#MissionMonday - Joe

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.


JoeEarlier this year Joe came into the Goodwill Manasota Veterans Services office in need of assistance. Janet, the veterans career and community facilitator, sat down with him to discuss his needs and it quickly became clear he was very unhappy in his current situation. Joe had served in the United States Army in the 70’s and was in need of assistance now because he recently lost his job as a bus driver. He came to Goodwill seeking help updating his resume and practicing his interview skills.

As Janet worked with Joe, she discovered there were many other areas in which he needed assistance. For one, he was hiding a lifelong secret. Joe had dropped out of school in the 6th grade and as a result, his reading and writing skills were extremely limited. Thankfully, Goodwill partners with the Literacy Counsel and Janet was able to connect Joe with a tutor whom he now meets with twice a week for one-on-one sessions. Additionally, Joe had zero experience with computers – he was afraid to even touch one. Janet knew exactly what to do and enrolled him in Goodwill’s basic computer course so he could begin learning digital literacy skills.

Janet also found out that Joe had never written a check or paid his bills on his own. With her help, he was able to open a checking account and will soon start taking budgeting courses to get on track for his financial goals.

While searching for a job, Joe learned about an apprenticeship opportunity with a local HVAC business. He was eager to take advantage of this opportunity however, he still needed to find a paying position so that he could have an income. He decided a part-time job would be the perfect solution. Janet introduced Joe to a Goodwill Ambassador who runs an auto garage and after being interviewed, Joe was hired for a part-time position.  

Janet keeps tabs on Joe to see how he is doing. Joe says that even though things are not always smooth sailing, he feels like he is a changed man.  Now, he says, “All is good. It’s not perfect --but it’s good.”

Joe went looking for a job—but ending up getting so much more...  It’s what we do.