#MIssionMonday- Thelma

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.


 Thelma came into the Goodwill Job Connection office looking for assistance with finding a job in Arcadia. She had just moved from Tampa and was excited to be out in the country – she especially loved seeing cows all around town. But she also knew she needed a job to pay her rent, to buy a car, and to pay off a lot of bills. She had been job searching on her own but she had trouble reading and wasn’t sure she was doing a good job filling out the applications. She was also concerned that she wasn’t applying everywhere she needed to. Being new to town, she was not familiar with the different employers.


At the Job Connection office she met Robin, a Goodwill Career Development Facilitator who said she could teach Thelma how to conduct an internet job search. Robin showed Thelma how she could find many different open positions in Arcadia. Thelma applied online at the local McDonald’s, the Walmart and an assisted-living facility. She told Robin that the place she really wanted to work was at Goodwill – she wanted to be part of changing lives through the power of work. Although there were no current openings at Goodwill that matched Thelma’s skill set, Robin promised to help her apply for various positions so that she could interview when something came up.


Within the week, McDonald’s called her for a job interview and Thelma began working as a dining room attendant. She enjoyed the people at McDonald’s but when an opportunity finally came up to interview at Goodwill, Thelma jumped at the chance. Robin met with Thelma to assist with interviewing skills and to make sure she had appropriate interview attire. Sure enough, Thelma secured employment as an attended donation center attendant. She decided to keep the job at McDonald’s so she could keep paying off her bills and save a little extra for a car purchase.


Thelma has been working at Goodwill for a little over a year now. She has embraced the idea of setting goals and has set and achieved more goals than any other team member at her store.


One of the first goals that Thelma set was simply to remain at her job for a year, something she never thought was all that important in the jobs that she had held previously. She is working on her Role Model Worker badge, gaining additional skills to help her be successful in work and life. Now Thelma is ready to go rent a place of her own. She continues to set goals and says that Goodwill was the catalyst to get her moving forward in life. It’s what we do