Success Stories

Caleb pursues his own business with support from Disability Services

Caleb Truman likes to use his hands. He creates impressive woodworking pieces and detailed needlepoint and sewing projects. He knew he wanted to sell his crafts but needed some support. Caleb achieved this goal with a little help from Goodwill’s disability and workforce services.  

Caleb attends Goodwill programs five days a week, totaling 40 hours a week. He goes on group outings to the library and other places, but also works with Goodwill staff on his goal of selling his projects.

“I like it,” Caleb said. “It keeps me busy and keeps me out of the house.” 

Caleb took a woodworking class in school where the teacher was also hands-on. The teacher encouraged Caleb to keep at his craft, and he did.  

From cribbage boards to functional wooden boats and picnic tables, Caleb has honed his skills over the years.  

“I’d rather be hands-on with a project,” Caleb said. “I like to be able to know what I’m doing, as I’m doing it.” 

How Goodwill helped Caleb sell his projects

Goodwilll employee Mariah Charland began working with Caleb last summer. From the start, she could tell how talented he was.  

Mariah helped Caleb create a Facebook Marketplace account. Together, they sold some of his crafts to the local community, and it got some traction. 

“He was able to sell some crafts and have some people order commissioned art,” Mariah said. “It’s been really fun to pursue this with Caleb because I had no experience in this area either, so we’re sort of learning as we go. It’s been really fun.” 

Caleb’s making an accessible picnic table for his friend who uses a wheelchair. A dream Caleb had inspired the project. His goal is to make it easier for his friend to sit at a picnic table. Caleb is working on getting precise measurements for the custom piece. 

“It takes time to build things,” Caleb said with a smile. “The biggest thing is listening to the person trying to help you.” 

To support Caleb’s crafts on his Facebook Marketplace page, click here

Goodwill NNE’s mission is to help people – like Caleb – achieve their work and life goals. For people with disabilities, this can be more difficult. We believe it’s important that anyone who wants to work can work. We help thousands of people each year through our workforce and disability services. 

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