Jeff joined the Navy Reserve while studying journalism at the University of Georgia. He served two years of active duty with an assignment at the Armed Forces Radio and Television station in the Panama Canal Zone, followed by four years at the Naval Reserve Center in Miami, Fla.
He always had a passion for collecting vintage china, pottery and posters. Ten years after retiring from a 40-plus year career in sales and marketing, he developed an eBay site specializing in collectibles, mostly china and pottery. Goodwill soon became his primary source for inventory. However, after a few years of success, Jeff realized he was really starting to miss the personal contact he had enjoyed during his professional career.
One day, Jeff made his habitual trip to a nearby Goodwill store to look for more treasures. As usual, he began sharing details about his finds with the cashier. The cashier suggested that Jeff should apply for a job at Goodwill. He filled out an application, and got an interview and a job offer on the spot that same day. After 13 years of retirement, Jeff started working at Goodwill as a full-time large hard goods pricer. He soon met with his GoodPartner Coach, who told him about Goodwill’s mission programs. She also explained the process of becoming a certified Role Model Worker and told Jeff that this process would be part of his training.
Since then, Jeff has worked as a books and a wares pricer. He became a certified Role Model Worker with the support of his GoodPartner Coach, who was there to cheer him on at the Recognition Breakfast where he received the coveted gold badge. Now, in addition to his veteran’s badge, he proudly sports both a veteran’s and the Role Model Worker gold badge on his vest – these are great conversation starters when customers ask him about Goodwill’s mission.
Jeff says his ability to identify donations of a higher value has increased significantly over the past two-and-a-half years at Goodwill. He notes that, even at the age of 75, he can still learn so much from his co-workers and managers. He says, “I look forward to every day now in my search for Goodwill treasures.”
He is glad that Goodwill “snatched him up,” right at a time when he was beginning to feel like he was not getting enough contact with other people. He knows that not all employers appreciate the contribution older workers can make but he feels valued by his team, engaged by the stimulating conversation he shares with his customers each day, and he loves being part of Goodwill’s mission.
Jeff is thankful Goodwill gave him the opportunity to do a job that is interesting and feels meaningful to him. It’s what we do …