#MissionMonday - John

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.


John began coming to the Job Connection office at the Arcadia Goodwill to get help finding a job. He had been searching for a full-time position for a very long time while working part-time jobs here and there to help support his family. Since John was the only family member who was able to work, he became responsible for supporting the household. Although John was young and had barriers to employment, he decided for the sake of his family that he would make good on his promise to find a good job.

After John’s visits to the Job Connection office, Robin, the Career Development Facilitator, thought John would be better served through the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) office in Arcadia and referred him there. The counselor at VR evaluated John and sent him to Sharon, the external employment specialist for Goodwill Manasota. Sharon talked to John and thought he might be a good fit for a position that was expected to open up soon at the Arcadia Goodwill, which was close to where he lived.

He would still need some support during his initial placement there so Sharon and Robin decided to work together to make sure John’s transition to full-time employment would go smoothly. At the same time, VR was trying to get John medication that would help him sleep better - after the family’s move into a new residence, John had been sleeping poorly.

Robin then helped John find a GED center where he could earn his high school diploma, and Sharon checked with VR to make sure that John would have a counselor in place to deal with any issues that might come up. Meanwhile, a full-time position was now available at the Arcadia Goodwill. Sharon set up an interview with herself, the store manager and John. The interview went quite well and the store manager decided to give John a chance. He worked hard and, although he initially experienced some difficulties, he has become an important and valued member of the Goodwill team.

John is learning many new employability skills, such as arriving on time to work and what to say and what not to say to customers and other employees as well as some safety issues such as how to move heavier goods and furniture. All of these new experiences will help John to be successful at work and in life. John has had to address many issues and obstacles, including a recent death in his family, but with the support of everyone involved, he is now on the path to success.

Joint ventures on behalf of individuals receiving services from Goodwill can help make everything smoother for people and this was certainly a successful endeavor for all who lent a hand. It's what we do ...