After serving in the U.S. Navy as a much younger man, Roosevelt had fallen on hard times later in life and was nearing retirement age with no job, no savings and no hope.
At Goodwill, we're extremely grateful to our customers for giving us the opportunity to carry out our mission of providing training, employment and supportive services for people with disabilities or disadvantages who seek greater independence. This is important work, and without YOU it simply wouldn't be possible for us to help individuals like Robert, a donation attendant and utility worker at the Goodwill Store & Donation Center in Downers Grove whose story epitomizes the courage and determination needed to overcome obstacles and barriers. See how working for Goodwill, and gaining the friendship and encouragement of his store manager and Goodwill Way Guide, helped Robert achieve his goal of learning how to read.
This triumphant story was made possible by YOU, so THANK YOU for supporting Goodwill, and for helping change the lives of people like Robert each and every day.
Rebekah was not always the exuberant and confident young woman we know today. With the challenges of a developmental disability and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), along with knowing that the services that she received in high school wouldn’t follow her after graduation, Rebekah was unsure of her path.
When the Goodwill Workforce Connection Center needed to recruit a new employee to help job seekers find employment, they found exactly what they were looking for in Michael. A young man with a developmental disability and speech impairment, Michael was already a part of the Goodwill family, having been involved with Goodwill’s EmpowerOne program.
Before coming to Goodwill, Theresa would describe herself as financially, spiritually and emotionally bankrupt. After spending 25 years in and out of jail, with a total of nine incarcerations, Theresa knew that the road to a better life was going to be long, and she wasn’t sure where to start. She didn't think anyone would give her a job or a second chance.
Faced with poverty and limited career options, Mirabel left her home in the Republic of Cameroon in West Africa, with only her faith and hope for a better life for her family. Mirabel arrived in the United States with her husband in 2016 on a visa, as a part of the U.S. Department of State Diversity Lottery. Upon arrival in the United States, finding employment was her number one priority. With communications challenges and little time to adjust to life on a new continent, Mirabel was uncertain where to turn.
With gang violence and crime in her neighborhood, Christine knows the importance of making good choices, given the harsh realities of the world around her. Having lost a brother to a brain aneurism and with a second brother estranged from the family due to alcohol, Christine relies on the support and encouragement of her mother and father to seek out better options.
Delaney wasn’t always the strong, independent woman she is today. After graduating from high school in inner-city Chicago, she was eager to start her first year of college but quickly dropped out after substance abuse problems took control of her life.
Mike, a young man with Down syndrome, knows first-hand the importance of having a job, and the sense of pride and responsibility it creates, especially when your family is depending on you for financial support. While living in a challenging family situation, Mike came to Goodwill through the Work Services program for on-the-job training and classroom instruction while being encouraged to strengthen his social and teamwork skills in a supportive environment.
When you aren’t sure which road to take, having someone to guide you can make all the difference. Goodwill provided the pathway, but it was Tommy who had the drive and passion to succeed.
Due to a physical disability with his hand, Tommy was sometimes bullied by his peers and suffered from depression, which led him to inflict injury upon himself. With the guidance of family and a Milwaukee Public School psychologist, Tommy began to open up about his feelings and apply himself to his studies.
Shantrese has been a part of the Goodwill family for many years but her path to employment and independence hasn’t always been so easy. Having grown up in Alabama with a learning disability and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Shantrese moved to Milwaukee only to experience family tragedy after her brother was shot and killed as a result of neighborhood violence.
Bridget is a bright and capable woman with an Associate’s Degree in Business Technology, who also happens to be deaf. When faced with the challenges of communication, Bridget uses American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate and English as a second language.
The harsh reality is that incarcerations on your record can make it challenging to find meaningful employment. After being released from prison, Aleta found herself in a court ordered halfway house while struggling to get her life back on track. Aleta first learned about Goodwill’s Laundry & Linen Services Program through a roommate who was employed with Goodwill, also trying to rebuild her life.