Since Paul O’Connor came to Goodwill in 2020, he’s taken advantage of as many services and work
opportunities as possible which recently led to a job offer with our gloves operation.
“I like doing gloves because it keeps me busy,” Paul said. “In between doing gloves, I help out as much as I can around the warehouse.”
Our Goodwill has had a contract with the state to sell personal protective gloves to agencies like prisons and behavioral health facilities for the last decade. The operation has always been a way to provide employment for individuals we serve and an additional revenue stream to help support mission services. Paul became familiar with the operation when he began attending the Ross Services Center.
“Paul came in here the first day with the center and worked every section of the gloves. It is normally split up into workers who sticker, open, and stack, and nobody had ever asked me if I wanted them separated into sizes until Paul,” said Gloves Contract Supervisor Sharma Rhodes. “Since he’s been here part-time, he gets orders ready, shrink wraps them, and helps the individuals from the center when they come to work. I was impressed. He is exactly what I was looking for.”
Although Paul now works part-time with the gloves operation, he continues to attend the center and enjoys the things that brought him there in the first place.
“I come to the center so I can actually work and make money, not just sit at home, and I like meeting new people,” he said.
Paul was among the first individuals to work with our Handy Helpers program when it started with the help of a grant through the Pioneer Center soon after he began attending the center. The aim of Handy Helpers is to provide individuals in the center a chance to earn money, learn new skills, meet people, and give back in the community by helping those in need of assistance with small home projects like yardwork.
“I like giving back to the community, helping those who are in need, going to cut their grass for them or
whatever the Handy Helpers job is,” Paul said.
During his time at Goodwill, Paul also has helped at the store and worked with the custodial team, Good and Clean, cleaning the ODOT garage in Chillicothe and local small businesses.
“It helped us get out there and work with places that needed to be cleaned,” Paul said of Good and Clean. “I got to meet new people. It was really good.”
No matter what the work or activity has been, Paul always looks to mentor others who attend and work alongside him at the center, teaching or guiding them in the task or activity at hand if needed. And it provides him independence – the ability to get things he needs or things for his children.
“Goodwill has given me a good job that I can get out in the community without the stress,” Paul said,
adding sometimes in previous jobs he’d easily get overwhelmed. “Here (at the warehouse),
it’s just me, and when we do Handy Helpers, it’s four, five or six of us. I can work by myself doing things. It
makes it easier on me.”