Jesus Rodriguez was a taxi driver before the pandemic hit,, but lack of work forced him to applied for public assistance and become a stay-at-home dad. But Tragedy had literally hit home earlier; fire consumed his home and he lost everything. His wife worked to support the family while he sought a stable job.
GOODWILL INDUSTRIES® WEEK CELEBRATES THE POWER OF WORK May 1-7
Olive Zachowski had been on and off public assistance for about 3 years before joining Bridge To Tech. Her background was in theatrical carpentry and other odd jobs working with her hands, but when theatres closed due to the pandemic, she found it difficult to find employment. Olive came to Goodwill NYNJ on February 20, 2020. During the pandemic she stayed engaged with her follow up specialist and attending weekly Zoom workshops.
Larry Thompson, an African American single Newark resident in his early sixties, had served our country proudly as an Army Cannon Crewman.
Sharon Cooper is a 33-year-old Richmond Hill, Queens, resident with an intellectual disability and speech impediment. She lives on her own in an Individual Residential Alternative (IRA) in Queens.
Wafts of frosting, sugar and butter swirled in the air on a recent Thursday morning as loud mixers roared in the background. In the corner, Jasmine Garcia, 33, of Flushing, Queens, wearing an oversize green sweater, a white apron, gloves and a hairnet, carefully placed delicately decorated cupcakes in plastic containers.
Working five hours a day, four days a week at a Magnolia Bakery warehouse in Queens is a release for Garcia, who has a 2-year-old son at home.
"I'm happy here," she said.