Early in his life Bob
proudly served our country for 4 years in the U.S. Navy sailing the east coast.
Bob is thankful for his time with the Navy because he was able to “sail the
ocean blue.” After his time with the Navy, Bob attended Western Iowa Tech
Community College where he studied carpentry.
He received a job in Construction where he worked for a few
years before he came to Goodwill in 1977. Bob worked in the production area of
Goodwill where he received his first eye-opening experience with Goodwill by
learning what Goodwill really does. Bob went back to school and received his
English degree with a minor in writing from Briar Cliff University in 2009.
Shortly after Bob saw a job opening at Goodwill in the E-Commerce
department, he was hired for the job and has been at Goodwill for 5 years. When
asked about what he likes most about Goodwill Bob replied, “I enjoy what I do,
and Goodwill is a great place to work. I have made good friends here. Most
people just see the Goodwill store but what they don’t realize is that Goodwill
is involved in the community by providing jobs to those who have difficulty
finding work in the community.”
Bob loves working with the participants in E-Commerce and
has learned a lot from working with them.
“It has been an enlightening experience working with the participants
and seeing the challenges they face. It leaves me no room to complain, “Bob replied
with reflection. Bob participates in chapel where he likes to play his guitar
and share his musical gifts.
Growing up in an abusive household was difficult for Brittany.
Her step-mom was mean to her and never treated her with the respect she
deserved. Brittany knew a change had to be made and she moved out of this toxic
environment. Brittany moved in with her mom and step-dad in Royal, Iowa. Her
step-dad was a positive influence in her life and he treated her with respect
A good friend to
Brittany referred her to Goodwill. Before she came to Goodwill, Brittany hated
her life and didn’t see any purpose. When she started Goodwill, she saw a
purpose that was right in front of her. “They made me feel really comfortable.
I was really nervous but as I was trained in different areas throughout the day
I began to feel calm,” Brittany said. “They were encouraging me by telling me I
was doing a great job.”
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”- Aesop
A few years ago, Loren came back to the town of Mitchell
with only $20 in his pocket. He didn’t know where to go or what to do. The
generosity of the Mitchell community helped Loren get back on his feet.
Loren received a clothing voucher from Goodwill but didn’t
know what Goodwill was about or what they do. One of the Goodwill employees
recommended that he apply for the Job Center position since most of his life he
worked with people and created relationships with them in a few car dealerships
Loren was hired and found his purpose working in the Job
Center. “I was trying to give back to what the community did for me and through
Goodwill, I can do that”, Loren said with a smile on his face. “These people
that I didn’t realize I had made much of an impact in their lives helped me get
One of the individuals that came into the Job Center was
Carol. She was struggling to get an interview at a local college’s human
resources department. Loren was determined to help her get the interview and
Loren made a few calls to make sure that she would get an interview. She had an
interview the next day because of Loren’s help. In 2012, Loren received an
award from Goodwill for the outstanding work he was doing.
Loren started out in the retail store when he was working in
the Job Center and has moved up to Team Lead and to his current position as
Assistant Manager. Loren loves helping
people and this is one of the reasons he continues to work in the Goodwill
retail store. He knows he is making a difference in people’s lives. Loren’s
compassionate heart has made an impact on not just the Mitchell community but
the Goodwill community.
LaDonna wasn’t expecting to receive an award at the Employee
Connectivity Retreat this year. Her face in tears as she was accepting this
award says it all. “It felt good to know the people I work with really
appreciate me,” Ladonna said while smiling. “As a manager, I want to help
people grow and to see my team sees this is a reward enough.”
LaDonna will be retiring at the end of this year and she is
reflecting on the time that she has had with Goodwill. “When I came to Goodwill
I knew nobody but as time went on I got to know names and I give people hugs
now. I tell my co-workers they are family. I spend more time with them then I
do my own husband,” LaDonna said while laughing. Goodwill has been a special
place for LaDonna because she has learned leadership skills that have inspired
her employees. “The one thing I can’t express enough is Goodwill giving me this
chance. When I first started I was unsure of myself and Tami kept encouraging
me saying, ‘You can do it’. If it wasn’t for Goodwill giving me a chance I
wouldn’t have been able to experience what I do now,” LaDonna stated with
The plans that LaDonna has after she retires from Goodwill
is to travel and spend time with family. LaDonna states with excitement, “It’s
important for me to spend time with my family. I have a daughter in California
and 2 brothers in Arizona. I want to spend as much time as I can with them.”
Some of the places that LaDonna wants to travel to is Niagara Falls and the
Redwood Forrest. LaDonna is excited about the next chapter in her life and we
wish her all the best for the future.
Three years ago Amanda was in a dark, lonely place in her life. She was struggling to barely live paycheck to paycheck. Working 2-3 jobs making minimum wage while battling depression and anxiety which caused her doubt herself and who she was. Amanda knew that a change was not only needed but necessary. “I wanted to provide for my daughter. I needed something better,” Amanda said. “I needed stability.”
Manager, at the Fort Dodge encouraged Amanda to apply for an open position when
she was visiting the store on a shopping trip. Amanda had hesitations about
working at Goodwill because of the fast-paced environment of the backroom. She
really didn’t know if she could handle it. Despite these hesitations, Amanda
took a chance, applied for the job and was hired. “When I first started I was
really quiet,” she said. “It was rough my first year.”
What Amanda didn’t realize was that Loree would be the friend and mentor that she needed at this point in her life. “Loree sets the tone here. You can go to Loree about anything. No matter what’s on her mind, she makes time for you,” Amanda stated with assurance. To Amanda, Loree is the mentor that is not afraid of challenging you to help you see the potential in yourself. “She genuinely cares about each and every one of her employees.”
Amanda has made significant progress since she has been with Goodwill which includes being promoted to Team Lead. Amanda admits she is starting to figure out who she is but is not as stressed out as she was three years ago, and her mental health is in a better place. “Looking back on it now. I have been through a lot. I had to work several jobs where I hardly saw my daughter and struggled with mental health, but I am working on it and I believe everything will come together.”