#MissionMonday - Darren

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.

#MissionMonday - DarrenAfter spending 18 years in prison, Darren wasn’t sure how he would survive. At one point, he even considered selling narcotics to make ends meet. He said he didn’t even care if he got caught because the consequences of going back to jail were not as bad as being homeless and hungry.

Darren passed by Goodwill many times before he came in to the Job Connection and submitted an application. He feared that when Goodwill realized he was a convicted felon they would not hire him, but exactly the opposite happened and a few days later he received a call from HR requesting an interview. Darren said he almost didn’t show up for his interview because he was scared and ashamed. He was sure Goodwill must have missed the part about his felony background. Then, Darren remembered the old saying: ”Courage is being scared to death but going for it anyway.” He went for his interview and aced it. Darren has now been working at Goodwill for three years. 

Darren says that the best part of his job is having a GoodPartner Coach (a free life coach assigned to all Goodwill Team Members).  He met with his coach and together they set up a budget for him to follow. Since then, he has established his credit and is saving money. He and his coach also worked on a plan outlining Darren’s goals and how he was going to achieve them. 

Darren went to see his coach last week with wonderful news. His father made him a great offer because he could see that Darren had been trying so hard and working without incident. His dad would match what Darren has saved to help him purchase a modest home.

 Darren told his coach that there were days he tried to hide from her because he knew she would ask about his progress on his goals. He knew she would ask for a meeting and they would go over his goals and his budget AGAIN! But in the end, Darren thanked his coach for never giving up on him. He told her he probably wouldn’t have been successful if it wasn’t for her “constant nagging.”   His Coach laughed and said, “That’s what I do!”  Supporting people who need a second chance:  that’s what WE all do at Goodwill.