SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – Richard “Adam” Bell, a donor greeter and sales floor associate at Goodwill Manasota, recently won a gold medal at the Special Olympics after weightlifting 147.5 lbs. Adam began his career with Goodwill through a partnership with Loveland Center, one of the many local agencies Goodwill works with to employ those with barriers to self-sufficiency.
“We are so proud of Adam for winning the gold medal – it was a dream come true for him!” said Carla Bur, key holder for Goodwill’s Laurel location. “When he came into work wearing his medal, the smile on his face was priceless. We’ll never forget how proud he was and we will never stop being proud of him.”
Adam, who has competed in the Special Olympics for the past 10 years, won his first gold medal at this year’s State Fall Classic competition, held in Kissimmee, Fla., on November 16, 2014.
“Adam has worked for Goodwill for five years and says that his favorite part of working for Goodwill is the people. He’s fond of saying, ‘I love you guys,’ and ‘I’m off this weekend’” said Bur. “We are very lucky to have him on our Goodwill team.”
In October, Goodwill Manasota celebrated a milestone as 12 percent of its 800 local employees have some type of disability or severe barrier to self-sufficiency. The organization plans to continue creating jobs for those who are traditionally considered unemployable.
“We are so extremely proud of Adam for his recent win in the Special Olympics! Adam is a prime example of someone who has exceeded expectations, set goals and succeeded through employment,” said Bob Rosinsky, president & CEO of Goodwill Manasota. “We always look at someone’s ability, not their disability – we want our employees to know that they can do anything they set their minds to. This win is a personal achievement for Adam, but we are all celebrating in his success. When someone becomes employed, it can change their life. We helped give Adam a ‘hand-up’ – but he’s been a winner all along.”
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2013, we served more than 16,000 people, placed 537 people in jobs and assisted 329 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $81.3 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted 37 million pounds out of the landfill. For more information, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org.