By: Chris Beach | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: June 2017
The award winners at Goodwill’s 90th anniversary celebration luncheon stand with emcee Mark Bradshaw, News Anchor from KTUL-TV (he is third from the left). Winners include Connie Laney-Golden, Craig Hayes, and Carlo Powell. Left to right.
Maybe you’ve driven by Goodwill on the highway by Southwest Boulevard or perhaps you’ve dropped off clothing at one of their many donation centers. But you may not know the amazing life transformation that goes on behind the scenes at this historic non-profit that has impacted Tulsa since 1927.
This year, Goodwill celebrated its 90th anniversary at its annual awards luncheon while honoring three special people who personify what this trusted friend to our community does to help those we love.
Connie Laney-Golden, Goodwill’s Achiever of the Year, was raised by a mother suffering from mental illness and chemical dependence, and ended up living in the streets. After numerous programs, she tried Goodwill’s new Hospitality Training Program. She wondered how someone with her rough background could possibly be hospitable. But the moment she walked into Goodwill her first day, she felt transformed. Her Goodwill coach, Rose, took her clothes shopping, taught her how to dress and talk to people, and genuinely have fun serving hotel guests. In a year’s time, she has reconnected with family, has a job at the front desk of the Best Western Plus Hotel in Tulsa, and has committed herself to a life of serving and helping other women find their way by managing a sober living home.
Carlo Powell, Goodwill’s Graduate of the Year, moved to Oklahoma from California with his mother and worked for a variety of day labor agencies. The unpredictability of the work and the lack of a normal routine did not accommodate his intellectual disabilities, and the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services referred him to Goodwill’s Supported Employment Program. A job coach was assigned to Carlo to match him with the right job fit, prepare a resume, and practice interviewing skills to help him land a job as a maintenance associate and materials handler at Walmart. His coach worked alongside him daily until he became proficient on his own. In a year’s time, Carlo lives in his own apartment, is able to buy his own food and clothing, enjoys spending time with his friends, and is now saving up to buy his own car.
Craig Hayes, Goodwill’s Employee of the Year, was born with medical disabilities. He succeeded in graduating high school, but with no work experience, a family member referred him to Goodwill for employment in 2012. The Goodwill staff provided training and support to help him significantly increase his earnings and maintain full-time employment in the hanging department. He now has moved into his own apartment and purchased his first vehicle.
Contact Goodwill today to donate and to find out more about their community programs.
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