Goodwill Stories

Stormy B. 

Stormy has been working for Goodwill for 11 years. She began as a Skills Trainer and worked her way up to a Program Manager. After that, she became a Vocational Training Specialist. She is dedicated and hardworking, as she demonstrated by finishing her Master’s Degree while working and raising her son. Her son had some health issues that affected her savings and when the time came when her 2000 Ford Focus cost more to repair than it was worth, she knew she needed help to obtain reliable transportation. Stormy had just finished building a house and the 50 mile round trip to work and back was taking its toll on her car that already had 225,000 miles on it. She contacted Goodwill’s Prosperity Planner to discuss setting up an IDA to help her pay for a new car; she knew about the IDA because she had used one help her save money to build her house just few years prior.

In July of 2014 Stormy set up a program where she put $600 in the account to start; after that she saved $100 a month for two years. At the end of her program she had saved $3,000 which was matched with $9000 from the program, giving her $12,000 to purchase a car. Stormy is now the proud owner of a new 2016 Toyota Prius and she is thrilled. Her car is getting 50 mpg and she has only filled up her gas tank a few times in the two months she has had the car. At only $25 per tank, her budget is very happy too.



Tammy W.

Back in 2006 Tammy was hired by Goodwill as the Workforce Development Clerk and over the next seven years, Tammy increased her skills and learned about the different programs Goodwill had to assist people in finding and keeping a job. Her experiences gave her a solid understanding of each of these programs, which is knowledge that she still uses to this day. In October 2013 Tammy was promoted to an Employment Specialist in the newly created Job Connections program and in April 2014 she was promoted to Lead Employment Specialist. Tammy loves teaching others and the position is a great fit for her.

Tammy credits Goodwill with being flexible with her schedule so she could be there for her daughter during the formative teenage years. As a result, her daughter graduated high school with honors, has spoken before Congress on school funding issues, and is currently studying bio-chemistry at Portland State University. Tammy credits Goodwill for turning around her and her daughter’s lives, and supporting and encouraging her to grow and improve. Goodwill is thankful to have Tammy as a loyal employee who is dedicated to the mission of helping others turn their lives around.


Tiane B.

In 2014 Tiane and her two children were moving around with her mother; the constant moving was hard, and with two small children in tow, Tiane needed to find a place to settle down and raise her family. She moved to Eugene and applied for TANF as a way to support her family while she was looking for employment. Her DHS Case Manager referred her to Goodwill as part of the Supported Work program to gain work experience.Tiane had learned office skills in the past and was interested in volunteering in the Job Connections offices at Goodwill. The location and position not only required office and data entry skills, but also customer service skills. As her six months were coming to an end, the Employment and Training department was looking for a Skills Trainer she decided to apply for the job and was hired.

Working with developmentally disabled adults allowed Tiane to acquire the new skills of training and supervising individuals. Tiane has also become a member of Goodwill’s Prosperity Program and demonstrated the ability to grow in ways that will allow her move forward in life.

Andy P.

Andy says that for the majority of his childhood he was filled with negativity. He felt he could do nothing right and the whole world was against him. His lack of self-esteem and low self-worth led him to be angry at the world and at the tender age of 13 he began using drugs and alcohol. Before long he not only used drugs, but became a dealer himself. In 2005 and 2006 he had some minor run-ins with the law; he was young, and partying with the wrong crowd led him to poor choices. Andy tried to get his life together and something needed to change.

Having moved to Oregon from New Mexico, Andy struggled to find employment because of his criminal past. He found out about Goodwill Job Connections and attended the Overcoming Criminal Background Barrier workshop and found tools and encouragement to keep moving forward. In 2015 Andy was referred to Goodwill’s Supported Work program where he volunteered at the Springfield store. He impressed the management with his work ethic and positive attitude; when a position for an ADC Attendant became available, he applied and was hired. Andy is happy at his job and is a true inspiration to us all to keep moving forward, don’t let anyone tell you can’t, and to believe in yourself. 

Fred H.

In 2009 Fred was working at a motor home manufacturing plant, content with his life. But lives can change in a heartbeat and Fred’s skipped a beat when he was laid off during the recession that shook the motor coach industry. For the next six years, Fred could not find stable employment or a stable living situation. In September of 2015, Fred as referred to Goodwill by the state of Oregon’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (OVRS) to gain assistance in finding stable employment. While at Goodwill, Fred utilized a number of services to help him prepare for his future employment. Job Connections assisted him in creating a new resume; he attended interview workshops, took the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) exam, and received one-on-one assistance from his Goodwill OVRS Employment Specialist.

An opportunity arose through a connection with a local optical lab that was looking for a production worker. He was offed a part-time job working in the lab, sometimes working close to 30 hours a week. Fred recently received notice that he was chosen for a subsidized studio apartment that he will be able to move into soon. It has been over six years since he has had a place to call home and you can see the joy and relief in Fred’s eyes as he thinks of having an apartment of his own. Fred is thankful for all the assistance he has received along the way from Goodwill, his faith, and the support of those around him who gave him encouragement along the way.





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