#MissionMonday - Lenny

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 - LennyToday, Lenny’s dazzling smile is the first thing you notice when you meet him. But it wasn’t always like that. For years, Lenny had ignored his dental problems because he couldn’t afford to go to the dentist. His teeth were always in pain and were falling out one by one. He was embarrassed and saddened by his appearance. In addition to his reluctance to meet new people socially, Lenny was convinced that his appearance was preventing him from getting a job.

Some months ago, Lenny met Edwin through the Veterans’ Service Program at Goodwill. As a veteran, Lenny was thrilled to have an advocate who would guide him through the services and options provided by various veterans’ organizations. Lenny’s health conditions were handled by the VA, but his dental issues continued to worsen. Edwin put Lenny in contact with a dentist who was able to schedule and perform dental extractions and replacements for a nominal fee.

In the meantime, Edwin introduced Lenny to Dolores at the Job Connection office at Ranch Lake. Lenny had had extensive experience in the restaurant industry when he lived in the Southwest and was eager to get back into the business. After a few false starts, Lenny found a job at a family owned restaurant as a chef. His talents were recognized immediately and he began working his way up to kitchen manager. He saved up enough money to buy a car and no longer has to share a car with his son which has provided him with more independence and self-esteem.

A few weeks ago, Lenny made an appointment to see Dolores and Edwin. He was smiling ear to ear as he showed them his “new” car in the parking lot. He had come a long way from when he had first met them.

If you ask Lenny about Goodwill, he will happily tell you all about his journey with a big smile on his face. It’s what we do…