SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – The holiday season provides the perfect opportunity to give thanks and to give back to people who are facing challenges within our communities. Whether it’s an individual with a disability who is having trouble finding an employer who will see him for his abilities, a veteran facing challenges to reintegrating into her community, or a senior who needs to re-enter the workforce but doesn’t know where to start, Goodwill works to lower their barriers to securing a job. This season, Goodwill Manasota encourages you to give them the gift of employment.
In the spirit of holiday giving, Goodwill is urging everyone to make a real difference by giving a financial gift or donating unwanted clothing and home items to Goodwill Manasota. Your gifts and donations are used to help fund Goodwill’s free job placement services, onsite and virtual skills training, employment training, and other community-based services, such as career counseling, English-language training, financial literacy, and other programs to offer community members a hand up, rather than a handout. One person who benefited locally from Goodwill's programs and services is Tamala Jones.
When Jones began working with Goodwill, she had many barriers – or, as she calls them, “her challenges.” She is a single mother who has been through a failed marriage and time in prison. She lost custody of two of her children. After her release from prison, she could only get low-paying jobs that were never going to help her get ahead, achieve her dream of a college degree in business, and enjoy financial security.
Jones learned that Goodwill offers second chances to ex-felons through an ad. She got a job as a pricer and began working with a GoodPartner Coach, who helped her to develop an action plan. After the sudden loss of one of her children, her grief set her back a bit but – with some extra support from Goodwill and her GoodPartner Coach – she is back at work, has started the college application process, and is determined to achieve her career and life goals.
"I've been through a lot, including a marriage that didn't work out, prison time, and the loss of one of my children. My life was going in a direction that wasn't going to allow me to do a lot of good for myself or my kids – until Goodwill gave me a chance," Jones said. "My GoodPartner Coach has helped me to focus on my life goals, I am earning a steady income and my confidence in my abilities is growing every day. I'm so grateful to be a part of the Goodwill Manasota family."
“We hope that this holiday season, everyone will fight for job creation, purpose and opportunity,” said Bob Rosinsky, president and CEO of Goodwill Manasota. “When you donate to Goodwill, the revenues fund job training programs and community services, helping our friends and neighbors to find jobs – or secure better jobs – in our region. This strengthens our entire community.”
Donations can be made safely and securely through Goodwill’s website and they go directly to helping members of the community access the programs and services they need to succeed. By donating to Goodwill, you help open up opportunities for others looking to build skills and find stable employment, including veterans and military families, individuals with disabilities, single mothers, seniors, youth, and many others, including hardworking people like Jones, who is determined to overcome her past challenges and enjoy a better future.
Goodwill representatives encourage community members to share stories of their Goodwill donations on Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag #WhyGoodwill. For more information, go to experiencegoodwill.org or call (941) 355-2721.
PHOTO ID: Tamala Jones at work pricing goods at Goodwill Manasota
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2015, Goodwill Manasota served 22,739 people, placed 961 people in jobs and assisted 358 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $81.3 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted 41 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota, in essence, belongs to this community and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org.