The fashion designer Coco Chanel is credited with saying that a woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life. It turns out that Chanel’s take on the transformative power of a new ‘do applies to men, too.
Take 20-year-old Jonah Bullard, who recently landed a job at Walmart with a little help from Goodwill. Bullard, who has a mild developmental delay and learning disability, was referred to Goodwill by the state’s Rehabilitation Services Administration – an agency that helps unemployed people with disabilities return to work.
The Goodwill team sprang into action to help Bullard. He participated in a workforce development class facilitated by his Goodwill employment specialist, Brittney Moore, who described Bullard as shy and sometimes hesitant to talk without prompting. Through another class – aptly titled “How to Wow for an Interview” – Bullard learned the art of interviewing. He went through mock interviews and mock “call-backs” with potential employers. He also received help creating a portfolio with a resume, references and certificates of the coursework he completed. All of this information was then transferred onto a flash drive and backed up on an email account that Moore created for him. And to top it all off, Bullard got himself some new clothes for work and a haircut through Goodwill’s Good Samaritan program.
Bullard’s hard work paid off when Walmart offered him a job last fall. He greeted customers with confidence, handled returns and stocked store shelves. His favorite part of the job was a toss-up between unloading trucks and getting a paycheck. He now has his sights set on working with automobiles.
Bullard is just one of many people who have improved their quality of life and earning potential with the help of programs such as Good Samaritan, which connects individuals with vital services and resources within the community and at Goodwill. When an individual or family comes to Goodwill seeking help, a resource specialist assesses their needs through a registration and assessment process, and then links them to resources including assistance with housing, transportation, utilities, child care and much more.
A portion of this work is made possible through vouchers for household goods, such as blankets, pots, pans, toys and utensils. Dress for Business Success vouchers are also provided to customers like Bullard who need clothing for job interviews and the first day of work. The Flagstaff Family Food Center generously provides sack lunches as part of the program, while additional vouchers for clothing and household goods are provided upon referral from one of Goodwill’s many community partners. FBN
To learn more about Good Samaritan and other Goodwill programs, please email Liz.McGinlay@goodwillna.org or call 928-526-9188.
By Liz McGinlay
Liz McGinlay is the vice president of mission advancement at Goodwill Industries of Northern Arizona.