As Father’s Day approaches Horizon Goodwill Industries (Goodwill) is helping dads get back on track.
Father’s Day this year for Johnathon Harrell will be very different, and he says it’s all thanks to Goodwill. Harrell, a husband, and father of six will spend Father’s Day with his family now living in the countryside no longer confined to a small townhouse. He praises the work of Goodwill in the community.
Goodwill offers job training, from improving your resume writing skills to paid vocational training programs to preparing those who need help to get back to a full-time job. Programs designed to help those facing obstacles that you and I may not imagine. It could be a physical and mental disability or the hurdle of dealing with a criminal background. Goodwill’s mission is to break down the barriers that stop people living a happy fulfilled life, and that includes getting back into the workplace.
"I was first introduced to Goodwill through a pilot program through the Washington County Detention Center. I was incarcerated at the time, like many people I knew that Goodwill had thrift stores throughout the area, but that was the extent of my knowledge in what they did. At first, as part of the program, I processed goods while learning about workplace experience and the soft skills needed to be a productive part of the workforce. I had been in the workplace before I made my bad choices in life, so I was using the time to push myself and excel. I told myself this is who I am and I can be a valuable asset," says Harrell.
Harrell adds, "Having gone through the work experience program my ability and drive was recognized by Goodwill. I grew a real love for the mission of Goodwill. So I moved into almost a shift supervisor role, as a result of that I was able to get tuition reimbursement, so I went back to school and got my first degree in information technology. I worked back in our large processing area during college, and I applied for an IT position, and now I am a full-time employee as an IT Assistant."
Harrell is just one of thousands of success stories for Goodwill. As a young man, Harrell like many turned to drugs hoping it would get him through his tough teenage years but sadly it landed him behind bars. However, a Goodwill pilot work release program has helped to turn Harrell’s life around completely.
"Four years ago my life was very different. Without Goodwill investing and me and giving me some many opportunities in my life- I probably would be still looking for a job. I am a father, it's my job to provide emotionally and mentally for my family, and now I can do that. Being incarcerated puts up huge barriers and Goodwill helped me break those down. Goodwill helped me realize my growth value, and that's hard to realize when you are going through tough times. We have gone from being in a small cramped little townhouse to a larger home in the suburbs, and that is due to Goodwill believing in me."
"Goodwill takes the goodwill of others and sells the goods and then takes that revenue and repurposes those funds to help those in the community who need it. The funds they generate go back into helping people. It is not just making money off what people donate that money goes back into helping people gain skills, employment, and a whole new life. We help people rebuild their entire lives. Sustainability that's what Goodwill offers." Adds Harrell.