Marvin Marks was not born blind. Until a few years ago, he was a forklift driver, a husband, and a father, until one day, without notice, he started to go blind from a tumor on his optic nerve. In a very short time, Marvin lost all his sight, first in one eye, and then the other. His life began to fall apart and he lost his job, his wife, and his home – his reasons to get up in the morning. “I had to find something to do to get out of my house—it was driving me crazy,” he said. “I had to find someone to give me a chance.”
After meeting Kathi, who works for Goodwill Easterseals, he was able to work briefly as a telemarketer. “When that business shut down, I was right back to where I started—unemployed. Stuck at home. I became depressed and my life was falling apart,” Marvin said.
Then he found out Goodwill Easterseals had another program he could join for training to learn new skills. Through his hard work, despite his disability, Marvin was able to turn a temporary training position into a permanent one. He has now been employed for over three years. “I was so excited—I didn’t want to go back to being unemployed again. Since I haven’t been blind for very long, there is still a lot I need to learn. I’m learning to use a cane. The folks here have also helped me with things that are hard for me, like reading my mail and making a budget work. They have become like family to me—a real support,” he said.
“I like working here because it gives me a reason to get up. I have someplace to be besides sitting at my house. I want to work and have a job. It gives me momentum. It keeps me active. I am glad Goodwill Easterseals is here. I have a job and a paycheck, and more importantly, I have somewhere to go.”
Marvin’s story is just one of over 10,000 from people who came to Goodwill Easterseals over the past year looking to enhance their education, find a job, or get support for their family. We are here, but we wouldn’t be able to help without the compassionate support from our Gulf Coast community.
Come meet Marvin and hear his story on a Hope to Opportunity (H2O) tour and find out the good things Goodwill Easterseals is doing to help your neighbors who need it. We bet you will say, “I had no idea you did that!” at least once, and with your knowledge, we can spread the message of hope and bring opportunities to even more people. You can reserve a spot, or just show up to any one of the dates on the tour card. We sure would love to have you!