Road to Independence passes through Shopgoodwill’s Station 8

It is hard for the employees inside the office to walk past Station 8 without being inspired by the man who works there.


James isn’t the guy pinned down by obstacles.

To James, who has worked at for almost a year, Station 8 is more than the place where he does his job. Station 8 represents achievement and conquering the obstacles to independence. Station 8 means improvement.

Station 8 is a level of success James might not ever have believed he could achieve until he got involved with the job training program at Goodwill in 2007. Almost eight years later, people don’t define James by his scars or the limited use of his hands.

They define him by his smile, his positive attitude and his successes.

James isn’t the guy pinned down by obstacles. He’s the guy who goes to clubs, jumps out of his wheelchair to boogie on the dance floor.

To appreciate what is happening with James at Station 8, you need to know his story.

When he was an infant, James was badly burned in a house fire that left him in a coma for a year. Doctors didn’t believe he would survive. And when he did, doctors discovered that James had cerebral palsy.

James grew up in a wheelchair, and doctors didn’t give him much chance for success. Doctors expected that James wouldn’t be able to walk or talk or accomplish many of the simple tasks that an independent life requires.

When James started at Goodwill in 2007, he had a winning attitude. But he didn’t have the fine motor skills to immediately handle difficult tasks.

Goodwill gave him job training. James started with a simple packaging and collating job, and his skills began to improve. He was a driven employee, taking on the addition position as the editor of the program participants’ newsletter.

As his success grew, James started setting more goals. James wanted more responsibility and more money.

That’s when he transitioned to Goodwill’s online store,

James 1

James is an inspiration to the entire Shop Goodwill family.

He got more work and a raise. Since July of 2014, James has worked at Station 8, scanning and sorting books for online sales. He now works with a computer. Amazingly, he set a goal of processing 100 books per hour.

James then went out and beat his goal.

James is a vital member of the team, and he’s still driven to improve. His next goal is full-time employment.

“James is a true inspiration to the entire Shopgoodwill family,” said Ted, his manager. “James’ great smile and positive attitude makes you reflect on yourself and what it means to be a part of the mission.”

As you might expect, working at Station 8 isn’t the top of the mountain for James.

The top of the mountain is independence.

“Station 8, to me, is not just a work station,” James said. “It’s a stepping stone in my life. Station 8 inside of has provided me the opportunity to reach and achieve one of my personal goals. I look forward to continuing my path here at Shopgoodwill. I will continue working at accomplishing my ultimate goal of becoming independent.”

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