#MissionMonday - Mike

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.

For many people, a bicycle is a form of leisure activity but, for some, a bicycle is a critical tool for getting to work. For job seekers who do not have a driver’s license or who can’t afford a car, a bicycle can mean the difference between employment and unemployment. That was exactly the case with Mike.

Mike desperately wanted to get a job but he didn’t have a car. There was a public bus stop near his neighborhood but it did not run in the evenings or on Sundays. He needed help finding a job but it would be difficult to get to a Job Connection office. Carlos, Goodwill’s Career Development Facilitator, knew he had to find some resources for Mike. Carlos was especially motivated to help when he learned that Mike had walked from his home on Clark Road to the Job Connection office in North Sarasota. Clearly, this young man wanted to work.

Carlos had recently established a partnership with the Sarasota Sheriff’s Department. The Department has a supply of abandoned and/or stolen bicycles that the original owners had never reclaimed. Carlos reached out to the Sheriff’s Department in hopes of getting a bike for Mike. His contact at the Sheriff’s office had a bike ready to go. The next hurdle was getting the bike in Mike’s hands. Carlos picked up the bike and transported it to the Selby Job Connection office. Mike happily walked to the Selby office once more – he knew this would be his last trip there on foot.

When he got there, he spent some time with Carlos applying online for jobs near his home. When it was time to leave, Mike rode off into the sunset on his new bike with a promise to return the next day. After a few weeks of searching, Mike accepted a job with a janitorial company.

That was late last year. Today, Mike still works at the same company and now, thanks to a recent promotion, he serves as a supervisor there.

Mike is glad that Goodwill was there to help him overcome a significant barrier to employment.