#MissionMonday - Mary

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.


Mary came to work at Goodwill shortly after completing rehab for a drug and alcohol addiction. Mary was determined to make it work this time – she had completed rehab twice in the past and relapsed both times. While living in a halfway house for people in recovery, she got a job as a cashier, completed her week of cashier training and went to work. She was excited about her new job and the prospect of making money again. 

Work was going well, but her home life was a mess. The recovery house that Mary lived in had an extremely long list of rules. Mary knew that rules were necessary for success but they were so strict that she worried she may not be able to keep her job. Mary knew that having a job is also necessary for success. Mary’s job required that she have open availability and her house had a similar rule. Residents were required to attend house meetings whenever they took place, which was usually at night.

However, Mary was on the schedule at work till close two or three times per week. Mary had already met with her GoodPartner Coach to request uniform and prescription assistance shortly after starting her job so she knew she could talk to her GPC about keeping her job. Mary and her GPC met with Mary’s manager and explained her living situation. The manager said that he could help her out short-term but she would need to go back to working her regular schedule soon. Mary was offered a part- time position, in case that might help – but Mary needed to work full- time. Mary asked her GPC for a list of low-income housing resources, hoping she could find something she could afford on her own.

Mary’s GPC reminded her that she was in the halfway house for a reason and she needed to think carefully before moving out too quickly. Mary was impatient to resolve the conflict between the recovery house and her job. Mary’s GPC encouraged her to take a deep breath and wait. They agreed to continue meeting regularly to see how things would unfold and to discuss possible next steps.

The very next week, a position became available that would give Mary greater experience, more flexibility and increased customer interaction. She applied and felt lucky to get the transfer to a furniture pricing position. She thrived in this position and learned more and more about how Goodwill operates. Mary’s home life had settled down a little and now she could concentrate on work and on her own goals again. One of Mary’s goals was to become a Certified Role Model Worker. She completed the knowledge Assessment and started taking her classes. Once she completed her classes and passed her demonstration assessment, she became a Role Model Worker, with a beautiful gold badge to prove it! It was a long process, but it was worth the wait. 

Mary’s next goal was to earn a promotion. She realized that she loved Goodwill and wanted to make it a long-term career. She began waiting for positions to become available.

Meanwhile, the problems at the halfway house escalated once again. Someone was stealing from the residents, so the house rules got strict again. Mary was impatient for the ongoing drama at the house to conclude – it was distracting and kept her from focusing on her goals. Quickly, the thief was discovered and Mary could think about work again.

Another long-awaited event transpired soon after. A key-holder position became available at another location. Mary applied, interviewed and got the job!

Since her promotion, Mary continues to work at her new location and is doing very well. Recently, Mary moved out of the halfway house. Now she has a new goal: she is working on saving money in order to purchase a vehicle. It will take some time but Mary knows it will happen. She believes that good comes to those who wait and GREAT things come to those who work at Goodwill. It’s what we do …