Mission

A community where the talents and value of all people are celebrated.

To support persons with disabilities and other barriers to independence in achieving their fullest potential as workers and as members of the broader community.

Goodwill helps persons with disabilities as well as people who are at an economic disadvantage, or may lack education or work experience.

Rhoda finds happiness through work.

Visitors to the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store at The Shops at Rockvale in Lancaster may have had the pleasure of meeting one of the newest team members, Rhoda.

Previously, Rhoda was a valuable part of Goodwill’s custodial work crew, but she wanted to find full time employment in the community. Her Goodwill employment specialist, Barbara, discovered that the Cracker Barrel was hiring, and it was perfectly located for Rhoda’s needs. A few days after Rhoda’s resume was submitted, she was contacted for an interview. Rhoda aced her interview and was offered a position on the spot!

Rhoda has been doing great at her new job. She gets along well with her managers and co-workers, and her work ethic, easy smile and infectious sense of humor have made her an integral part of the Cracker Barrel team. Her family, friends and support staff have all noticed that she is happy and upbeat now that she is secure and content in her work environment.

Outside of her job, Rhoda enjoys being active with her church and going out to eat. She is thrilled that her favorite restaurant, Chick-fil-A, is just a stone’s throw from where she works.

Be sure to say hello to Rhoda the next time you’re at the Cracker Barrel!

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Goodwill Success Story - Emrys Excels with New Found Confidence

Emrys

Emrys first came to Goodwill after being referred by the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. He had previous work experience in data entry and customer service, but had been laid off. After a few years of unemployment, he was looking for some help finding a job.

Emrys’ employment specialist, Kelsey, set up some community-based work assessments (CBWAs) to find out what type of work would best suit him. Before, Emrys thought that he would like sedentary work like he had before, but after his CBWAs he found that a more physical work environment would also be appropriate. With that in mind, Emrys applied (on his own) and was hired at the Liberty Mountain warehouse in Montoursville, where he has worked his way up from picking items to receiving and entering items into a database.

Outside of work, Emrys enjoys reading, cooking and baking (he makes great enchiladas), and playing Magic: The Gathering and computer games. Many of his co-workers also enjoy gaming, and they all look forward to periodic game nights with one another.

Emrys is appreciative of the support he received from Goodwill in finding competitive employment. He now has increased confidence in his abilities, has discovered new personal leadership qualities, and has learned that he is more resilient and adaptable than he previously realized.

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Mission Success Story: Neil Rises to the Challenge

Neil Mission Success Story

Shoppers in the express checkout lane at the GIANT Food Store in Quakertown have had the pleasure of being assisted by store associate and Goodwill job coaching client, Neil.

GIANT customers may recognize Neil from his previous position at the Coopersburg location from 2005 to 2018, where he gathered shopping carts in the parking lot and returned them to the store. Neil was hoping to try cashiering and other duties while there, but never got the chance.

After moving with his family, Neil began working as a bagger at the Quakertown GIANT near his home. He proved himself a conscientious employee and was given other tasks, such as sweeping, collecting shopping baskets, and stocking the restrooms, and was soon able to learn cashier duties like he had wanted. Now, after a year, Neil has mastered the cash register and has greatly improved his math skills.

Neil has found much success at work. Assistant Manager Allison described him using such words as “reliable”, “amazing”, and “phenomenal”. Co-worker Susan mentioned that he is “our go-to guy” when things need to be done. Neil was even named Associate of the Month in his first year of employment!

Through his job at GIANT and working with Goodwill, Neil has increased confidence in himself and is proud of his accomplishments. He has become so self-sufficient that his Employment Specialist only needs to check in with him once a month. Neil’s next goal is to find an apartment so he can live on his own.

The next time you are in Quakertown and purchasing 25 items or less at GIANT, be sure to give a warm greeting to Neil!

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Goodwill Success Story: Cassie "One of the hardest workers we have."

For the past two years, the Rite Aid warehouse in Langhorne has been lucky to have Cassie on the job. Described as “dependable” and “one of the hardest workers we have”, she regularly exceeds her quotas unloading and reloading trucks to keep the chain of drug stores stocked.

Before working at the warehouse, Cassie was doing some part time assembly and shipping work but was not happy. She wanted a full time position with benefits, plus her workplace was less than welcoming. After a referral from the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Cassie began services with a Goodwill Keystone Area Employment Specialist.

The first step was to perform some work assessments, which were helpful in identifying Cassie’s skills and vocational interests. She gets bored when she’s not active and likes to stay busy, so warehouse work was a natural fit for her.

Outside of work, Cassie enjoys visiting her grandfather, spending time at the mall with her girlfriend, playing card games, eating at buffets, and going to waterparks. She likes sports and follows the Phillies, Sixers, and Flyers, and has the courage to admit to liking the Giants over the Eagles.

Cassie continues to find success through work and being a productive member of her community. Her warm smile and unflinching self-advocacy serve as an inspiration and a great example to her family, friends, and co-workers.

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Goodwill Success Story: Timothy is on the Job!

Members and management of the LA Fitness in Lancaster have welcomed their newest staff member with open arms. Timothy is on the job!

Timothy began his job search in August 2018 with Steve, a Goodwill Keystone Area Employment Specialist. For the first few months, they had some difficulties – numerous applications resulted in only two interviews, neither of which had promising results. Timothy was limited by transportation issues and a lack of previous work experience, and his schedule and vocational preferences created additional challenges in finding a job.

After a few months with no results, Steve decided to try something different. One day in December, he and Timothy drove around and stopped at various businesses to inquire about job opportunities. One of the last stops of the day was the LA Fitness near Timothy’s home, where Manager Lori happened to be looking for a part-time custodian and was willing to hire Timothy on the spot!

There were two problems – Timothy had not previously been interested in custodial work or in working on the weekends. After giving it some thought and making a second visit, he reconsidered and began working at LA Fitness a few days before Christmas.

At first, Timothy felt overwhelmed. There was a lot to learn and a lot to get accomplished in a limited amount of time. However, Steve was there to help. He stayed with Timothy for his first few shifts to train and supervise, gradually easing back and allowing Timothy to take over on his own. Steve developed a detailed checklist of Timothy’s duties, along with the amount of time each task should take, so Timothy would have something to refer to for guidance. After only a couple months on the job, Timothy had already committed the checklist to memory and could easily complete his tasks independently (and often with time to spare).

As a benefit of his job, he uses his free membership to do cardio and lift weights with his new gym buddies. Timothy’s exercise has served him well in his Special Olympics softball team, where he plays third base and left field (and with his team is headed to state championships in June!). In addition to staying physically active, Timothy volunteers at an animal shelter in Millersville, plays and writes music on his guitar, and spends time with his mom Eunice and their two cats.

At LA Fitness, Timothy found more than just a paycheck – he found a renewed sense of self and purpose, and a group of welcoming, supportive people who have quickly befriended him. Before he began working, he was unhappy with the way his life was going. Now, with greater confidence and an expanded social circle, Timothy is excited and ready to face the future as a productive member of his community.

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