#MissionMonday - Peter

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 - PeterPeter lived a life of crime and drugs between the ages of 25 and 58. He was incarcerated seven times for burglary, grand theft, forgery and drug possession.  But he wasn't always that way.

In his early 20s, Peter was married and had a child. When he and his wife divorced, the cycle began, leading him to drugs, fraud, theft and finally, prison. When he was released from prison he moved from Gainesville to Orlando determined to change his life. When he arrived in Orlando a man approached him on the street and offered Peter a place to live. Once he moved in the man demanded Peter buy him drugs. The cycle began again.

During this time Peter's sister acquired lupus and needed a kidney donor. Peter was a match and was willing to give up his kidney for her; but before the arrangements were finalized his sister died. Peter was devastated. He went on a crime spree and ended up in jail yet again. He knew something had to change and began going to church while in prison. It was there where he met a pastor from Partners in Christ. Peter knew he wanted to get into the prison ministry when he was released.

Once Peter was released from jail, the real challenges began.  He was going to have to find someone who would be willing to give him a job. He figured the odds of finding work were not going to be in his favor because of his record as a career criminal. He went to the pastor he had met in jail, looking for help in finding work. The pastor told him about a job fair that was being held at Van Wezel in Sarasota. There, he met a recruiter whom he described as an 'angel' -- Goodwill Manasota’s Adriana Restrepo. Adriana had him fill out an application for Goodwill and soon called him for an interview. To his amazement, he was hired.  He also learned that he was going to have a GoodPartner Coach, a free life coach offered to all Goodwill Manasota Team Members. Sure enough, before his first week was out, his coach met with him and together they set some goals:  1) t to get his license and independent transportation of some sort 2) put together a praise team and 3) to find a better place to live.

Peter’s GoodPartner Coach provided all the information he needed to make these goals a reality. So far he has accomplished his first goal of getting his driver's license. He is excited because he knows the cycle has finally been broken. He is living a clean and safe life. When he talks about Goodwill, Peter gets emotional sometimes.  He says, "If it wasn't for Goodwill, I don't know where I would be right now! I LOVE THIS PLACE!"

It's what we do . . .