Goodwill Stories

Stormy

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.

 

 


Rexan

Rexan spent the last 10 years working as a Certified Nurses Aid but due to shoulder surgery she was unable to return to her job. In 2011 she was out of work, the economy was in a recession, she was a single mom and she needed help. Rexan went to the local DHS office and signed up for their TANF program to help her pay the bills. While she was meeting with her Case Manager she found out that she could gain work experience and volunteer at Goodwill through the JOBS Supported Work program. For the first two months she volunteered in the Job Connections program assisting job seekers, after which she moved to the Seneca store to work in retail.

In February of 2012 an opportunity came open in the Long Term Services program, helping the participants with disabilities learn new work skills. Rexan became a valuable member of the Goodwill team and took on the lead responsibility of running the candle making station at Building 5. As Rexan looks to the future, she wants to continue her work with people with developmental disabilities. Rexan will succeed, and help others do the same, because of her passion for assisting others in moving forward with their lives.

 


Oren

Oren rode 934 miles, from Bozeman, MT to Eugene, OR to start his life over. It took him two weeks to make the trip and he received help with a few rides along the way but there were miles of being alone with his thoughts on his bike. Upon arriving in Eugene, Oren was able to stay with a friend. He went to the local DHS office and applied for SNAP benefits for food. He needed assistance with a resume and employment applications and the staff referred him to Goodwill Job Connections. Oren qualified for our Veterans SNAP Employment & Training program and began working with Goodwill’s Employment Specialists on gaining the skills to find a job. Oren had very limited computer skills and the staff at Goodwill patiently worked with him on creating a resume and assisting with job applications.

Oren soon found out that Shari’s Restaurant was looking for a dishwasher. Oren knew he needed help with the application and he asked the Job Connections staff for assistance. The Goodwill Employment Specialists assisted Oren with tailoring his resume for the position and guiding him through the application process. The manager at Shari’s was impressed with Oren’s resume and experience and after a second interview he was offered a full-time position as a dishwasher. Oren wants to let those who are currently homeless know that there is help available to get back into the workforce and that the results are worth the effort.


Angela

Angela had a meaningful life as a mother of three with a job as an Employment Eligibility Specialist with the state. Unfortunately, she was also involved in an abusive relationship, both physically and emotionally. She tried to distance herself from her boyfriend, but when she lost her job due to the number of times that he showed up at her work and caused disruptions, Angela finally understood that she had to leave. With the help of family, she and her children, ages eight, nine, and 13, packed only clothes and a few pictures, and left. She went to WorkSource and the Department of Human Services, and was assigned a case worker to help. Her WorkSource counselor informed her about the Goodwill volunteer program, Work Experience, and matched her past experience with opportunities at Goodwill.

In February, after two months in Work Experience, Goodwill encouraged Angela to move to the Jobs Plus program, a 40 hour a week volunteer program, and she has been an integral part of the Springfield Job Connections team ever since. Angela has formally applied and been hired for a position at Job Connections. “I want to help people, and I won’t find a better place to do it. I love what Goodwill does for people, because they have done it for me. Everyone is like family.”


George

George S. is a native of Peoria, Illinois, who had two years of mechanical drafting classes from Lakeland College under his belt. However, that industry quickly moved away from physical drafting to Computer Aided Design (CAD) based systems, and George found himself without the skills to compete. The Goodwill Job Connections department met George shortly after he moved to Eugene in 2013. George’s first encounter with Goodwill was at the Eugene Mission.

Through our basic services and the 50/50 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) grant, George was able to find jobs in road maintenance, construction, and shipping. These were all seasonal or temporary jobs, and he was tired of the ups and downs. This challenged George, but never defeated him. All the while, George continued to work with Job Connections employment specialists to update his resume, find opportunities, and interview. Finally, after four years of perseverance, and with the help of the Veteran’s SNAP grant, George has earned a full time position, with benefits, as a delivery driver for Coach Glass in Coburg. He is grateful to the Job Connections team for helping him: “I’ll never forget them.  They helped me a lot.”


 

 


 

 


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