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.

Jim came to Goodwill looking for a lifeline. He was desperate because he had been out of work for a few months: he had been working as an electrician when he lost his job due to a slowdown in construction projects. His wife had not worked for the past five years due to illness. Jim had depleted his savings and was two months behind on his rent. While his landlord was willing to work with him, Jim knew that it was just a matter of time before he and his wife would become homeless. 


Although Jim had applied for jobs with numerous employers, he had not heard back from any of them. He knew that it was harder to find a job when you're unemployed. He had no idea where to turn.


Jim had applied for financial assistance through “Season of Sharing” - this program helps those who are on the verge of homelessness to stay in their homes - but without any job prospects, he was turned down for assistance. He was extremely concerned for his future when he received a call from Goodwill asking him to come in to interview for a job. Jim was elated. He remembered applying for a job at Goodwill but he did not recall which job he applied for or what it paid. But it didn’t matter.


Jim interviewed with one of the Goodwill store managers and was hired on the spot. He would be responsible for testing and pricing electrical items, which was right up his alley. Jim was excited and relieved that he would have a paycheck in two weeks.


On his first day on the job, he met with his new GoodPartner Coach and requested assistance with uniforms, food and housing. After hearing his story, Jim’s GPC recommended that he re-apply for “Season of Sharing” funds since he was now employed and could present a letter from Goodwill to verify his income. “Season of Sharing” was able to help Jim this time so he did not need to worry about being behind on his rent anymore. Jim’s GPC helped with uniforms and also gave him a list of food pantries in the area.


About five months into his employment, Jim received a call from another employer offering him a job as an electrician. This job would mean an increase in pay. Jim was happy and sad at the same time. He wanted to work in the construction industry again but he really did not want to leave Goodwill, an organization that had helped him when he had nowhere else to turn. But he remembered hearing that  Goodwill ‘s mission is to help  team members  advance, even if that means using their job as a launching pad and moving on. Jim accepted the other job and gave his two weeks’ notice at Goodwill.


On his last day at Goodwill, Jim thanked his manager and his GPC for helping him by giving him a hand up when things seemed hopeless. It’s what we do …