Christmas Sweater #25 is the real deal. Donated by Renee Davis of The Center for Hearing and Speech, who recently held their uber successful Via Colori festival. It’s long, even on me. Renee mentioned she used to wear green tights with the sweater, sadly mine were at the tailor getting some runs repaired. Santa’s beard is three-dimensional with some sort of knit material running across the whole thing. The brim of Santa’s hat used to be fuzzy but years of festive wearing has rubbed it all off. And then there’s the tassles….

Goodwill Success Stories

The Houston Goodwill site includes four success stories of members of the Houston community who have personally grown and found jobs as a result of the education, training and job placement services. I personally feel that there should be a weekly success story as Goodwill helps so many people in the city of Houston and they all have unique and inspiring stories. Here’s one of these stories:

Derrick Williams

The pulsing heart of Goodwill’s resale operations can be found in the warehouse and loading dock on the “backside” of the Hammerly location. There, the donations that are the lifeblood of the stores flow in and out by means of Goodwill’s fleet of blue and white trucks, staffed by drivers and truck helpers. One of those helpers, Derrick Williams, has a story to tell that demonstrates just how Goodwill changes lives.

Derrick came to Goodwill about six years ago, referred by a friend. He started out in the Personal Social Adjustment—Work Adjustment Training (PSAWAT) program, where he received mentoring and a job at the same time. Operations Director Jim Thompson recalls that things weren’t always easy for Derrick, or for Derrick’s supervisors. He had difficulties with anger management, and at times it was uncertain whether he would be able to continue working for Goodwill, but the staff were not willing to give up on him easily.

Things began to turn around for Derrick when he was paired with driver Gary Holloway, who made a personal commitment to helping him succeed. With this help, and with the strength of his own determination, Derrick made a remarkable transformation and has become an excellent employee. Jim Thompson says, “We’ve often remarked how much we enjoy the ‘new Derrick’… and he’s been ‘new’ for a couple of years now!”

Derrick recognizes Jim, Gary, Anthony Loville, and Charles Canton as the mentors who have enabled him to succeed at Goodwill. He enjoys his work, which allows him to be physically active and to move around while earning support for his two-year-old twin sons. Derrick continues to serve as a reminder to his co-workers and supervisors of what can be accomplished through persistence and the desire to succeed.

Check out three more success stories from Goodwill’s Houston chapter here.

Please, in the spirit of Christmas, make a small (even $5 helps) to Houston Goodwill so that they can continue to provide the services and training so that people like Derrick can obtain secure jobs and in turn make a contribution back to Houston. Make a financial contribution to Houston Goodwill by clicking the Chipin widget to the right or below. Thank you.

Derrick was able to receive the job training and counseling he needed as a result of Goodwill’s services and training. If you have valuable expertise to share you should call Goodwill to arrange a time to volunteer. To volunteer with Houston Goodwill please visit their volunteer page here or call: 713-699-6338

You know all those gifts you received today that you don’t want or need? Someone does. Visit this page to donate good to Goodwill.


  1. Holy tassels.

    Posted December 26, 2008 at 6:43 am | Permalink

  2. OH. MY. GOD.

    Posted December 26, 2008 at 10:03 am | Permalink

  3. Mason

    Thank you for the laugh!

    Posted December 28, 2008 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

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