#MissionMonday - Phyllis

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 - PhyllisPhyllis had worked hard all her life and thought that she had planned well for her retirement. She did not plan on getting a divorce after 52 years of marriage and having to suddenly survive on her own. Phyllis had moved to Florida with her husband 5 years ago and now found herself alone, with no one to turn to for help. 

She knew that she needed to get a job in order to keep a roof over her head, however she wasn’t optimistic about her chances of finding employment.  She’d retired from her job at Caterpillar Tractor in 1998 and hadn’t worked nearly 20 years. 

She followed up on Now Hiring signs she’d seen around town and was told she needed to complete an application online. This was going to be a huge obstacle for her, as she’d never been online and didn’t own a computer.

Phyllis had always loved to shop at Goodwill and noticed a Job Connection sign one day when entering the store. “Need help finding a job,” it read.  “Well YES!” she thought to herself, “There might just be hope for me yet.” She had received an eviction notice earlier that week and was worried her electricity would be turned off soon. 

She called the number on the sign and met with a Career Development Facilitator (CDF) the following day.  Her CDF asked her about her needs and helped her contact 211 for assistance paying her bills.  Phyllis talked about her work history and her CDF helped her identify her transferable skills. 

Phyllis learned how to use the computer to conduct a job search and complete applications.  She was especially proud to have a resume for the first time and she soon learned how to download and upload her resume as well. She also learned how to use her smart phone to apply for jobs when her CDF was not available to help her on the computer. 

Her CDF encouraged her to keep trying when she felt like giving up and coached her on how to prepare for an interview.  Finally all her hard work paid off and she called her CDF excited that she’d found a job as a cashier.  She thanked her CDF for putting up with her tears and frustration and said that although she was intimidated by the cash register/POS; she’d learned that she was a survivor, and could learn anything if she put her mind to it.  Turning fear into hope, it’s what we do…