#MissionMonday - Lindsay

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.

The North Port Job Connection office recently hosted a job fair for Culver’s Restaurant and 67 people got new jobs! The following story was written by one of those new Culver’s employees, Lindsay:

#MissionMonday - LindsayYou could say my life started as a test of will and strength and continues to be so. I was born in Abilene, TX weighing in at a whopping 3.7 lbs. I was a fighter! For half of my childhood I was sick or in a hospital and weighed only 50 lbs. in the 6th grade. The other half of my life I spent in the country with my family riding horses, fishing, hunting and going to church every Sunday. Everything you would expect from a country raised kid. In high school I became very active – a cheerleader, band member, active reader, a Girl Scout and many more extracurricular activities. My mom even got me to a few modeling and beauty pageants where I won grants and scholarships for college. I graduated high school and began my journey of life, but at 19, just 3 days before my 20th birthday, my world was forever changed. A terrible rollover car accident left me with complete immobility of my left arm and shattering my elbow. Eight months of hospitals and surgeries followed by the most intense 6 months of physical therapy. It was excruciating but I was determined to be the same me as before.

At 22 when my life began to flow normally again, I had managed to go to school for paramedics, bought my first home, and had begun to date. My will was tested again when I began having some health issues and I was diagnosed with Mosaic Turners Syndrome which would prevent me from having the children I so wanted. I was angry, bitter and heartbroken. I began to feel inadequate and at the age of 25 and in a long term relationship, I still wanted a child. That August I went on the Walk of Emmaus which is and continues to be my best reminder of God's grace. I prayed and opened up about my pain and bitterness, finally able to talk about my wish for a special needs adoption.

One year, one month and 26 days later my brother's wife, who was suffering from epilepsy unexpectedly passed away, leaving him unable to care for their newborn son. My fiancé and I adopted this helpless, premature, baby boy and he has become the blessing of my life! I named him Luther. Luther faced many challenges of his own. As he grew older, he was diagnosed with low functioning autism, was nonverbal, had epilepsy and partial incontinence. In order to give him a better life, I left everything behind in Texas and I moved him to Sarasota. Luther and I lived with my father. I enrolled Luther in school and I worked two part-time jobs. I was blessed but still struggling when I went to see Mary Michael at Goodwill’s Job Connection. Ms. Mary introduced me to Culver’s and I was hired into a management position. I’m now on my way to more success and the ability to provide for my little family. Ms. Mary worked with me on goals for myself and provided me with support, advice and referrals.

I am very proud to say that now I have a new home, a new car, a great job and my fiancé has now been able to join us here in Florida. Now we are both here every day for Luther and our family is complete.

God is good and with faith and hard work anything is possible! I must say I could not have done this without Mary Michael. She has been a support line for me since the day I walked into her office and I will be forever grateful just to know her and continue to work with her, let alone call her my friend.


If you know anyone who is looking for a job, please contact the Job Connection near you. Click here for a list of locations.