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.

Jean is a young Haitian man who came to work at Goodwill nearly 10 years ago. During that time, his goals were to save his money so he could bring his wife and children to America, and to become a citizen of the United States. Thanks to Goodwill, he accomplished both of those goals. He was especially glad to reunite with his family. 

Since Jean’s wife and kids arrived to live with him about four years ago, the family has been growing. Jean and his wife now have five children. His wife didn’t speak much English when she first arrived in the U.S. but practiced speaking the language and soon was able to get a good job and begin contributing to the family’s income. That’s when Jean began talking with his GoodPartner Coach about a new goal: buying a house for his family. 

The apartment they were renting was small and there was little space for his children to play. The neighborhood was becoming a high-crime area and the rent kept increasing each year. Jean and his wife began looking at available housing options. A few months ago, Jean shared with his GPC that they had found a house that his wife really liked and had made an offer. It was in a nice neighborhood with good schools, and a nice-sized, fenced yard where his kids could play safely. A week before Christmas, they closed on the house and began moving in. Jean was proud and very happy but also realized that he is now responsible for a mortgage and everything else that goes along with owning his own home.

Recently, Jean gave his two-week notice to his supervisor. He has taken the skills he gained at Goodwill and is using them as a launching pad for a new job. Jean is thankful for his co-workers – including his GoodPartner Coach, who has supported him whenever he needed it – who he thinks of as “good people.” He appreciates all that Goodwill has done for him over the past decade. He says that Goodwill has provided him with opportunities to grow and helped him build a strong foundation that allowed him to accomplish much: U.S. citizenship, bringing his family to the States, providing for them and, even now, being able to move on to a better job so he can continue caring for his family and they can pursue their piece of the American Dream.

It’s what we do …