#MissionMonday - Jill

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 - JillA couple of years ago, Jill hung out with the wrong group of people and made some bad choices which resulted in a record of arrests. She eventually decided it was time to change her life around and started spending time with more positive people. But one day, she stopped to pay a bill she owed and left her children in the car for a few moments. When she returned, a policeman was waiting for her at the car. She was charged with felony child neglect.

The court removed her children from her custody and revoked her driver’s license. Because she could no longer get to work, she lost her job, and became homeless after she wasn’t able to pay rent.

At her hearing, Jill explained to the judge that she really did want to turn things around and be reunited with her children, and she was willing to do whatever it took to accomplish that goal. The judge referred Jill to a pre-trial intervention program where she would have to complete several classes spanning a number of months. If she was successful, she would be able to get her children back, if not, she would serve time in jail for the felony child neglect charges.

Jill started to attend her required classes but still needed to find a job so she could move off of the streets. When she realized how hard it would be to find a job that also allowed her to attend her classes, she came in to Goodwill Manasota’s Job Connection for help. She met with Mary in our corporate campus and together they sketched out a calendar of her availability.

Mary helped her identify appropriate job leads and Jill applied to many different companies. She got numerous rejections, but Mary told her she needed to keep trying. Mary assured Jill that the right employer was out there somewhere. They just needed to keep looking.

Just as Jill was beginning to doubt her ability to get a job, to support herself, to complete her program and to stay out of jail, she got the phone call she was waiting for. A local restaurant owner called to say she was willing to give Jill a chance because someone had given her an opportunity a long time ago and she wanted to “pay it forward.” Jill’s determination to get her children back had finally paid off.

Today, Jill is successfully employed, has completed all of her classes, and is working to repay her financial obligations. Best of all, she has her children back again. Jill is glad she had someone to help her move forward when it seemed that it would be impossible to achieve her goals. Goodwill Manasota – Changing lives through the power of work.