#MissionMonday - Teri

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 - TeriTeri came to Goodwill with several barriers to employment; she referred to them as her “challenges.”  As a single mother, she had been through a lot including a failed marriage and time in prison.  Even with these challenges, she was determined to succeed and obtain a college degree.  After several months at a low paying job with no room for advancement, she decided to move to Bradenton to be closer to her family and children.

Once in Bradenton, Teri saw an ad that said Goodwill gives a second chance to ex-felons.  She applied and interviewed, and was amazed when she was offered a job as a pricer! She focused on her job, was a hard worker and she tried to overcome her past struggles.  Soon after joining Goodwill, she was introduced to her GoodPartner Coach, a free life coach offered to all Goodwill employees.  Her Coach listened to what she said about her past difficulties, her family situation, how much she loved her children and how much she desperately wanted to get a college degree in business.

Her GoodPartner Coach developed an action plan, starting with baby steps to give her support and encouragement.  When things got tough, her Coach was a great person to talk to.  Teri did some TABE Testing and other assessments and soon she was enrolled in the Goodwill Works program!  All through this process, she remained confident and determined to finish her classes, to become a Role Model Worker and then start community college classes.

Life has a way of throwing us curve balls when we least expect it, and the one that came her way was devastating.  Suddenly losing a child is the worst nightmare any parent could imagine, but it happened.  Teri couldn’t talk, sleep or eat, her mind could only focus on her loss. Her other children were a comfort to her, but Teri was lost in grief.

As soon as her manager heard about Teri’s loss, he asked her GoodPartner Coach to contact her to find out what she needed and how Goodwill could help her. Goodwill stepped in to provide the items the family needed as well as the much needed support and comfort.

After the funeral, Teri returned to work.  Focusing on her work and concentrating on doing a good job helped a little.  Since then, Teri has returned to a somewhat normal routine.  Her GoodPartner Coach assisted the family over the Thanksgiving Holiday by making sure they got a turkey with all the trimmings and also making sure that Teri had some time off with her children.

Teri is very thankful for the support she received from Goodwill, particularly from her manager, her assistant manager, her co-workers, and her GoodPartner Coach as she tried to cope with this very personal tragedy.  Her Coach reminded Teri that she is part of a family, the Goodwill Family . . . and that’s what we do . . .