#MissionMonday - Larry

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.

#MissionMonda - LarryLarry was born and raised in New Orleans and came from a close-knit family. He was the oldest sibling and had always worked hard to take care of his brothers and sisters. Even when he was little, he would cut grass and collect bottles to sell back to the local stores to bring in some type of income.

Larry went to the local elementary and high school and attended the University of New Orleans. He discovered a love of photography and did freelance work around town.  Larry had weathered many hurricanes in Louisiana including Camille and Andrew. However, he says, “nothing would prepare me for what was coming. Neither my family nor the city of New Orleans was ready for what was next – Katrina. After this storm, neither I, nor my family, nor New Orleans would ever be the same.”

After the storm, Larry was relocated to Texas via the FEMA program. “I was a lost soul without my family, my friends or the city that I grew to know and love. I did my best to put my life back together but it just was not working no matter how hard I tried.”

 Larry decided he needed a fresh start, so he moved to Florida.  Eventually the funding was cut from FEMA and he found himself homeless and needing work. One day when he stopped in at Turning Points for a meal and met Ed Padilla. It was the height of the recession and not many employers were hiring—but Goodwill was!  Ed helped Larry apply for a job at Goodwill.  Larry got that job and began working as a Donation Center Attendant.  “Before I knew it, I had saved enough money to find a place to live. Now my life is much more stable and I’m paying my bills without assistance. I think things happen for a reason. Katrina and FEMA came into my life just so I could end up here in Bradenton working for Goodwill with a stable job and life.”  Larry is glad that Goodwill was there when he needed to find a new home.  It’s what we do…