#MissionMonday - Annie

Every Monday, we'll be posting a new story of how our mission has assisted people in the community. Be sure to check back each week for a new and inspirational story of someone who was helped by Goodwill Manasota. Changing lives through the power of work...it's what we do.

Annie was the oldest of eight siblings.  She and her husband raised four children and moved to Florida from Maine in 2013.  Annie had always had a job.  In the 60s she worked at Woolworths and in nursing homes.  In the 70s she worked for the University of Maine teaching nutrition and cooking classes to low income families in their homes.  In the 80s Annie worked for a manufacturer as a machine operator, and in the 90s she operated a day care in her home, while raising her own children. 

For the past five years, Annie had been enjoying retirement with her husband, but she was growing quite bored and missed having extra money for entertainment and travel.  She also had her husband’s medical bills to pay off and felt that some extra income would give her some much-needed peace of mind.   Annie decided she wanted to return to work part-time. 

Annie did not know how to conduct an online job search or complete online applications, and she knew that she needed some help.  Annie’s favorite place to shop is Goodwill, so she was aware that Goodwill’s Job Connection program helped people find jobs.  She met with a Career Development Facilitator (CDF) who helped her create an indeed.com account and update her resume. 

Annie told the CDF that she had always enjoyed working and had good work ethic.  She told the CDF a story about when she worked as a machine operator and frequently helped her co-worker set up a machine that only he could operate.  One day her co-worker became ill and was not able to come to work for quite a while.  Production was falling behind and her supervisors were starting to stress.  She said she had helped to assemble the machine numerous times and was sure she could do it herself.  Her supervisor laughed at her and said that a woman would never be able to operate that particular machine.  He declined Annie’s offer to help.  A few days later, production came to a halt.  Annie, once again, offered to take a stab at setting up the complicated machine that no one else knew how to operate.  Desperate, her supervisor agreed, and Annie went to work.  After successfully assembling the machine, Annie demonstrated to her supervisor how to operate it, and saved the day.

Annie’s story impressed her CDF—so much so that that the CDF approached Goodwill’s HR recruiter and told her that she thought Annie would make a wonderful addition to the team.  Annie interviewed for a position on the sales floor and began work the following week.  Every time Annie’s CDF sees her, Annie has a huge smile on her face.  She says she is getting physically stronger every day and is happy to be working hard.  Annie says sitting in a chair all day is not good for you and she thinks working is good for her self-esteem.  Annie likes to socialize with the customers, but is careful not to talk too much, as she has an important job to do-- making sure the sales floor is organized and stocked with fresh merchandise. 

Annie is a grandmother of seven.  She is proud of the way she raised her family and she is proud that she is still in great shape and is able to work.  Annie is glad she found someone to help her with her job search and an employer that was willing to give her a chance.  It’s what we do!