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.

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: 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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"I like working with the people." - David

David Success Story

For the past year David has worked at a local Giant Food Store after completing Goodwill’s Project SEARCH training that equips individuals with disabilities to secure competitive employment. David bags groceries and scans codes on the floor. David overcame his difficulty of not being a reader by devoting time and energy to memorizing the entire store.

“I practiced a lot at home,” David said proudly. Store staff members and his Goodwill Job Coach provided additional support and encouragement.

When asked what his favorite thing about working was, David didn’t hesitate. “Money,” he said with a grin. When he received his first paycheck he was so excited, he immediately cashed it at the Giant store.

Debbie, his Life Sharing Provider, said she has seen a lot of changes in David. “He is much more responsible,” she commented. “He takes his job very seriously and wants to do everything and anything to make it work.”

There is one additional thing David hopes for. “I’d like more work hours,” David confessed. “I want to earn lots of money.”

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“If you really want to do something, try hard and go for it." - Dalton

Dalton Goodwill Success Story

“If you really want to do something, try hard and go for it. It is definitely worth it in the end!” said Dalton.

Dalton was working at Goodwill but had a dream to become a truck driver like his grandfather. He said, “I always wanted to get my CDL A but never had the money or opportunity.”

Dalton applied to Good Careers Start Here, a program that helps participants get a certification in a high demand career. He received word that he had been accepted. “The first person I called was my grandfather,” he said with a grin.

Dalton continued to work full-time for Goodwill while attending classes five nights a week. There were a few times when he felt like quitting. “I just kept thinking I got this far, I can’t give up.”

And he didn’t give up. Dalton passed both the written and driving test and obtained his CDL A.

Soon after graduating, he got a job driving truck for a local lumber company. He is working toward saving up to buy his own place with a backyard for his dog.

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Celebrating 20 years at Special Equestrians Chris earns Excellence Award

Chris with gifts and balloons On December 5th Goodwill Keystone Area celebrated the momentous 20 year milestone of a career that began in December 1997. Chris Goodbred’s personal career path was guided by his love of horses decades ago when he began riding both for therapy and recreation. A notable support in Chris’ long term success has been Jennifer Radick, Goodwill Employment Services Manager, who coordinated Chris’ initial job placement at Special Equestrians. 

Over the years, Jennifer has managed programs in Bucks and surrounding counties and in her current role began to work with Chris again as she was training new staff to support Chris. Together Chris and Jennifer have overcome workplace obstacles through perseverance and innovative accommodations. When Chris’ balance issues caused him to fall while cleaning stalls, wooden pallets were used to make a path and shingles were added to provide walking traction. 

As the Special Equestrians barn invested in facilities upgrades, some of Chris’ memory aids also modernized. 

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