Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at age two, Lance Phillips faces numerous physical obstacles every day. But despite his long commute via Access Link to Goodwill’s Pennsauken-based Outsourcing Center, he gives 100% everyday on the job. Lance joined Goodwill twelve years ago and has been a model employee ever since. He works diligently, follows instructions to a tee, and is extremely adaptable to new jobs. Lance works on jobs for Subaru, Mother’s Work and many others. He has even been given supervisory responsibilities on the Subaru mailing job. According to his supervisors, Lance shows up to work everyday with a smile--ready to take on new challenges and is the consummate team player. As one supervisor so eloquently put it, “To know Lance is to love him. He is an inspiration to us all because of his positive work ethic and high energy.”
When thirty-two-year-old Timothy Tatum makes his rounds as a member of Goodwill’s Janitorial Crew, one thing is constant. He always has a smile on his face. His supervisors wish they could bottle up his positive attitude. Timothy is celebrating his tenth year working as an extended employee at Goodwill. In addition to janitorial duties, he works in Goodwill’s Outsourcing & Production Fulfillment Center doing sub-contract jobs for companies like Destination Maternity and Comcast. While he is intellectually challenged, Timmy’s production rates, work behavior skills and ability to work independently have skyrocketed in recent years, according to supervisors. His confidence has really soared and had a positive effect on all parts of his life. When asked what he likes most about working at Goodwill, Timothy is quick to respond: “Making money and being around nice people.”
After spending many years as a stay at home mom, 37-year-old Sonia Berry was ready to go back to work. But she quickly found that this was easier said than done. While Sonia had experience as a private home health aide, it wasn’t enough—she needed more skills. Through Burlington County’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVR), she was able to refresh her skills in Goodwill’s Computer Skills Training Program. Sonia soon realized that an office job wasn’t right for her. Helping others was her true calling. Goodwill’s JOB CLUB helped her map out a career path. After attaining Certified Nursing Aid (CNA) certification at Burlington County Institute of Technology, Goodwill’s job developers worked with her to refine her resume and identify job leads. Before long, she was offered a job at Cherry Hill-based Avista, a long term care and rehabilitation facility. It’s a job Sonia enjoys tremendously because it gives her a flexible work schedule and the opportunity to work with the elderly population. “While I am the one providing care for patients, I get so much from them. The wisdom that my patients share with me means the world to me,” said Sonia.
Twenty-seven years ago, Haddon Heights resident Nicholas DiMona was involved in a horrific car accident and given a 50-50 chance of survival. He spent a year in the hospital and nearly a decade in rehabilitation before turning to Goodwill. Nicholas received vocational evaluations and computer skills and industrial services training. But with mobile dexterity and speech issues to contend with, this college graduate and former postal employee couldn't find the right job. Knowing what a great employee he would make, Goodwill's corporate headquarters hired Nicholas to assist with document shredding and other administrative tasks one day a week. When he received his first paycheck in 25 years, tears rolled down his face. "I love working at Goodwill and look forward to coming here. It gives my life more purpose," says Nicholas. Still, a once a week job was not enough for Nicholas. Mt. Laurel-based Corporate Synergies, an independent benefits consulting and brokerage firm, stepped up to the plate hiring Nicholas to perform similar job duties. When the State turned down Nicholas' request to provide an on-site job coach, Corporate Synergies employees rallied together--agreeing to take payroll deductions to pay for the job coach. And when Goodwill thanked Corporate Synergies for pooling together these resources, one employee made a profound statement. She said "Nicholas has given us far more than we have given him."