#MissionMonday - Sara

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 - SaraNever, in a million years, did Sara think she would become homeless. 

This past December Sara became ill. She lost her job and was evicted shortly after. With nowhere to turn, she called 211, United Way’s community information and referral services, and was referred to Jewish Family Services for supported housing. They had a program that could help her get into an apartment, however, in order to enroll, she needed a steady income.    They referred her to CareerSource’s Veterans Program, where she learned about Goodwill and the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP). 

Toni, Goodwill’s Job Connection Program Manager, met Sara at Goodwill’s Veteran’s Services office. She was there attending a resume building class, which got Sara thinking that maybe her resume was keeping her from getting the job she really wanted. She pulled Toni aside as she was leaving that day, and asked if she could help update her resume. Sara and Toni scheduled some time for the following day.

While meeting about her resume, Toni learned that Sara had worked at the Pentagon as an Administrative Specialist in the United States Army.  Sara spent the 14 years following her honorable discharge as an Emergency Medical Technician and a Volunteer Firefighter. She then owned a private duty healthcare business and until a couple months ago, she was a store manager at a local retail store.  

Together, she and Toni reformatted her resume and highlighted her experience in office support, retail management and customer service. Sara learned how to tailor her resume for the job she was applying for and how it’s important to follow up in person with her resume in hand. Toni showed Sara how to organize her job search and taught her how to use social media to look for leads. 

Toni saw Sara several weeks later at Goodwill’s Veteran Services offices and she was excited to announce that she had gained employment as a store manager. She then proudly explained how she took what Toni taught her and introduced herself to the owner, giving him her 30 second sales pitch and handing him a copy of her resume.