Demico’s Life Changing Experience at Goodwill.

Demico is an open and honest person about his life. He knows where he has been and where he would like to go. Recently, he was released from prison on parole and living in a halfway house. Demico knew that he needed to get a job to get his life back together. However, it was difficult for him to get a job with a record. Most employers wouldn’t consider giving him a job because of his background.

Demico knew about Goodwill and the services they offer. He contacted Goodwill about needing assistance with finding a job. He was referred to Chasity, Employment Specialist, who helped place him in the Employment Skills Training Program.

“The Employment Skills Training program is a 6-week assessment that teaches individuals the hard and soft skills needed to be successful in the competitive work field. We train our participants on their tasks according to the area they choose after coming through on a tour. They learn how to be on time, clock in and out, interact with coworkers and how to deal with every day work issues”, Chasity explained.

Demico worked hard on both his soft and hard skills during the first 3 weeks of the program then he was asked by Brad, Store Manager, if he would like to apply for a job. He graciously accepted a job in the backroom testing electronics and stocking merchandise on the sales floor.

Demico has excelled in both areas by making sure that the best merchandise is placed on the sales floor. “He takes pride in his work and genuinely cares about the customers experience. Demico is a great example of an individual not letting a barrier stop him from gaining competitive employment and keeping it”, Chasity stated confidently.

Make a difference in someone’s life today by donating to Goodwill of the Great Plains. Your donation is not only tax deductible, but you have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping individuals like Demico in your community find job training and employment. Monetary donations directly support our mission programming by ensuring we have professional and trained staff, adequate facilities and technology to support individuals enrolled in our programs. We make it easy for you to donate funds quickly and securely online through PayPal. Donate now and find out how great it feels to support Goodwill!

Meet the Staff of Integrated Day Services

Terry, Direct Support Staff

Before she came to Goodwill, Terry worked in a meat processing factory, retirement home, insurance company, and in the school system. Terry appreciated her time in all her roles, but needed a position that would give her purpose and a chance to make a difference.

Terry decided to explore her options by attending a Job Fair in North Sioux City. She met with a staff member from Goodwill to talk about open job positions and learned about the impact they play in the community. Integrated Day Services had a position open and this was exactly the position that Terry was looking for.

For Terry, her job is rewarding daily. She loves to interact with the participants and work with them to achieve goals. She encourages them to try new things and be more active. “Integrated Day Services is an important program for these individuals, ” Terry emphasized.

Terry enjoys working in Integrated Services every day and making the participants laugh and encouraging them to step outside their comfort zone. Terry believes, “It’s all about balance. You must be stern with them, but give support when needed. It goes a long way.”

What is your dream car?

  • An old vintage truck. I have always wanted a truck.

What is a fictional place you would like to visit?

  • A place with wizards and warriors and where there is a little mystery

What are small things that make your day?

  • The support from the staff. It’s nice to know that they are there for me and have my back when I need them.

Meet the Staff of Integrated Day Services

Mandy, Direct Support Staff

“I’ve worked with disabled adults for 25 years. I worked at Mid-Step Services for 20 years and I moved to Sioux Falls where I worked at LifeScape for a few years,” Mandy said. Mandy had connections to the individuals who were in group homes and knew about Goodwill. She heard about a job opening, applied and was hired to work in Integrated Day Services.

Mandy enjoys seeing participants go outside of their boundaries and see what they are capable of. One of the activities that Integrated Day Services participates in that Mandy was able to organize was volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House. “At first it was awkward for them, but they were able to meet the families that are impacted by the Ronald McDonald house and it was awesome that they were able to make that connection,” explained Mandy. Mandy believes that Integrated Day Services is an excellent place for individuals to socialize and participate in activities in the community.

What is the last movie that you watched in theatres?

  • The Fast and Furious

What is your favorite family vacation?

  • Every year my husband and I go to Algona, Iowa for a bike rally.

What are your hobbies?

  • I like to spend time with my grandkids and ride on my husband’s motorcycle.

Meet the Staff of Integrated Day Services

Billy, Direct Support Staff

“Working with people has always been something I have dreamed of,” Billy stated. Billy first started helping people by building houses in Guatemala. He wanted to continue to make a difference in the lives of others and give back. Billy heard about a Camp Counselor position open at Camp Goodwill when he was making a delivery run. He applied, and was offered the job at Camp Goodwill for the summer.

After summer, he was offered a job in the mission services department and has been a job coach and skills trainer during his time at Goodwill. Billy loves working in Integrated Day Services because “You learn so much through every individual. Every individual is different and it’s nice to see how their day goes and how environmental factors change and what we can do for them to make their day better”, Billy said. He believes that disabilities don’t define who they are as an individual and that the community can openly accept them into jobs, programs, and volunteer work because they are capable of doing the work.

What do you wish you knew more about?

  • The billing and insurance aspect of Integrated Day Services. I have been involved in the activities and working hands-on with the individuals and I would like to learn more about the billing aspect.

What is the most interesting place you have been?

  • The west coast. California, New Mexico, and Nevada are all states I like to visit. I like to see the small-town culture in these states. I like to visit new areas and explore the culture and meet new people.

What would be your ideal way to spend the weekend?

  • 4-wheeling, camping, taking pictures, and looking at the stars. I like the calm and quiet and being able to unwind and relax.

Meet the Staff of Integrated Day Services

Steve, Direct Support Staff

Steve has been helping people for over 24 years. Steve started his career by helping individuals in group homes with daily living tasks that include laundry, keeping rooms clean, and meal preparation. Steve needed more stable work because transportation was difficult to find at night.

Steve started making cold calls and contacted Goodwill and talked to a Goodwill staff member about a job opening in Integrated Day Services. Steve has been involved with Integrated Day Services for 20 years. He enjoys talking to the participants and helping them with the goals they are working on. “I love the individuals in Integrated Day Services and I have made a lot of good friends over the years”, Steve concluded.

  • What was the last movie you watched in theatres?
    • Dog’s Journey
  • What is your favorite family vacation?
    • Lake Okoboji.
  • What is your proudest achievement?
    • This would be getting a job 20 years ago. It took me a year and a half to find a job. Goodwill was willing to realize that I could do the job. I had the education and that even though I am in a wheelchair I am still capable of doing the job.