Success Stories

Jason Harrison – 2015 Goodwill Works! Award Winner

Beloved by everyone he meets, Jason has even had offers to change jobs but says he can’t imagine working anywhere else. “I love my job because I love to be around people,” he said. “Every day I am grateful to be alive and working at Goodwill.” Life took an unexpected turn for Jason nearly 20 years ago but it’s evident in his every action that he’s making the most of every day and leaving an impression with every person he meets.

 Watch Jason’s Story

Patrice Blackstock – 2015 Achiever of the Year

“Nobody would hire me because of my background but Goodwill gave me a chance when no one else would.”  Just as her children were the driving reason for her to turn her life around years ago, they continue to be her motivation each day. Patrice is now happily married and a proud grandma to 10 grandchildren.

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Russell Shirer – 2015 Graduate of the Year

Russell Shirer has a steady, enjoyable job at MidState Tooling, a machine shop in Manning, SC but this wasn’t always the case. As he struggled to cope with his personal challenges, Goodwill supported him and made sure he had the assistance he needed to be successful. Russell has been with MidState Tooling since September 2015. He enjoys the atmosphere and the ability to learn new skills, helping out with whatever the company needs from hauling equipment to welding projects. He calls himself a “Jack of All Trades.”

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Jarae Anderson – 2014 Goodwill Works! Award Winner

Jarae was seven years old when a drunk driver slammed into the car she was riding in, killing two family members and leaving her paralyzed from the waist down. In 2013, she was hired into a job training program. Motivated to learn and succeed, she quickly moved through store positions and had a desire to become a cashier. While her infectious personality and excellent customer service skills certainly made her qualified to be a cashier, Jarae was fitted with a stand-up wheelchair that would allow her to use the registers.

Succeeding in her work place, Jarae has found success in other areas of her life as well, South Carolina in the Ms. Wheelchair USA pageant in 2013.

“I want to be somebody other people look up to,” Jarae said. “I want to be somebody where people say, if she can do it, then I know I can do it.”


Kenny Sherwood – 2014 Graduate of the Year

Before coming to Goodwill, Kenny moved from job to job—always leaving with the feeling that he was about to be terminated for one reason or another. With Goodwill’s support and guidance, he was able to interrupt unproductive patterns of behavior and establish new methods of managing anxiety and conflicts. Through the training program Kenny learned to master the skills of a Store Associate II, engaging with his co-workers, donors, shoppers and management in an assertive and respectful manner. After five years with Goodwill, Kenny’s confidence had grown and he prepared to move into a new job outside of Goodwill.

WATCH Kenny’s story