional information from your end is needed.

5.      Stand after the interviewer has stood and thank him or her for their time.


The most important thing to remember throughout the interview is to be confident. Employers desire employees that are sure of themselves and the job they are doing. If you start doubting yourself keep in mind that they called you.

The interview is out of the way but you haven’t finished yet. Come back next week to read the final installment of Turning No into Yes and learn what steps to take next.              

For information about our Clothing Closet contact us at 804.918.6470 or visit our website at

Tuesday, September 12, 2017



Finding a job nowadays is HARD. Add having a felony conviction to the mix and the task can seem almost impossible.  The fact is, with so many resumes and applications coming across their desks, employers are literally looking for reasons to say no. The quicker they can get through the pile, the better, and unfortunately the first to go are often times those with criminal backgrounds. This is why our mission here at Nolef Turns Inc. is to help those who have made mistakes in the past to find employment. Almost daily, job listings and upcoming job fairs are posted on our Facebook page. But, as I’m sure you are aware, there is more to getting a job than knowing where to go. You must know what steps you can take  before, during, and after the interview to increase your chances of receiving a yes.

               Turning No Into Yes is a 3-part series that will outline what you can do to impress any employer. It is important that you do not give them a reason to say no. Take the time and do the work necessary to get the YES!

Part One: Before the Interview

The 3 R’s


               They say first impressions last forever and your resume is that first impression. Within seconds your resume must stand out above all the rest. Your resume should be:

·        Neat & uncluttered

·        Lined up evenly

·        No longer than one page


·      Not have any outrageous fonts and/or colors.

Resumes are getting fancier but a good rule of thumb is to keep it simple and keep it neat.

 Once you have completed your resume make sure you triple check it for grammatical errors and typos. Read it aloud to yourself or let a family member check it over. You do not want your resume tossed into the trash because of a simple error.

Final tip on resumes…

 Make sure you have a professional email.  You should never use any email addresses that have gang affiliation, sexual content, explicit language, or anything else inappropriate.  It is not uncommon to have multiple emails, one for business and one for personal use. So, if you want to have the email then do so. Just make sure you have another account for professional purposes.


Let’s say you use your friend Dave as a reference. Potential employer calls Dave and hears music lyrics full of expletives blasted in his ear followed by Dave instructing him, very rudely, to leave a message. Wouldn’t make a very good impression, right? No, it wouldn’t. And if you’re thinking this would be a silly reason to not get offered a job please keep in mind…. they are looking for reasons to say no, even silly ones.  

Give everyone you plan on using as a reference a heads up so that they will be expecting the call. Try to use friends and family that you know will not only answer the phone but will also be professional. And last, don’t forget that when filling out the reference section of any application to make sure that you have accurate phone numbers and emails. Not being able to get in touch with a reference can slow down or even stop the employment process.


Congratulations! Your resume has impressed the hiring manager and you have been called in for an interview. Exciting!

 But before you begin celebrating, it’s a good idea to spend some time doing research. There are two things you should be entering in your search engine:  

1)     The company. It is good to know who you may be working for and what it is that they do. Impress them with your knowledge of the company and their products. This will also help you determine if the company is a good fit for you.

2)      Possible interview questions. Ever been to an interview and got asked a question you had absolutely no idea how you wanted to answer? I have and it’s not fun.  Some common questions include

a.      Why do you want to work here? (The research you did on the company will go great here)

b.      When was a time you were part of a team and how did you contribute?

c.      What are your strengths/weaknesses?

A quick google for (position applied for + interview questions) is a good place to start. Practice what you will say ahead of time and go to your interview confident and ready to answer any question thrown your way.

               If you follow the three R’s you are already on your way to getting that Yes. Your resume is polished, your references have been notified, and if you have gotten a call back, you've done your research.

Don’t forget to check in next week for Part 2: Acing the Interview.


               Need more tips or how to create a stand out resume? Check back soon for a more in-depth article on how to create a resume that will get you noticed.


Martasha Johnson

Sunday, September 10, 2017

NLT Inc. & Dominion Energy Classic.... Golfing for Good!

We're excited to announce that we have been invited to participate in the Dominion Energy Classic Birdies for Charity Program! This is our first big fundraising event to support those in the community with justice involvement. We also work for strengthening families, decreasing poverty and improving community relationships through service.

The Dominion Energy Charity Classic Birdies for Charity Program is focused on making a positive impact within the Richmond community. The Birdies for Charity program is designed to give area charities an opportunity to generate contributions through donations based on the number of birdies made by PGA TOUR Champions players during the Dominion Energy Charity Classic. The Birdies for Charity program will donate an additional 10% to EACH donation, which stretches your generous donation even further. You have the option to donate a flat amount ($25 minimum) or to pledge per birdie. For those making per Birdie pledges, please note that in 2016 there were 584 Birdies made by 54 players during the competition rounds. So at the conclusion of the tournament, a pledge of 10 cents per Birdie would result in a $58.40 donation to our organization.

This year the tournament will have 72 players, so the number of Birdies made during competition rounds will likely be greater. Keep this in mind when pledging per birdie, and please note there is also an option to cap your donation.

The tournament is being held Oct 19th - 22nd at The Country Club of Virginia's James River Course. The top 3 contributors/sponsors who donate a flat amount by 9/30/17 will receive (2) tickets to the event, good for 1 day on any event day.

Any questions? Please don't hesitate to contact Sheba Williams at or call 804-918-6470.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Review Nolef Turns Inc. on Great Nonprofits!

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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Happy Memorial Day!

From my family to yours,      
      Thank you all for your service. 

In observance of Memorial Day,  Nolef Turns Inc. will be closed on Monday, May 29, 2017. Business will resume as normal on Tuesday, May 30, 2017.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) surveyed over 10,000 customers to measure perceptions of quality and value across retailers nationwide, and Amazon ranked #1.

In celebration of this recognition—and to say thank you to our customers for their support—on Thursday, March 16 only, Amazon will donate 5% (10 times our usual donation rate) of the price of eligible products customers purchase at This offer begins at 12:00am Pacific Time, and expires at 11:59pm Pacific Time.

Amazon is celebrating its #1 ranking in customer satisfaction by the ACSI! Today, March 16, Amazon will donate 5% (10 times the usual donation rate) of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Nolef Turns Inc.. Get started at

Thank you for your support!!!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

ACLU-VA Denounces ‘Regressive, Unconstitutional’ Voting Rights Measure

Senate Joint Resolution 223, sponsored by Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R-Williamsburg) was reported by the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee today on a narrow 8-6 vote. It now goes to the Senate floor for a vote. The ACLU of Virginia urges the Senate to vote no on this alarmingly regressive effort to roll back the right to vote and disenfranchise more Virginians.
Here’s our statement which can be attributed to Claire Guthrie GastaƱaga, Executive Director of the ACLU of Virginia:
“SJR223 is now the only measure on voting rights restoration still alive in the Senate. But make no mistake, it does not work to expand restoration of voting rights to those previously convicted of a felony as its proponents want people to believe. The substitute that is going to the floor for a vote works to further restrict the right to vote.
“There is nothing “automatic” about the criteria and process that will be written in stone in our constitution even for persons who were convicted of nonviolent felonies. First, the definition of violent and nonviolent felonies is left to the legislature and can be changed at will. It took almost 10 years to convince a Virginia Governor to move drug possession crimes from violent to nonviolent for purposes of voting rights restoration. There is no guarantee what definition a politically gerrymandered legislature with a proven record of voter suppression will apply.
“Instead of simply repealing the Jim Crow disenfranchisement provision and affirming the right of every Virginian to vote, SJR 223, as amended, would rewrite our constitution to:
• “Persons convicted of a violent felony as defined by the General Assembly would be permanently banned from voting.”
• “Continue to say anyone convicted of any nonviolent felony – as defined by the legislature – at any time can never vote again unless they meet certain criteria and follow certain procedures to get their rights back.
• “Condition the right to vote for those convicted of nonviolent felonies on full repayment of government fines, costs and user fees (including interest) — a modern day poll tax which offends the U.S. Constitution.
• “Give the legislature the ability to decide whether a felony is violent or nonviolent and to decide the terms on which people convicted of nonviolent felonies can get their right to vote back.
“Bottom line, the amendment to our constitution proposed in SJR 223 is not an improvement over the current disenfranchisement provisions. In fact, it’s worse because it codifies in the constitution criteria that the current Governor and any future Governor has or might reject. We urge the Senate to reject this deeply flawed proposal.”

Friday, January 27, 2017

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year 2017!

From my family to yours! Happy New Year! Be safe, be prosperous and I look forward to seeing you all in 2017!