Goodwill Stories


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 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 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.


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. 


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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