Goodwill Industries was founded on the premise of "a hand-up, not a hand out".
People with disabilities and special needs have very diverse potential, face different challenges and have unique aspirations. Some can achieve independence in a few weeks; for others, it may take years.
All Goodwill services are transitional, including those offering paid work experience in our entrepreneurial divisions. Our commitment to transitioning workers at their peak performance through the application of an individualized plan is what makes Goodwill different from traditional schools and employers.
Here is where you will find the stories of the people Goodwill serves. They are the primary reason why Goodwill exists, and the essential factor that drives us daily to continue providing quality job training and opportunities, for those in need.
Thank you! Your donations and purchases are truly changing lives.
Nayira, 20, lives with her mother and was referred to us in June, 2015. Having recently graduated high school with a regular diploma, Ms. Alvarez had very little formal work experience and displayed very low confidence.
Although Ms. Alvarez had some experience in a fast food environment, she was very nervous about meeting potential employers. The first meeting proved that Ms. Alvarez needed employability skills training in order to prepare her for interviews and to enhance her confidence. She attended employability skills classes held at Goodwill to help her with interviewing techniques. Ms. Alvarez had a few challenges with punctuality, but within two months of attending regular classes Ms. Alvarez felt more confident and empowered.
An interview was arranged at The Sawgrass Mills Mall. Ms. Alvarez was hired on the spot with Burger King making an hourly wage of $8.05 and working between 32 and 40 hours a week. Since becoming employed, Ms. Alvarez has put forth much effort learning the cash register despite her Arithmetic challenges. Ms. Alvarez is the expediter of all orders and has filled in for others as needed, making enough money to buy herself an X-Box, laptop computer and is currently saving for a vehicle.
Nayira is an inspiration to all of us. She has proven that, despite the extensive limitations originated by Autism, Wolf Parkinson White Syndrome, Epilepsy and two heart surgeries, with the proper support and encouragement anything is possible.
Elsa Perez, was born in the Dominican Republic in 1934 and migrated to the United States with her husband in 1996. Shortly after six years of marriage they divorced. In 1985, while still in her own country, Ms. Perez was hit by a car and both of her legs were broken and required extensive treatment in order to walk again. After overcoming this ordeal, Ms. Perez was diagnosed with breast cancer resulting in surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
Once again she recovered and was able to meet daily routines. However, as a result of her difficulties walking, subsequent to the accident she suffered in 1996, Ms. Perez has been involved in many accidents where she has fallen and required medical attention. One of those was a broken hip.
In 1997 she enrolled in Goodwill’s Vocational Training Program and became a sewing operator in the Manufacturing Department in 1998. During her time at Goodwill she has been assigned to different operations in various areas of the manufacturing floor.
Ever since she started to work here, Ms. Perez has been distinguished as one of the most responsible and reliable employees in the department. She has a very good attendance record, and she is never late to work. Despite her many difficulties and disabilities she always maintains with a positive attitude and a sense of humor. She is an inspiration to all!
To continue to help the 460,000 people with disabilities of working age here in South Florida, please consider donating.