Sarah Ford | April 8, 2013

How a Pair of Used Jeans Helped a Single Mom Find a Job



Goodwill Industries  

Goodwill IndustriesRachal Underwood, a single mother of a two-year-old, found herself unable to gain employment a few years ago. Not within the legal profession, where she had experience, or anywhere else. Rachal was at her wit’s end and willing to take a job anywhere – if only she could find one. (Which as far too many people know, is easier said than done nowadays.)

Then, after reading an article about a Certified Nursing Assistant and Home Health Aide training program offered by Goodwill® in Southern Los Angeles County, she contacted them to express her interest. There, she was able to take advantage of the Beyond Jobs service, which provides single mothers with the tools to find employment and the skills needed to maintain longevity in the workplace.

Rachal received work-readiness training, including résumé writing and character building exercises. At a Goodwill-hosted breakfast for businesses in the community, she had the chance to sit down with employers, ask questions and interview for jobs.

Through the Goodwill program, she landed a job as a home health aide for In-Home Supportive Services, and is currently finishing up her vocational nursing training.

Rachal’s path to employment is funded by a social enterprise model that turns used clothing and household goods donations into job training and readiness programs.

Because we return the revenue from the sales of these donations to our mission services, every time you donate a pair of used jeans to Goodwill, you are effectively funding about eight minutes of résumé preparation or similar services for a single mom like Rachal.

A box of donated books funds an hour of résumé prep or 41 minutes of career counseling for someone like Maurice Williams, an innocent victim of a random shooting while he was shopping a few years back. Maurice was shot in the eye, his optic nerve damaged, and blindness resulted.

“Immediately after that, I just thought my life was over,” recalls Maurice. “I thought, what am I going to do now? I can’t work and I can’t do anything.”

Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin and Metropolitan Chicago helped Maurice explore various lines of work, and eventually helped him secure a position as a food service worker at Naval Station Great Lakes.

Maurice learned how to do the job through the use of auditory training methods, and expanded his skills to the point where he now helps direct the scullery staff, which serves up to 1,000 sailors and recruits each day. He is known for his hard work, team spirit, and never missing a day on the job.

Goodwill harnesses the power of used goods to help thousands of people each year achieve their full potential through the power of hard work. Goodwill’s Donate Movement impact calculator lets potential donors see exactly how much of a difference a bag of clothing, a used bike, or an old TV can have in the lives of people like Rachal and Maurice.

 Goodwill Industries

Learn more about Goodwill Industries International!

Web Site:
Phone: (800) GOODWILL
Mailing Address: 15810 Indianola Drive Rockville, MD 20855
CFC#: 12178

Connect with Goodwill & tweet with their President and CEO!

@GoodwillIntl AND tweet with Goodwill President and CEO, Jim Gibbons, at: @jdgibbons

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