#MissionMonday - Liz

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.


Liz was living with epilepsy. Since childhood, she had experienced frequent seizures, which kept her from attending school on a regular basis. When Liz was in high school, she was expelled for missing too many days and she was not able to graduate.

 Liz moved to Florida and got married. It was not a particularly happy marriage and Liz began drinking, which she continued to do for a number of years. After her divorce, she was determined to stop drinking – and she did. It has been nearly 20 years and Liz has maintained her sobriety. She says when she finally decides to do something, she gets it done. 

Liz has had a number of jobs in the retail industry but she was never able to move much beyond a minimum wage job. Liz always felt that not having a high school diploma kept her from getting ahead in the positions she held. She thought about other friends and relatives who had graduated from high school and college and were doing well in life. She had never had the time or the money to go back to school to earn her GED. But now she was ready for something different – something better.

Liz came to work at Goodwill three years ago. She says she loves her job “because the people are great!” Last year, she had the opportunity to enroll in online high school classes that Goodwill would pay for. She jumped at the opportunity, especially since she could be on the clock for classes for 90 minutes per week. She knew she would need to work on her classes at home, too, in order to finish on time but she did not own a computer. What she did have, though, was a GoodPartner Coach. Her coach connected Liz with an organization that provided refurbished computers to those in need. Within the week, Liz got a free, refurbished laptop so she could begin working on her classes at home.

One day, Liz’s coach saw her trying to work on her classes on her phone. She admitted that her laptop was no longer working but she hadn’t wanted to mention it to her coach because she felt that Goodwill had already done so much for her. Liz’s coach did two things: first, she reminded Liz that at Goodwill, people are our greatest asset—not burdens. Then she took the laptop back to the shop, had it repaired, and got it back to Liz in a few days.

Like always, when Liz finally decides to do something, she gets it done. Liz will graduate with her GED in September. She has already completed all of her Role Model Classes and once she graduates, she will also be the proud owner of a gold badge proclaiming her to be a “Certified Role Model Worker.”

Liz knows that all of those closed doors are about to open for her at last. She is glad that Goodwill showed her she had the keys all along. It’s what we do …