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I called dozens, but a halfway house in Cookeville was the only one that would accept me, she said. So I hopped on a bus with a few possessions and $10 in my pocket.

When Cindy came to Cookeville in 2003, she had reached an all-time low in her life. “I had lost my home, my family and my life as I had known it,” she said. “It was all because of my drug addiction.”

Cindy had spent the last 11 months in prison. As a condition of her early release, she was required to attend recovery meetings and live in a halfway house. “I called dozens, but a halfway house in Cookeville was the only one that would accept me,” she said. “So I hopped on a bus with a few possessions and $10 in my pocket.”

On the way to a meeting, Cindy stopped at the local Goodwill store. She didn’t buy anything, but she left with something of value: a brochure for Goodwill Career Solutions.

Cindy went to the Career Solutions center in Cookeville the very next day. “The career counselor went above and beyond to help me,” she said.

“She knew I needed money immediately, so she found me a job where I could make tips.”

Weeks later, Cindy started a job as a processor at Goodwill. “Within a year, I had purchased a car, rented a home and moved my family here,” she said. “Shortly after that, I received a promotion.”

What started with a brochure 11 years ago has transpired into so much more. “Coming to Goodwill was one of the most important decisions I’ve made,” she said. “I love the people, and I enjoy my job.”

Cindy said Goodwill has provided her with more than a job. “Two years ago, we bought a house and made Cookeville our home,” she said. “Goodwill gave me the opportunity to do that.”

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