Brian Russelburg’s journey from a United States Post Office worker to Goodwill’s art appraiser wasn’t the most direct, but when it comes to your dream career, it’s better late than never.
At the age of 5, when most children are still mastering the art of doodling, Brian was drawing cartoon characters. At 10 years old, he became enthralled with a magazine his father gave him that was filled with iconic images from World War II and ended up building his own dark room for developing photos. His talents took him to the Herron School of Art in 1975, but his direction soon changed.
“The United States Postal Service offered me $11 an hour to come work for them, which was equivalent to $30 an hour today,” Brian said. “I was young and thinking about my future. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse.”
Some of Zach Hopper’s fondest memories of his mother include shopping at Goodwill for clothes and toys when he was a child. His family was poor and his mother struggled with addiction, often leaving him to care for a younger sibling.
In 2008, suffering from debilitating depression, Frank Farmwald found himself homeless and unable to keep a job. His condition became so severe it required him to be temporarily institutionalized. He then entered a transitional housing program as he learned to manage his depression.
It has become a tradition to send the Goodwill marketing interns to the Goodwill Outlet for their first shopping experience, requesting they report back with any tips, tricks and noteworthy findings. This past summer's intern, Scott Crabb, went to visit one of our Goodwill Outlets. We armed him with gloves and the ever-important rule of "don't touch anything until all the bins are together."
Goodwill stores may not be the first thought in your mind when Valentine’s Day rolls around, but it should be up on the list. Your local store location easily offers date-worthy wear, even if it’s just comfy sweats for a night in. The donation door makes an easy drop-off for a long-procrastinated box of former Valentine’s things that no one wants to claim any longer, and the shelves are full of potential ambiance makers and supplies for sweet DIY gifts.
Erik Caldwell moved back to Crawfordsville three years ago to help his dad through some difficult life circumstances. He applied for a job at the local Goodwill store, expecting it to be temporary, but remains a valuable associate today, staying longer than he ever planned.
Greg Wieneke has been employed at Goodwill for nearly a decade. For many years, he dreamed of riding a bicycle across the country, in part, to prove to himself that he could. Greg was born with cerebral palsy, a disorder that affects balance, movement and muscle tone, and epilepsy, a central nervous system disorder.
Geno Cox, blind since birth, recently celebrated 10 years as an associate at the Anderson Goodwill store. After attending the Indiana School for the Blind, Geno had difficulty finding a job locally.