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.

Trudy had left a relationship and was the single mom of a three-month-old daughter when she realized she needed a job. She visited Suncoast Workforce and was referred to Goodwill. She was interviewed at the store by the Team Leader Coach (TLC) and Trudy got the job! 

Initially, Trudy thought that she would keep this job on a temporary basis. However, she found there were so many opportunities at Goodwill. She was cross-trained as a cashier and quickly became a Lead Cashier. Sometime later, her TLC suggested she apply to become a key holder (store manager). Trudy applied and earned the position. From there, she continued to perform well and has held a number of leadership positions since coming to Goodwill. Between her income at Goodwill and TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) from the state, Trudy was able to pay all her bills and provide for her daughter. 

However, with all of the promotions she earned, Trudy found she was no longer eligible for TANF benefits. She learned that this phenomenon had a name: the “benefits cliff.“ Trudy was worried because now she was behind in her rent payments and she had just received an eviction notice. She reached out to her GoodPartner Coach and explained her dilemma. 

Trudy’s coach reviewed her budget with her and then helped her apply for assistance through Goodwill’s partner agency, Step Up Suncoast. Using United Way funds, they sent Trudy’s landlord the amount Trudy owed on rent to avoid her eviction. Trudy’s coach worked with her on a spending plan that would allow her to avoid any future problems paying her rent.

Trudy has worked hard at Goodwill since her first day on the job and has earned many promotions. She no longer thinks of her job at Goodwill as temporary – she sees it as her career. Trudy is glad she ended up with an employer that continues to allow her to grow and flourish—and a coach who can lend a hand here and there along the way, if she needs help. 

It’s what we do ...