Marv Thrives with Help from Goodwill

MarvAfter suffering a heart attack, Marv was grateful to work for a flexible and understanding employer.
Marv ended up having heart surgery with five bypasses.
“I called Denis the day after my surgery and asked if I could come back here,” Marv said.
It felt great that in the midst of his health concerns, having a job was one thing he wouldn’t have to worry about.
Now, he’s taking good care of his heart and enjoying his work.
He works in-house at Goodwill as part of the janitorial team, where he sometimes fills in for supervisor Carl Unger.
“I love it,” he says of running the crew. “I get to see what they’re actually doing, and if I can help them make it better.”
A jack-of-all-trades who can be counted on to perform any task in the janitorial department, Marv is known for his expertise in cleaning and buffing Goodwill’s floors until you can see your reflection in them.
“I’ve learned how to do floor work,” he said.
Prior to joining the janitorial crew and Choremasters, Marv worked in several different areas of Goodwill in his 26+ years here, including the sorting belts, the Dr. Juice fish bait program, and the match packaging program.
“I’ve gone through the whole building,” Marv says.
Marv is married with three children and four grandchildren, who all live in Duluth. He enjoys fishing and camping in his free time.


The Pride of A Job Well Done


Teresa enjoys a joke from her co-worker.

by Valerie Clark
Public Relations Specialist, Goodwill Duluth

Teresa’s dad taught her about the value of a strong work ethic, and she takes his lessons to heart every day in her job at Goodwill. Being able to go to work each day makes her proud.

“My dad taught me to get a job, and have fun,” Teresa said.

Teresa has worked at Goodwill since 1991, spending many of those years under the wing of work supervisor Bonnie Slattery. She worked for Bonnie years ago on Goodwill’s large textile sorting belt, which has since been removed, and she and Bonnie are back together again in the rack area. Teresa’s job is to perform the final sort on clothing items before they’re sent to the store. She does some pin tagging too, making sure every item has a price tag.

“I always ask Bonnie, ‘What do you want me to do first?’” Teresa said. “Bonnie always likes to have me come in all the time.”

Bonnie said Teresa is a hard worker who has really stepped up her efforts lately, especially since a co-worker was out for several weeks on medical leave.
“She’s dependable. She does really good quality work,” Bonnie said. “She’s been helping out in a few areas she hadn’t been working before. So she’s picked up some new responsibilities.”

Teresa has also worked in several different areas of Goodwill and in the community. She used to work as a janitor at the federal building, where her outgoing personality was a big hit.

“Everybody loved me on the fourth floor,” she said.

Bonnie confirmed that Teresa is a great team player.

“I think Teresa gets along nicely with everybody within her department,” Bonnie said.

Teresa is a huge NASCAR fan, and plans to travel to Miami this November to see a race.

Brian is Always Willing to Help Out

By Valerie Clark, Public Relations Specialist, Goodwill Duluth

A chance viewing of a TV commercial about Duluth, Minnesota brought Brian to the Northland from Staten Island, New York in 2003, and he’s been enjoying his new town and his job at Goodwill ever since.

“I made the decision to move. Duluth seemed like a pretty good town,” Brian said. Some of his friends wagered that he’d return home within a year, but Brian proved them wrong.

“I’d been in New York all my life, pretty much,” he says. “It was kind of like a challenge that was opened to me.”

Brian started working at Goodwill in 2005 after receiving a referral from the Minnesota Resource Center’s Flexwork program. His job coaches and case manager have helped him work through his learning disorder, which has sometimes made it difficult for him to focus on job tasks in the past. He’s worked in several different areas, but feels at home as a truck helper.

“I love it here because I’m working in an area now which is something I’ve always wanted to do, which is on the docks and the trucks,” Brian said.

He enjoys his job because of the variety – on any given day, he can be found making store runs, picking up merchandise from Target stores or doing a house pickup.

“It gives me an opportunity to do various things,” Brian said.

His job at Goodwill has helped him learn to perform a large number of different work tasks, while staying organized and on task.

“I was always multitasking,” he says. “At the same time I was trying to keep focused.”
He has also learned positive teamwork skills.

“I always try to keep a positive mentality when I come here,” Brian says. “I get to work with some really, really good people on the docks. I’ve learned from the best people back there on the docks.”

He strives to help out everyone that he works with, whenever possible.

“When push comes to shove around here and you need help, you can always come and ask me.”

Dock worker Jerry Johnson says Brian has a huge heart and a great work ethic.
“He’s probably one of the most caring and helpful,” Jerry said. “He’s very good at taking initiative.”

Outside of work, Brian has a passion for television and video production. While in New York, he was very involved with Staten Island Community Television, and volunteered there for 11 years. Here in the Northland, he and a fellow Goodwill worker, also named Brian, put together a show about WWE wrestling on the local cable access channel.

Donate your gently used clothing today to help support Brian and his co-workers!

Brad Brings High Energy to Job

By Valerie Clark
Public Relations Specialist, Goodwill Duluth
bradWithin just a few seconds of meeting Brad, it’s easy to see how much energy he has. No matter what his work task is for the day, Brad brings his high energy to get the job done.
“When you give me a task, I’m able to do it lickety-split,” says Brad, who has worked at the Wendy’s restaurant near the Miller Hill Mall for the past 12 years under Goodwill’s community employment program. His Goodwill job coach and case manager provide him with the support he needs to excel in his job.
“They have helped me try to improve on my work skills,” Brad says. “They’re helping me day by day with special needs, and if I have any particular problems I can go and talk to somebody.”
Unfortunately, Brad was displaced from his job as Wendy’s product coordinator in early January after a devastating fire, but Goodwill’s custodial crew is happy to have him help out in the meantime.
Brad is happy to be there as well, and to have an opportunity to work.
“I do what I can to enjoy my work, and I do what I can to enjoy my co-workers as well as I can,” Brad said. “I want to impress the supervisor as best I can.”
He understands the importance of work to having strong self-esteem.
“I take a lot of pride in my work,” he said. “I know how to get the job done. I do what I can to keep an area as clean as I can.”
Brad lives independently and does all of his own cooking, cleaning and laundry, and is working on his budgeting skills. He likes reading, bicycling, and going for walks, and is interested in woodworking.
You can help to support jobs for more than 200 local people just like Brad! Simply donate your gently used goods at any local Goodwill store. Thank you for your help!

Tiffaney’s Future Comes Into Focus at Goodwill


By Valerie Clark
Public Relations Specialist, Goodwill Duluth

Since coming to work at Goodwill, Tiffaney has gained many important job skills, including a renewed ability to focus. In the future, she hopes to use that focus through the lens of a camera as a professional photographer, but for now she is happy to continue working her way up at Goodwill and improving her retail job skills.

When she first started working at Goodwill about a year ago, Tiffaney had a hard time concentrating on her job tasks.

“When I first came here, I got distracted a lot,” she said.
Practice and help from Goodwill staff members has helped her to stay on track.

“I have heard from my case manager and from both my supervisors that I’ve been doing a lot better,” Tiffaney says. “I’m proud of myself for that.”
Tiffaney mainly works in the rack department, sorting clothing into the proper categories before it goes into the store. Her work supervisor, Bonnie, says she has made a lot of progress.

“I think she has done remarkably well,” Bonnie said.

“She is willing to work on any task that we give her,” said Duluth store supervisor Sherri, who oversees Tiffaney on Fridays when she works in the store. Tiffaney helps out at the jewelry counter, straightens out the dressing rooms, and puts merchandise out on the sales floor.

“She gets along very well with her co-workers and she’s good with the customers,” Sherri added. “She’s just flexible in what she can do.”
Tiffaney says working at Goodwill has helped her to make more friends, including a boyfriend, and improve her responses to stressful situations.

“Even my parents have noticed that I’m getting better,” she says. “My parents are proud of me too.”

It’s given her a newfound sense of independence as well.

“It helps you feel more responsible and independent,” said Tiffaney, who hopes to become more financially responsible and move into her own apartment eventually. “At Goodwill I’ve been able to feel like I can depend on myself more.”

She enjoys her job at Goodwill, but her dream job is to become a professional photographer, child care worker or cosmetologist. Outside of work, the 23-year-old loves reading, swimming, bowling, roller blading, scrapbooking, and going motorized parachuting with her dad.

Your donations of gently used goods support job training programs for Tiffaney and her co-workers. Donate to Goodwill to make a difference!