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Goodwill Mission Stories

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Mike

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.

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Chris Martin

When Chris Martin saw a notice in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel seeking models for a vintage fashion show presented by Goodwill Industries, she thought it “sounded like fun, and it was for a good cause.” Goodwill volunteers present an average of 65 vintage shows per year across southeastern Wisconsin. The shows provide entertainment and raise awareness of Goodwill's programs and services. Each of the shows are created and presented by Goodwill’s Volunteer Services. The proceeds are used to support Goodwill’s mission of providing work opportunities and skill development for people with barriers to employment.

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Katya

Katya

Staying busy at her job is what motivates Katya. As a dining room attendant at Culver’s, Katya’s work-first attitude does not go unnoticed by the staff and customers.

“Everybody here has been happy with Katya,” says Supervisor Kim in describing her work ethic. Katya also receives warm compliments from appreciative customers.

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David

Following an earlier suicide attempt, David had just been released from a court-ordered detox plan and was overwhelmed with depression and anxiety. Not wanting to fear for his life any longer, David was clean and sober for the first time in years and wondered what life had in store for him.

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Aaron

Customers visiting Cici’s Pizza for lunch on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays will find Aaron, a participant of Goodwill’s Supported Employment Program, hard at work.

Aaron is an usher, lobby attendant, and ticket taker during the lunchtime hours at Cici’s. His job duties include clearing tables of dirty dishes, wiping tables and chairs, and assisting with dishwashing tasks.

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Heather B.

Meet Heather B. Heather recently completed her job-readiness experience with the Community Access Program and is now working with Supported Employment, which helped her quickly get a job at the Wisconsin Athletic Club.  

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Chris & Jerome

For the past seven months, Chris W. and Jerome R. have been spending their Tuesday afternoons at the Urban Ecology Center located within Milwaukee’s Washington Park. At the Urban Ecology Center, Chris and Jerome are preparing themselves for jobs in the community by gaining experience volunteering through Goodwill’s Community Access Program. Jerome likes to focus on office work and customer service while Chris enjoys keeping the Urban Ecology Center nice and tidy by helping out with various cleaning tasks throughout the afternoon.

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Angie

In September of 2014, an art exhibit featuring the voices of Milwaukee elders opened at City Hall. The “Islands of Milwaukee” combined three-dimensional art, audio recordings and live performances in a unique exhibit that shed light on the topics of isolation and human connection. One of the seniors highlighted in the exhibit was Angie, a recipient of Home Delivered Meals, part of Goodwill’s Community Services Program.

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Sara

Given the harsh economic realities, it is not surprising that recent graduates are pessimistic about their ability to achieve the American dream. Many of them believed that getting a college degree was the ticket to success in the knowledge economy. And, compared with the college graduates of 10-or-20 years ago, recent college graduates are carrying higher debt levels due to the rising cost of a four-year degree.  Meet Sara. After earning a Healthcare Administration degree in 2013, Sara was unable to bridge the gap from college to career.

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Constance

When first arriving at the Goodwill Workforce Connection Center, Constance was filled with uncertainty and doubt. Homeless and living in a place that provides emergency shelter services, she wondered if she would ever be able to keep a roof over her head and for her two young children, ages three and four.

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