Success Stories

Working as a donation specialist isn’t just Nate’s first job – “it’s my career”

With his big, infectious smile, Nate Hall stepped away from a box of donations in the backroom to take a break. He has been working at Goodwill for seven months now as a Donation Specialist where he accepts and sorts donations at the Maine Mall (South Portland) store.

Nate works at Goodwill, in part to honor the memory of his mother. She passed away two years ago. Nate was close to her and Goodwill was a refuge. Together they had fun thrift shopping. He recalls the good feeling he would get when they were at Goodwill. The retail team and the store “gave him good energy.” A seed, planted in that small boy; and when he was ready Goodwill was his first stop for a job.

Because Nate has a disability, he started at Goodwill with a job coach. A job coach is just that, someone who “coaches” an employee on a job. The goal is to have the employee become as independent as possible, but the coach will stay on for as long as they need. For Nate, in just a few months, he moved from a job coach to natural on-the-job support from his co-workers. Nate is happy, independent, and growing.

Goodwill works with people who want a job. If someone has a barrier to employment, Goodwill finds modifications to make a position work. Goodwill recognizes importance of a diverse workplace. Employment, beyond a paycheck, brings dignity, connection, and stability.

Nate, a self-described “people-person,” has excelled in his job. You may find him accepting donations at the Maine Mall store. He said at times, when a long line forms, it can be overwhelming. But long lines don’t stop him. He puts on his signature smile and gets to work. When he is not helping in the donation area, he will prepare donations for the sales floor. He enjoys learning and embraces the challenge that comes with new skills.

Nate said, “I don’t look at this as my first job; for me, it is a career.” He dreams of one day becoming a manager of a Goodwill store.

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