Work Is…

Throughout 2016 we’ll be exploring what work is and the impact it has – in our communities, in our families, and in the programs and services Goodwill provides.

Working Together is Goodwill.

January 2016: Work Is A Fresh Outlook

ChrissyRiversBendChristina, Janitorial Lead, Goodwill 

Chrissy came to Goodwill nearly five years ago, thanks to a referral from a former colleague that had joined Goodwill. Through the Supported Employment Program, Chrissy decided that work on our janitorial team was a good fit. Always industrious, Chrissy held down a second job while working for Goodwill for nearly two years. She has proven to be a self-starter at the 78,000 square foot facility that her team cleans, often selected to serve as team lead.

storage-boxesIn January, Chrissy was officially promoted to Janitorial Lead Associate. “It felt good to be promoted,” Chrissy says. “I feel like finally somebody sees I do a good job.”  When Chrissy got promoted, client and Building Manager Art Thurston said, “Based on how hard she works, everybody thinks she’s the lead already!”

When you shop and donate with Goodwill, you’re creating a fresh outlook for someone like Chrissy – and strengthening our communities through the power of work.


February 2016: Work Is Finding Your Passion

DSC_0401Josh, Assistant Manager, e-Recycling Program, Central Virginia 

Josh came to Goodwill looking for a better future. He brought customer service and sales skills with him. At the time, Josh did not understand Goodwill’s mission, or even that he could find a career here. That quickly changed through his interviews and first position as a donation attendant.

6010-RED-mid-century-modern-vase.cutout.drum-shade-whiteSince 2011, Josh has used his customer service and sales expertise through four promotions and now serves as an assistant manager for our e-Recycling program, where he puts his love of electronics to full use. Josh says, “I like that I can meet customers’ needs.” About his time at Goodwill, Josh says, “There is trust here, open communication and plenty of learning opportunities. My bosses know and respect my desire to advance. I plan to be with Goodwill for a long time.”

Every time you make a donation or purchase at Goodwill, you’re helping individuals like Josh find their passion – and strengthening our communities through the power of work.

March 2016: Work is Discovering A Promising Future

DSCN5227Mykea, Graduate, Transition to Independence and Employment (TIE) Program

Mykea came to the TIE program feeling uncertain about her future.  “Despite the uncertainty, I didn’t have the discipline on my own to get where I needed to be,” Mykea explained.  After just a few days in the program, Mykea found the confidence and self-esteem she needed to learn how to pursue job leads, to interview, and to gain and maintain employment.

“I am honored to have been in Goodwill’s TIE Program.  It’s truly been a blessing to me,” Mykea says.Clocks and Weather Instruments

Today, Mykea is a shift supervisor for McDonald’s and continues to benefit from the skills she learned through Goodwill.

Those one-of-a-kind purchases in our stores sure make you feel lucky – just as the feeling of landing a first job and providing for a family does for the thousands of people we serve each year.

April 2016: Work is Building Bright Beginnings

Khidhr, Goodwill Staffing Solutions Client

Pursuing a degree, but unsure of his employment future, Khidhr began looking for a job as he approached graduation. An online search quickly led him to Goodwill Staffing Solutions (GSS), where his life-changing employment journey began.

“I knew what I wanted to do, but didn’t know where to even start looking,” Khidhr admits,
as he faced several challenges including a limited work history and mobility issues.
Within a week of contacting GSS, Khidhr was interviewed by SKF Lubrication in Newport News. His rst, and only, job interview would become his rst job with his new degree.

“He came in with a smile, positive attitude, saying he could do whatever was required despite his limitations. He said he’d go the extra mile, and he certainly has,” said Dawn, a member of SKF’s human resources team. “He’s an incredible team player, an all-around great guy.”

A year after starting with SKF, he’s now enrolled in the Industrial Technology program at Old Dominion University, but the benefits far surpass his work.

“Because of this job I was able to finally propose to my girlfriend – finally able to buy her a ring. And, I just bought my first house, my own place. It’s a dream come true.”

May 2016: Work is Creating Reasons to Celebrate

Audrey, Goodwill Community Employment Center Client

Audrey first came to Goodwill’s Community Employment Center (CEC) as an AARP tax-aide volunteer. As tax season drew to a close, she started looking for part-time employment to supplement her income and stay active. Audrey began working with an employment specialist on her job search while volunteering to assist with tasks at the CEC, quickly gaining the admiration of staff and customers with her hard work and dedication to helping others.

As time went on, Audrey worried that her age was keeping her from finding employment. Not giving up, she attended a job fair hosted by Richmond Public Schools and stumbled across a position she knew would be a perfect fit. A short time later, Audrey began working as a Nutritional Services Café Worker in the school system.

“It’s right up my alley, and I’m so happy. I can spend more time with my grandkids without having to worry about how I’ll earn an income.”

June 2016: Work is Gaining Independence

Margaret, Goodwill Retail Operations Manager

“All I had was a bus ticket, my clothes, and a sliver of hope.”

After a series of unexpected events changed Margaret’s life, she was lost.
When offered a chance to move to the Hampton Roads area, she jumped at the opportunity.

Life wasn’t easy after the move; she found herself in a bad employment situation without transportation, sleeping on couches, and losing that sliver of hope that had brought her here.

When a friend began working for Goodwill, Margaret quickly followed and was hired as a lead associate at Goodwill’s outlet store in Hampton. Within three months, Margaret was promoted to assistant manager, and within a year, became the store manager at the Warwick retail store in Newport News.

Margaret now has her own car, shares a comfortable apartment with her roommate, and is looking to move into her own home sometime in the very near future.

“It’s not just a saying that Goodwill changes lives through the power of work – I’m living proof of how true that is.”

July 2016: Work is Overcoming Obstacles

Calvin, Warehouse Supervisor, SPAWAR Charleston

Calvin’s history with Goodwill goes back over 25 years, and his life now is much different than when he started. Facing physical obstacles that would often limit someone personally and professionally, Calvin’s story is one of determination and hard work.

After a recent move to Charleston, South Carolina, Calvin accepted a position with a Goodwill AbilityOne contract site where he quickly proved his determination and work ethic.

“So many times I was told I couldn’t do the job. Not only am I driving a forklift now, but I’m getting a promotion. They gave me a chance, and it’s been a blessing.”

Watch more about Calvin here.

August 2016: Work is Following A New Path

Judy, Goodwill Enclave Supervisor

After being laid-off from her previous employer, Judy was introduced to Goodwill through a professor at Reynolds Community College where she was taking classes.  With little more than knowing that the job entailed horticulture and working with people, she took a leap of faith and applied.

“I interviewed, got the job, and on the very first day I was set up with two participants – Irvin and Joe.  They taught me everything I needed to know,” Judy recalls with a laugh.

Having been around people with disabilities, and a sister with a disability who passed away at the age of six, Judy was not only comfortable working with participants in Goodwill’s Skills Building program – she was having a great time, too.

Over time Judy transitioned to her role as Enclave Supervisor, and her passion for our mission remains unwavering.  Not only has Judy contributed to Goodwill’s mission, but she’s personally gained more than she could have imagined.

Hear more of Judy’s story here.

September 2016: Work is Trusting The Unknown

Chavon, Goodwill Retail Associate and TIE Program Graduate

Chavon came to the TIE (Transition to Independence & Employment) Program unsure of herself and her future. Without a job and with a small child, Chavon was eager to better her situation, working hard to improve her interview and job search skills and build her con dence.

Through the help of her job placement counselor, Chavon eventually landed a job in one of Goodwill’s retail stores, where she still works today. She continues to impress her supervisors and is admired by her teammates for her hard work and dedication.

“I was able to take the skills I learned in the TIE program and use them right away. I’m more con dent now. I’ve even moved into my own apartment and I’m getting my driver’s license.”

October 2016: Work is Moving Forward and Setting An Example

Charee, Goodwill Administrative Coordinator

As her work anniversary approaches, Charee looks back and smiles thinking of her journey and progress over the last three years.

“My son had just been born, and going back to working warehouse hours just wasn’t going to work.  So I started looking.  I had retail experience, so I thought ‘hey, why not!'”  A day after applying for a cashier position at Goodwill’s Midlothian Crossing retail store, Charee received a call back for an interview and in less than a week started on what she believes is her career path.

“Within a year I was promoted to Lead, and had the opportunity to go back to school to receive my Associates Degree as an HR Specialist.  It really was the beginning of a dream come true.”  Charge made it a habit to check the internal job postings regularly, and in doing so came across an administrative position she thought would be a perfect fit.  After applying – twice – Charee was thrilled when she got the chance to interview with the CEO and his assistant.  Things only got better from there as she was offered the position and immediately accepted.  “When your a mom working retail hours can be hard.  I was so excited, so humbled.”

Today Charee has settled in to her new apartment, purchased a more reliable car, and is enjoying life with her rambunctious toddler.  “I want to set an example of hard work – that working for what you want and not giving up does make a difference.”


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