Goodwill Donation Attendant In Martin Says Steady Work Brings Help, Hope

MARTIN, Tenn. — Timothy Callins’ father had a massive heart attack in 2010. With only partial heart function, his father could not return to work, and two years later, at age 15, Callins had to get a job.

“My dad gets a monthly check for disability, but that leaves us with nothing after we pay the bills, and it’s hard to come up with change for gas and food,” he explained.

Callins’ income was a big help in supporting his family, which includes his parents, two sisters and a nephew. At the beginning of this year, he changed jobs for one he really enjoyed with an area agricultural company. But within a month, he was laid off. He needed a new job, fast.

For several weeks he filled out job applications for potential employers, including a processing plant and stores in nearby Kenton, where he resides.

“Nobody would hire me or take time to interview me,” he said. “Then one of my sister’s friends said I should apply at Goodwill.”

Callins was hired and now works as an attendant at the Goodwill Donation Express Center at University Plaza Shopping Center in Martin.

“I really like the job. They gave me a chance, and it’s been helping me and my family tremendously,” he explained. “I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to do to get money.”

Callins, who is now 19, said he enjoys assisting Goodwill’s donors and “making sure they know their donations are in good hands.” He also feels proud to work for a nonprofit organization that assists people with disabilities and other barriers to employment.

Terry Dwyer, Callins’ supervisor, said the young man is an outstanding employee who provides excellent customer service and has the potential to advance. Callins was recently moved to full-time status, allowing him to earn more money and receive medical insurance, paid vacation time and other benefits.

“He’s got all the potential in the world. I wish I had 10 more like him,” Dwyer said, noting that Goodwill has job openings in West Tennessee. Available positions can be viewed at givegw.org/jobs.

While Callins has had to put his education on hold while he works to support his family, he still dreams of one day becoming a certified automobile mechanic with his own shop. And he says his job at Goodwill has given him hope for his future.

“If things keep going well, I feel like it might someday be possible,” he said.

The Goodwill Donations Express Center at 144 University Plaza Dr. in Martin accepts donations from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. seven days a week.

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