#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.

#MissionMonday - MaryIt was a miracle that Mary survived her birth; she was born prematurely weighing less than four pounds. She had her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck and attached to her trachea and needed immediate surgery to remove it so she could swallow. Her doctors gave her five days to live and told her parents to make their final plans. Mary defied all of the odds. She began gaining weight and things started looking up. After three months, she finally went home from the hospital.

Mary’s childhood was a mixed bag: her family treated her like she was made out of glass, protecting her from everything. And while at school, the other children teased her because of her small stature and multiple scars from the surgeries.

At 14 years old, Mary’s life took another turn when her parents got into a bad car accident. Her dad died at the scene and her mother passed away a few days later in the hospital. Now, Mary was living in foster care and was moved from home to home since no one seemed to want to adopt a teenager.  Mary ended up in a group home where she stayed until her eighteenth birthday. When she aged out of the foster care system, she was on her own.

Through state agencies, Mary received help finding an apartment and a job so she could afford the rent. She continued to go to high school. Things were going well until she lost her job due to company layoffs. She was suddenly in fear of getting evicted from her apartment.

That’s when she showed up at Goodwill looking for help. The Job Connection assisted her with a resume and showed her how to use the internet to facilitate her job search. Within a week, Mary had landed three job interviews. The Job Connection provided her with an interview outfit and helped her practice her interview skills. The next day she came in all excited because she was starting work on Friday with a large department store. Mary continues to go to high school and will graduate soon. She has an opportunity to go to Job Corps and attend school for an LPN certification. Mary is excited about her future job prospects and continues to grow as a person. She is glad she received a little extra help when she needed it. It’s what we do at Goodwill…