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Put your financial donation to work in your community.

Goodwill Mission Stories

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Crystal was a young teen mother when she began working at Goodwill. Faced with the challenges of a baby to care for, her job attendance began to suffer. After talking with the Goodwill management team, Crystal focused on how to improve her situation and entered Goodwill's Career Path program. Now Crystal enjoys a healthy work-life balance and providing for her son. When you shop and donate to Goodwill the revenue from the sale of donated goods helps people like Crystal overcome barriers and gain independence.

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For Ron, working at Goodwill is the best job he's ever had. He's seen first-hand how Goodwill saves lives. As a Director of Goodwill's Supply Chain, Ron oversees an operation of 75 people, and each person has a story to share. For some it's about transformation, for others it means overcoming hardships as well as gaining dignity and independence.

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Barriers to employment can take many forms. For some, child care or transportation issues can make it difficult to find or keep a job. For others, it may be a language or literacy issue. Serving people with disadvantages is a part of the Goodwill mission, and Keishla is an example of what happens when barriers are broken.

While living in Puerto Rico, Keishla graduated with degrees in forensic science and chemistry but was unable to obtain meaningful employment and was struggling to support herself. Faced with fear and limited career options after graduation, Keishla was determined to move her life forward and made the difficult decision to leave her family in Puerto Rico and move to Wisconsin for a fresh start.

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It takes a truly remarkable person to turn the pain of a devastating accident into a lifetime of advocating for others and working toward finding a cure for paralysis. That person is Bryon Riesch.

More than 20 years ago, an accident left Bryon a  quadriplegic,  and changed the path of his life. Determined not to let his disability define his future, Bryon went on to graduate from Marquette University with a double major in information technology and marketing. Upon graduation, Bryon enrolled in Goodwill’s AbilITy Connection program, which offered mentoring, internships, scholarships and job placement services to students with disabilities who were interested in a career in information technology. With a strong mentor, Bryon’s career flourished, and Goodwill helped to provide him with a bridge from college to the workforce. Through AbilITy Connection, Bryon got his first professional job at Northwestern Mutual. Currently, Bryon is a successful Project Manager at R&R Insurance.

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Before coming to Goodwill, Creighton and his family were uncertain where his life was heading due to his intellectual disability. Through the Power of Work, Creighton is a shining example of how meaningful work has transformed his life. 

A lifelong supporter of Goodwill, Creighton learned to count money by shopping at Goodwill Store & Donation Centers with his mom. He was always excited to come home with new treasures. After he suffered a serious illness, Creighton’s mother, Toni, knew it was time for Creighton to find a job that would not only lift his  spirits,  but also give him purpose.

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As a single mother with three special needs children, Gail found success at Goodwill and overcame a number of challenges. She now has confidence in herself and a job she loves.

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For someone with a criminal background, finding a path to work can be difficult. Getting an employer to take a chance is often one of the biggest barriers. For Tiffany, work was the way to independence, but the path was not easy.

After living in an abusive home, Tiffany found herself homeless and relied on staying at various shelters in Milwaukee with her two young children. One afternoon, Tiffany was with a friend, got caught in the middle of a violent situation and ended up being a party to a crime. With an open case against her, Tiffany was asked to leave the shelter with her two young children. While living at a new shelter in Waukesha, Tiffany learned about Goodwill’s Workforce Connection Center and knew it was time for a change.

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Tyneisha Stroud

Assistant Store Manager Tyneisha Stroud, or TY, as she’s known, served in the Air Force from 2001 to 2006, enlisting just after high school. Ty joined the military hoping to gain some direction in life. “I didn’t have the maturity or the focus for college right then and I thought the military would help me gain some discipline,” she remarked.

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Stephanie DeSimone

Assistant Store Manager Stephanie DeSimone’s husband Neil is someone to whom we owe our deepest gratitude for his service and sacrifice to our country. Neil enlisted in the Marines at 18, just after high school, embarking on nearly a decade long military career.  His military service would take him aboard USS Anchorage in Hawaii, as well as Camp Pendleton, CA and the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, CA.

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Chuck Rickenbaugh

November 10th marked the 242nd birthday of the Marine Corps and we have people like Chuck Rickenbaugh to thank for their service. He was just 17 when he enlisted in the Marines. “School wasn’t the place for me. My home life was chaotic. I thought the military could provide some stability, and it did. You got with the program quickly,” he remarked.

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Mission Support Center
Tel: (414) 847-4200

James O. Wright Center forWork & Training
Tel: (414) 353-6400

Metropolitan Chicago -
Tel: (312) 994-1440