BRADENTON, FL – Recently, a longtime, devoted Goodwill volunteer received the ultimate recognition: her photo on one of Goodwill Manasota’s trucks. Jo Rita Stevens, 89, has donated her time and resources to Goodwill for decades – she has contributed more than 50 years of volunteer service and support.
Prior to moving to Sarasota approximately 25 years ago, Stevens was heavily involved in the Goodwill Service Guild in Indianapolis, Ind. She began her involvement as a volunteer as a young mom staying home with two children. Throughout her time volunteering with Goodwill, Stevens learned about working with people with different abilities, and Goodwill’s role in helping them to achieve self-sufficiency and feel the pride of work.
“My service with Goodwill has made me passionate about giving back to the community; the work they do is so incredible,” Stevens remarked. “When people think of me, I want them to think of Goodwill. The organization changes lives – just as it has changed mine.”
In addition to financial support, Jo Rita has volunteered on numerous committees, proudly represented Goodwill in commercials and print advertisements, and served as an Ambassador for the organization for many years. In recent years, she has also volunteered with The Haven, Healthy Start of Sarasota , and the Kiwanis Club, and served as an advisor to the Sarasota High School Key Club, secretary of the board of trustees at her church, and the secretary of the Historical Society of Sarasota County.
In early July at Goodwill’s Corporate Campus in Bradenton, Jo Rita saw her dream of being featured on a Goodwill truck become a reality. In attendance were members of Goodwill’s team, including President & CEO Bob Rosinsky, who said a few words in Jo Rita’s honor before photos were taken to memorialize the occasion.
For more about Goodwill, visit experiencegoodwill.org.