From Addiction to Employment: Dessa’s Story

Dessa Beasley came to Goodwill Easterseals looking for answers. Instead of telling you her story, Dessa shares how her life had become shattered and how she pieced it all back together:

“The first thing I want to say to you about my life is that GOD GETS ALL THE THANKS!!  You see, I was on drugs for 30 years.  I was so blind I couldn’t see what I was doing.  I was homeless, I stole, I lied, I manipulated until I became so sick of myself that I had to do something.  I even got diagnosed with cancer, and I didn’t know I could get any lower.

“I went to Salvation Army to get help with my addiction and began living at the Family Haven there.  They introduced me to a bunch of beautiful women at Goodwill Easterseals who have been there for me and put me back on my feet.  I was sent to computer classes to update my skills.  I was taught how to use a bank account, and I was given a training job at the Salvation Army where I was living to practice my work skills.  I did everything Goodwill Easterseals told me to do.  In the end, the Salvation Army hired me to take care of the families who live there.

“I learned I do not have to be alone—Goodwill Easterseals was there for me when I needed them to move forward in my life.  Now I have money in the bank, money in my pocket, and I am no longer giving every thin dime I have to the drug dealer.  I have a job and my life means something.  I am even cancer free!  I have been given a chance and hope for the future.  This could not have happened without the grace of God and the help of Goodwill Easterseals to put me where I am today.”

We are so proud of you, Dessa! Her life is proof that people and communities working together can mean huge changes for someone in need of hope and success. Your support made Dessa’s life BETTER.


It’s never too late: Nettie’s Story

Nettie Lang came to Goodwill Easterseals with a few things in mind: to earn money for extras, to get out of the house, and to remain vital. After retiring from Regions Bank as an assistant Branch Manager, Nettie enrolled in SCSEP (Senior Community Service Employment Program) in June 2015. She then found that she needed to update her skills because so much had changed since she was in the workplace. Nettie volunteered as a receptionist at the Goodwill Easterseals Community Center on Azalea Road, which provided some up-to-date skills, but not enough to gain employment. Volunteering was not giving her the financial resources that she needed. She heard about SCSEP and found that it would assist in training as well as supplement her income while she gained new skills. Nettie is now training in the SCSEP office as payroll assistant. She has learned to use Microsoft Office programs, including Word and Excel. She has learned how to prepare participant resumes and how to assist participants in solving various employment-related issues. Nettie proves to us all that no matter a person’s age, it is never too late to gain new skills and find success!

The Joy of Success: Joya’s Story

Joya Baker

Hi, my name is Georgia Baker, and my daughter’s name is Joya. She is our only girl, and she has three big brothers, 14, 13 and 8.

In 2011, Goodwill Easterseals asked me to work in the child development center, and I was happy to help. Before I knew it, I was asked to direct the entire child development center. After we found out we were expecting Joya, she ended up being born at 34 weeks. When we got her home with all those boys, we noticed she didn’t really respond to loud noises, and she was having some issues with her breathing. The doctors discovered she had hearing loss in one ear, which also makes it harder for her to balance.

That’s when I figured out why God put me at Goodwill Easterseals. Not only did I have great support through my pregnancy and a loss before Joya was born, but we had Early Intervention right here in the building. Kaki, the physical therapist, is amazing. Joya and I are learning a little sign language, too, and all the speech suggestions are working. Joya has made so much progress; you wouldn’t even know she has a hearing loss. Goodwill Easterseals is a safe haven, and a blessing to my family. The Early Intervention team makes Joya feel safe enough to try new things. I am right where I belong. We can reach out and grab that future!