For Eli, the journey he has made with Goodwill has been life-changing. Eli started in the Goodwill Pre-Vocational training program to work on his barriers. One of those barriers was communicating with people in a respectful manner in situations that arise in the workday. Eli admitted that “it was challenging to stay calm around people when they made me angry.” He worked on this challenge with his skills trainer and Eli is now calmer when a situation makes him angry.
transitioned from the Pre-Vocational program into the Supported Community
Employment program. Eli worked at Sears where he enjoyed meeting new people and
having the opportunity to work in the community.
involved in Integrated Day Services during his time with the Goodwill training
programs also. Eli said, “When I first
started Integrated Day Services I thought it was a waste of time and I quit
Integrated Day Services but when I got a job at Sears I returned to Integrated
Day Services. I have made a lot of friends in Integrated Day Services.”
Goodwill for learning how to be humble and how to have a positive attitude
because of the training programs he progressed through. Eli is currently on the
search for a job and he is interested in welding because it is his dream job.
“I always stayed to myself and didn’t get to know people
because I didn’t want them to hurt or take advantage of me”, Erica pointed out
about one of the areas she was struggling with at a job before she came to
Goodwill. Erica lived in Council Bluffs and was a stay at home mom and Erica
admitted that she was led down the wrong path and because of these choices her
kids were taken away from her.
To get back on track and have her kids back she knew that a
change needed to occur. Erica received help through IHH to get into the
Habilitation Prevocational Services and was assigned to work in the Goodwill
E-store. Erica worked hard during the Pre-Vocational program to work on her
soft skills that included, communicating with people, dressing appropriately,
and being on-time.
Erica appreciates the time Goodwill has invested in her.
“Goodwill is a good place to work at. I have learned the skills I need to be
successful in a job. If someone asks me to do something, I do it instead of
having an attitude”, Erica stated proudly. Erica’s goals include, learning how
to drive and continuing to work on her communication skills.
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.