Our Stories

Learn how lives changed through the power of work.

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    Meet Lillin

    Lillin R. came to Goodwill via reverse referral from DFCS for the SNAP Works Program in July 2019. She had to resign her last position as a PCA/CNA due to health issues, and had become unemployed prior to that due to layoffs. As it had been some time since her last employment experience, she admitted that she was nervous about returning to work. After completing assessment and orientation, she began retail customer service vocational training at a Goodwill retail store. She did so well there that one month later she was offered a part time job as a production tech making $9.00. Even better, she has regained a sense of confidence in her abilities. Congratulations Lillin, and well done!

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    Meet Michael

    Michael was referred to Goodwill Staffing Services at a time when he was seeking a new employment opportunity. Goodwill recognized he was a good fit for a temporary assignment at Guerry Lumber. Once on the job, Guerry quickly recognized he had the work ethic, skills and drive they valued. After four months in the lumber yard, he was hired for a permanent position. Goodwill’s connection with prominent, quality employers allows them to be a bridge to sustainable employment. Michael has subsequently promoted to a sales position and enjoys the development opportunities available in his role. A job opportunity at Guerry Lumber is one of Goodwill Staffing Service’s most desired assignments. Associates with all backgrounds and experiences are embraced and performance is rewarded with permanent positions and increased pay.

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    Meet Maria & Socorro

    Maria was directed to the Job Connection Center in Savannah after speaking to an associate in a Goodwill store. She has just moved from Florida to start a new life in Savannah with her two daughters. Maria had over 22 years of experience working on farms in Florida and beyond being an incredibly hard worker, had many skills that could translate to a variety of opportunities. Maria was drawn to the positions available in the Goodwill warehouse. After pre-screening, Maria was quickly interview and immediately offered the job. Maria encouraged her daughter Socorro (who had joined Maria on some of her visits to Goodwill to assist in translating) to take advantage of the support and guidance available in the job connection centers. With her Bachelors in Education and existing professional experience, Socorro was seeking a career that had the opportunity for upward mobility and personal development. In follow up sessions, the workforce development team helped Socorro examine “why” the career change and what she truly wanted from her career in the long-term. These exercises helped build an outstanding cover letter, which helped her stand out in job application process. Within 2 weeks of receiving career development support services, Socorro was offered a position as an admission representative at Savannah College of Art and Design. Socorro started her new role in January 2018. She loves her work and is excited for her future.

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    Meet Mr. Washington

    Mr. Washington came to us in hopes of landing a job within Goodwill. Although we did not have a position that meet his request, he came in every day to apply for other jobs in the community. Over his months utilizing the Job Connection Center, Mr. Washington developed his computer skills playing fun, interactive computer games. This quickly became his first request on his visits to the Job Connection Center and allowed him to improve his keyboard skills and comfort navigating the computer screen. Shortly after coming in, we are thrilled to announce that Mr. Washington secured a custodial position with Walmart working his desired 34-36 hours a week.

    Upon talking to the Mr. Washington, he expressed his joy at re-entering the workforce. “I have gotten to be more responsible now and not at the house doing nothing all day. I like people and I like to help people. I really enjoy being around individuals who have a goal. I like to do what I can to help them. I’m thankful for what has been accomplished in my life and what Goodwill has helped me do at the age that I am.”

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    Meet Lewis

    As a conficted felon looking for a job, Lewis heard a lot of “No’s” and he became frustrated and discouraged.  His hope was renewed when he connected with Goodwill Staffing Services and found people who were committed to helping him find an opportunity.

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    Meet Aver

    After a neck injury left him unable to work in 2014, Aver Thompson experienced depression from being unable to engage in meaningful activities and hobbies. He missed being a part of a team and felt bad that he wasn’t able to help his parents with household expenses. Aver underwent surgery and for 6 months he participated in physical therapy three days a week to regain his stamina, balance, and strength.

    In February of 2016, Aver was referred for vocational rehabilitation services at Goodwill. Aver’s program was developed so he could learn skills required for fabrication jobs while also developing the stamina required to maintain employment. He fully participated in the development of his program and demonstrated strong initiative to secure employment. The trainers and supervisors at his community work site were impressed by Aver’s work ethic. Due to his hard work and determination he is now working full-time at G-Force Technologies as a fabricator. Aver takes pride in his job creating insulation components which are shipped to Gulfstream. His supervisors report that he is a model employee who shows great promise. His positive attitude and dedication to excellence make him a valued team member.

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    Meet Derrick

    Derrick came to GSS with great drive and initiative and a willingness to work any jobs. He started out as dishwashers at The Landings Club in Savannah, GA. The chef saw his ability and interest to learn so over 6-8 weeks he trained Derrick and moved him to prep-cooks.

    The Landings Club offered full time employment to Derik Jackson in June 2016. He proved his abilities and desire to work hard for the betterment of their Club during his time with them through Goodwill Staffing Services. Derik showed hard work and dedication in his position. He also began to train in additional areas to advance in his career development. His eagerness to learn and hard work is much appreciated and we look forward to continuing working alongside this great professional as an employee full time. We are happy and proud to welcome them to The Landings Club family.

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    Meet Mr. Allen

    SSG. Allen joined the US Army right out of high school. Towards the end of his military career, he was deployed to Iraq where he oversaw a mess hall in a combat zone. He could be counted on to make sure everyone was fed regardless of the circumstances. While in Iraq, he sustained a back injury but continued to perform his military duty rather than be shipped out for treatment. He retired in 2007 after 20 years in pain with PTSD and multiple physical problems, and was awarded 90% total disability by the VA. He was sent to Goodwill of Southeast Georgia by our local VA Vocational Rehabilitation office. Mr. Allen had many barriers to employment, including chronic back pain and a lack of understanding of the civilian work world. He participated in our program for 6 months, increasing work tolerance, building his stamina, and learning new job skills. Mr. Allen was a very quick learner and highly motivated to prepare himself for a job in a non-profit helping others. His natural good nature improved the entire work team and his ability to accomplish tasks quickly without guidance made him an obvious choice for consideration for a job at Goodwill.


    Quote from Mr. Allen
    First I will like to give Honor to my Lord and Savior for all he has done for me over my 54 years of life. Also, I would like to give thanks to a few people who helped me get the position I am currently working in: Ms. Paula Ruehling, (Veterans Case Manager) at Goodwill who believed in me from the first time I entered Goodwill’s establishment, and Mrs. Leonora Moore, (Manager of Goodwill Staffing Services) who gave me a chance of a lifetime as well.


    Derrill Allen will begin a full-time position as Opportunity Center Assistant on September 3, 2019.

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    Meet Robert

    Robert was referred to Goodwill by the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency. He was struggling to re-enter the workforce after almost 20 years of unemployment. He was excited to work with a transformation coach who assisted him in identifying his strengths and developing his job readiness skills during an intensive support period. As part of his enrollment in the transformation program, Robert worked a modified, temporary position in Goodwill’s warehouse. This role allowed him to relearn the soft skills required to succeed in a workplace environment, while receiving development coaching and wrap-around services. Robert demonstrated that he was dedicated to changing his life and his strong work ethic and positive attitude earned him an offer as a permanent associate with donated goods. He has now been employed for almost a year. A Goodwill Vocational Coach aided Robert on his path to success. Their mission is to meet clients where they are and work with them to resolve underlying causes of the barriers they may be facing.

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    Meet Michael

    Michael Bayird, who graduated along with the first class of 2018 on March 2nd, is a wonderful example of a student who has been impacted by Gloria and Goodwill’s training services. After being referred to the class a few days into the program, his determination to be a student inspired the Hospitality instructor to catch him up to the few days of class he had missed and get to know him better. She learned that Michael had moved to Savannah a few months before and was struggling to establish himself in a new home. Michael was committed to doing well and his dedication with additional support from Goodwill culminated in an interview with The Mansion. He is now employed and succeeding. Michael has been recognized as the class’s most dedicated student, never being late or missing a class, while still walking 1 hour 20 minutes each way for every session. “Goodwill’s hospitality program gave me the knowledge base I needed to feel confident going in for the interview. I love working with a diverse and positive team. I feel lucky to work in such a beautiful and inspiring environment”

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    Meet Erik

    When Erik contractede a spinal cord infection that left him using a wheelchair, his life changed significantly.  He knew that he had to get back to work.  When he was referred to Goodwill he found a new way to look at his life.  He learned ‘the ropes’ and became an electronic equipment tester.

    Today, he looks forward to ‘climbing the ladder’ of success without limits.  “To get a job….that’s wonderful!”

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    Meet Patrick

    Placed on the autism spectrum at age 22, Patrick was referred to Goodwill through the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency.  He was looking to find a job with a purpose — one where he could use his skills rather than focus on his challenges.

    Patrick started with what seemed like ‘baby steps’, but developed into a job with personal meaning.

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    Meet Akelo

    When Akelo enrolled into the GoodGuides Youth Mentorship program, it was obvious he was a leader.  His challenge was to channel those natural skills in a positive way.

    With the support of his GoodGuides mentor, Akelo developed new skills.  His academics and relationships improved.  Today, he is a student athlete with a positive future ahead of him.

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    Meet Sarah

    Sarah was referred to Goodwill by Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency for work evaluations services while in high school.  Sarah had a clear employment goal and a positive attitude.

    She developed a plan and guilt her job readiness skills.  When she secured an interview with Wendy’s, she was prepared and ready to succeed.

    Today, she enjoys the income she makes and has made her first employment dream a reality.

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    Meet Sheniece

    Sheniece moved to Savannah on March 15, 2016 with her young children and lived in temporary housing. When she came to Goodwill Staffing Services two weeks later, she was willing to take any employment so that she could create a better life for her family. GSS placed her in a job as a car wash-detailer and after a few weeks of working full-time, she was able to get on her feet in a home of her own with her children. Chatham Parkway Toyota saw her initiative and drive, and knew they wanted to bring her on as a permanent employee. In July, Shenience was promoted from a car-detailer role to a managerial role being a customer service manager.