This story is originally from KTAB/KRBC's Hidden Gems segment. Click here to see more from this story and others around the Big Country.
With the Halloween season finally here, many people are decorating their homes, but shopping for Halloween décor at Goodwill in Clyde means using your money for a much greater cause than simply accessorizing.
Goodwill’s mission is offering jobs to those who have barriers to employment. Out in Clyde, the thrift store may just be a regular store to some, but for one employee – Jesse Britten – he said this store taught him skills that’s made him who he is now.
“I’ve been trying to get back out there because I have Schizoaffective disorder,” Britten explained.
Britten’s condition led to him to experience what he called a ‘psychotic break,’ for which he was hospitalized. He told KTAB/KRBC became afraid to interact with others, not wanting to get a job for eight years.
With encouragement from his father, Britten was able to get set up with a job at Goodwill. He said working at the store has taught him effective communication skills and has provided him with consistency – all of which has led him to achieving some major goals.
“I’m doing a data analyst certification, I am taking a video game production class for the program Unity 2D, I am working on a book, I am two certifications away from being a licensed music producer,” Britten listed with pride.
Kaitlin Paonessa, Director of Marketing in Communications with Good Will West Texas, said the nonprofit’s longstanding mission is to offer gainful employment to people with barriers in other career paths.
“Our employees – they have their own personal goals, and they’re finding fulfillment through their employment,” Paonessa said.
Because Goodwill West Texas is a nonprofit, Paonessa said this sort of outreach and help can only happen if people purchase from Goodwill stores.
As Halloween approaches, the busiest time of year for Goodwill Clyde, Paonessa wanted to encourage all to buy products with a story.
“Whenever you donate to Goodwill and shop to Goodwill, you extend the life of that purchase,” Paonessa assured.
Shoppers at Goodwill Clyde can know their hard-earned money will go to support people like Jesse Britten, who said he wants to share what he’s learned with others.
“Interacting is not as scary as it seems,” Britten said with confidence.
Paonessa told KTAB/KRBC 87 cents of every dollar spent at Goodwill Clyde goes directly to its mission – helping their employees and career services.
Click here to get in the Halloween spirit with Goodwill, but it’s always best to get inspired in-person! Goodwill Clyde is located right next to the Family Dollar, at 125 South Access Road.