#MissionMonday - Ellie

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.

Ellie has come a long way from where she began. She was her mother’s caregiver until she passed away from cancer. Ellie was lost and did not know what to do next. She had not worked for a long time and had no money. Her remaining family lived thousands of miles away.


Knowing her situation, Ellie's family extended an invitation for her to stay with them in Florida. She decided to accept the invitation and proceeded to move across the country to live with her grandmother, aunt and uncle. She was still grieving for her mother when she learned of her own illness: clinical depression. After dozens of doctor’s appointments and therapy sessions, Ellie was given the all-clear to start job hunting.


She completed numerous applications with no luck. Ellie was becoming increasingly depressed when Goodwill called to schedule an interview. Within days, Ellie was hired, trained and working; additionally, she was assigned a Good Partner Coach (GPC). Ellie and her GPC had many conversations and, together, they set some goals. Ellie developed a network of friends at Goodwill who encouraged her to grow and never settle for anything less than what she wanted.


Ellie was just beginning to thrive when her grandmother’s health rapidly deteriorated and she passed away. Ellie’s job and GPC became her safe haven and Goodwill was the place where she was temporarily able to forget all the sadness in her life. But then she was presented with yet another dilemma. After the death of her grandmother, the aunt and uncle she was living with told her that they wanted to move out of state. They invited Ellie to move with them. She was torn between moving away and starting all over again or trying to stay in Florida and find a place of her own that she could afford.


Ellie came to the conclusion that it was time she invested in herself and her future. She loved Goodwill and her Goodwill family, so she set out to make it on her own. She quickly settled in to her new life. With the help of her GPC, she found a place to live, learned to cook for herself, and learned how to enjoy her time alone. She took the Goodwill Knowledge Assessment, completed her classes and became a Role Model Worker.


Ellie hopes to continue growing inside and outside of Goodwill. She believes that with hard work, determination, and the support of her peers and GPC at Goodwill, anything is possible. So do we!