“I started my recovery journey on February 3, 2018. For the previous 14 years I had been hopelessly addicted to many different drugs. I have been to jail and in and out of institutions, trying to get sober. I had become just a shell of a person, a living zombie. I never thought that I could find the strength inside to get off the drugs. I finally decided that I had enough of the heart break and pain and got clean. I was clean for a few months but was not happy with life or who I was.
I ended up going to Goodwill to get some community service out of the way. I was only working there a few hours a week here and there and I was a very depressed person. After doing community service for a few weeks I was offered a full-time position at Goodwill. I have currently been working for Goodwill for 1 year. Just in one year I have done a complete 360 and I am happy with the person I am today. Since being at Goodwill I have been awarded employee of the month, employee of the year, and I am now working in E-Commerce running the Shopgoodwill.com Website.
I have been clean for 17 months, I have gained a new relationship with my children and my family, found a church and brought God back into my life, and I am currently going to college for Business Administration. I never thought that I would be in the position I am today, loving my life and being a functional member of society. I would not have been able to do all of this without the help of my family, Goodwill, and my friends pushing me through the hard times. Thank you to everyone who helped me get to where I am today!”
In my early 20s I was working my way up in the retail world while learning how to live life. I took a wrong turn and fell into the wrong crowd of people and lost my way. I quit my job and couldn’t hold one after that. I lost my relationship, moved back in with family, and eventually lost everything...all my good friends, my vehicle, sold everything of value, and most importantly I lost my self respect, self esteem, and confidence.
For almost 15 years I relied on family support while I drifted through life dependent on drugs to get me going and alcohol to help me face the world. After a few trips to jail I realized something needed to change, but I couldn’t seem to make the change happen myself. I was miserable, depressed, and had anxiety like crazy. I finally started praying to God to fix me and help me get better. Shortly after that I wound up in prison for possession of several drugs that belonged to my guy friend I was riding with. God set me down in the right place, and i wasn’t mad about it. While in prison I took self help classes to heal my mind. I entered myself into a substance abuse treatment program to heal my body. And most importantly I got a Bible and started reading it and going to church to heal my soul.
I was released early from prison a year later a changed person. I knew once I got out that I needed a job and needed a purpose to keep me on the right track. I searched for jobs with failed attempt one after the other. Something told me to try for Goodwill. So I looked online and saw that they were hiring and filled out the application immediately and prayed. I heard nothing. One day while out job searching we drove past Goodwill and I asked my mom to take me there and I’d try in person. I walked in and ended up talking to Janice, the manager, and asked if she was hiring and she said yes. She gave me an application and I turned it in ASAP. I was interviewed that day and hired the next! I was still shell shocked from prison when I started, but the amazing people who worked there eventually helped me break out of my shell and the growth began! Because of Goodwill I was able to get my drivers license reinstated after 9 years without one!
I was able to buy a nice vehicle again and get myself to work! Goodwill helped me be able to move out of my mom’s again and for the first time on my very own! I worked hard at facing my anxieties and conquering them! Goodwill has helped me gain back my self esteem, confidence, and self respect! I have not only worked my way back up the retail chain but have surpassed my past level of management and have learned so much more along the way from some amazing people I’ve worked with and for at Goodwill. I have made friends and have helped people with our mission and joined some amazing groups of people through the marketing work that I did. And not to mention that I met my wonderful and supportive boyfriend almost 3 years ago while working at Goodwill. 😌 God led me to Goodwill and has blessed me greatly ever since.
I am forever grateful for all that Goodwill has done for me but most of all for giving me a chance and believing in me regardless of my past. I thought I was defeated when looking for a job...but God and Goodwill proved otherwise! I have been with Goodwill for 3 years to the day now and I hope to continue learning and growing with this wonderful organization. I love Goodwill and proud to be a part of it! 💖
Before Michael joined our Goodwill family, he had been inFederal Prison for 10 years charged with Possession of Firearms, and DrugTrafficking with Possession and intent.
For years this was the “easy life”, and the money was good.Having spent time in prison however, Michael realized that his family deservedhim at his best which meant working a full-time job once his sentence was up.
After several months searching for work, with so many leads,and great prospects, no one was calling him back for interviews which wasdiscouraging. It is easy to fall back into the system when you know what toexpect, you have no bills, no concern where your next meal is coming from, andevery day is the same, surrounded by the same type of individuals. It is easyto slip back into a lifestyle when you know at the worst, you go back toprison, but at the best, you know what to expect every day and no bills to pay.
After several discouraging months Michael took a chance andapplied with Goodwill and was hired immediately. With a work ethic as strong ashis heart is big, it has been 6 and a 1/2 years of stability, a future to buildon, hope, a desire to give back to the community, an opportunity to grow and iscurrently our Maintenance Manger.
When asked what his motivation is to stay out of prison,Michaels’s reply is, “My family supports me. Unfortunately, not everyone hasthat, I am thankful that I do. Goodwill called me back after applying and gaveme a chance, gave me an opportunity when no one else would.”