A Positive Outlook on Life Despite Life’s Challenges

Before Tracy came to Goodwill of the Great Plains she was living in Eastern Iowa where she was battling Breast Cancer. She knew that she wanted to be closer to family, so she moved back to Sioux City. There were challenges that Tracy was facing after she had fought Breast Cancer which included needing time off for doctor’s visits and having a more flexible schedule. She knew that she needed to find a position that would help support her during this time. She applied for a job at Goodwill and they were flexible around her schedule for doctor’s appointments.

Positivity and lifting people up has been one of the lessons that Tracy has learned during her life especially after battling Breast Cancer. She carries her uplifting spirit to other people whether they are co-workers or customers. One of the ways that Tracy has a positive impact on her co-workers is through her inspirational quote board. There are quotes about team work and it is just a way that spread positive thinking in the work area. She says, “It has helped team work in the back area since the inspiration board has been posted.” Tracy has been with Goodwill for a year and a half and has achieved a lot during this time which has included to being promoted to Key Holder within 6 months after she started, becoming CPR certified, and completing the Sky’s the Limit leadership training program.  Tracy said, “Sky’s the Limit pushed you to your goals and taught you how to work with people.” Tracy loves what Goodwill stands for and wouldn’t want to work anywhere else. “I love the job, I love what I am doing, and I don’t want to go anywhere else,” Tracy stated with a big smile on her face.

Phillip’s Purpose Found in Helping Others

Phillip has come a long way since he first started in the Pre-Vocational job training program. “At first, I was struggling with my job tasks,” says Phillip. However, since he was open to suggestions and change Phillip has progressed through the job training program and is now more independent and confident in his job. Phillip said, “I started in the balers, and then moved on to Contracts working with the nuts and bolts. Currently, I do janitorial work in the Retail Store and Support Center. I am willing to help anyone who needs help.” Phillip loves that Goodwill is about working together for a greater good. Phillip said that what he likes most about Goodwill is that “We serve people in the community and they are willing to go out and take the extra step for people in need.” 

Katie’s Significant Life Change

“I was struggling,” Katie admitted to herself after hitting a low point in her life. She had been dealing with mental health issues and depression due to a loss in her family, and as a result, missing scheduled shifts at her job. Katie felt like she really didn’t know what to do. She had bills to pay for which included car payments and child support. Katie knew that she needed to do something and make a life change. Katie came to Goodwill and entered the Pre-Vocational Program. She started at the retail store and made such significant progress that she was able to move on and work at Marshalls. One of the achievements that Katie is most proud of is keeping the job and coming into work on-time. “Goodwill has helped me become a success and my self-esteem has improved since I have been with Goodwill,” Katie said. Some of Katie’s goals for the future is to work on the register and be able to stock items onto the retail floor.

The Story Behind the Stores – Sandy

Sandy started the Work Adjustment Training program at Goodwill of the Great Plains in Rapid City, SD in May 2016.  After her program (October 20, 2016), Sandy was hired by JC Penney Portrait Studio as a seasonal part time associate.  After the Christmas season January 2017), Sandy was hired as permanent part time associate, and was given the opportunity to learn the photography aspect of the Portrait Studio.  In March 2018, Sandy was given the position of Temporary Management, and a pay raise.  On August 26, 2018 Sandy was promoted to Permanent Manager of the Portrait Studio, and given another raise.

Sandy has always loved photography, and stated “I love what I do, I love the kids, and taking their pictures.  I like seeing the customer’s reactions when they see the pictures and capturing the character of the child.”

Sandy stated about her experience at Goodwill that she loved how they made you feel, and worked with you if you weren’t feeling up to par and building stamina and confidence.  Sandy stated that she also wanted to say that “Goodwill believes in helping you to grow, fixing whatever you needed to move forward toward economic independence.”