At age 17, Jason Harrison was president of his junior class, a straight-A student and a champion golfer. He was a typical high school student with his sights set on college. On a rainy September afternoon in 1997, his life changed in an instant when his Pontiac Firebird hydroplaned into an oncoming pick-up truck. Jason spent the next nine months in the hospital. He was in a coma for three months and suffered numerous life-threating in injuries. His doctors weren’t sure if he would make it out of the hospital alive let alone walk or talk again. Today his dad calls Jason his “walking, talking miracle,” a testament to his will and determination to not only live, but thrive.
After being released from the hospital, Jason was determined to gain back his independence and worked hard at his rehabilitation, learning to speak, stand and eventually walk again. The process was slow but Jason never gave up. His positive attitude is what kept him and his family going.
Jason has limitations but does not consider himself disabled. Goodwill recognized that and has given him an opportunity, where others would not.
Today, Jason lives in a home not far from his parents, drives a truck and works as a cashier at the Goodwill store in Little River. The same attitude of gratitude and positive outlook that got him through the hardest time in his life inspires and uplifts everyone he meets. His father, Jim Harrison, is grateful that Jason has an opportunity to live his life to the fullest. “Jason has limitations but does not consider himself disabled,” Jim said. “Goodwill recognized that and has given him an opportunity, where others would not.”
Jason held other jobs before joining the Goodwill family but says he enjoys this job the most. His Employment Specialist Janet Kidwell said Jason has a way of making everyone feel special and that his customers know and love him. When Jason first started working at Goodwill, he worked in a retail store in North Myrtle Beach. Now at Little River, he has customers that make the drive to shop there just to see him.
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.” When Jason isn’t happily assisting customers, he enjoys playing golf and cooking.
Two phrases Jason likes to remind people of are “Every day is a good day” and “Sometimes you just have to suck it up and move on.” 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.