Volunteer Spotlight: Dan Z.
During the four years that I have volunteered with Goodwill, I continue to be impressed with the dedication of the staff. In fact, I have been so impressed by their commitment to Goodwill’s mission of Changing Lives Through the Power of Work that I recommend volunteering here to both youth and adult class participants who have served time in a correctional facility.
It is a fact that those with a criminal past, which includes serving time in jail, have a more difficult time finding employment than those who have not served time. In addition to acquiring marketable skills, previous offenders must meet the additional burden of demonstrating to prospective employers that they have been rehabilitated. Volunteering at an organization like Goodwill shows employers that the individual is putting forth a good-faith effort to turn his or her life around.
While there are a number of organizations where one can volunteer, Goodwill’s focus on getting people back to work provides volunteers with a good opportunity to experience the workplace environment. The fact that they are in a volunteer program geared towards finding family sustaining employment reflects well on them. As a community, it is important to support efforts by prior offenders to find meaningful work, which will positively impact their life and help prevent them from returning to jail. Goodwill’s efforts to assist previous offenders in acquiring employable skills and obtaining employment makes me feel that my contribution in assisting all students, regardless of their past, has been and will continue to be a worthwhile effort.
Dan Zacharski is a volunteer with Goodwill’s Champions for Good program. For more information on volunteer opportunities, please contact Community Engagement Manager Kilby Watson at (704) 332-0316 or firstname.lastname@example.org.