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    My Story: Kristy Ballew

    Goodwill® saved my life. It absolutely saved my life. Before coming to Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA, I was an active drug user for almost ten years. Abandoned by my mother, I was raised by my father. He passed away when I was one month shy of my 16th birthday, and I was left to fend for myself. Depressed over losing my dad, I fell into a new “family” with friends that used drugs and alcohol.

    I used drugs for a living and got them by any means necessary. I was constantly in and out of rehabs and halfway houses. I went into my first rehab in 2005 with intentions of completing the program to live a better life and provide for my newborn twin girls. After six months, nothing had changed because I did not want to change. I willingly signed adoption papers giving my babies a better life since I knew I was still an addict.

    I entered another rehab program in 2008 and remained sober for two years, and gave birth to my son. I was given prescription pain medicine due to an emergency surgery, and while I did not relapse, taking the medication was against my probation and I was required to enter another rehab – this time in Milledgeville, GA. I successfully completed the rehab program and moved into Hope House – a sober living halfway house. Through Hope House I met Goodwill Case Manager Charles Cofer and entered Goodwill’s WORKing Solutions program.

    I worked within Goodwill’s WORKing Solutions program at The Shrimp Boat restaurant for eight weeks of transitional employment. Upon completion of my eight-week WORKing Solutions job, I was hired on permanently. That was over a year ago, and I am still employed at The Shrimp Boat.

    In addition to working and being a mom, I am studying to take my GED with the goal of attending college to work in drug counseling. I am still active at the Hope House, often going back to help other women. It feels good to show them that they can change their path. They can have a better life.

    Goodwill showed me that we all can have a better life if we work at it, and I am living proof of that.

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    • Carlos
      December 20th, 2011 at 3:29 pm

      Thank you for sharing Kristy’s successes! What a powerful story of personal perseverance and determination. Good luck in your bright future Kristy!

    • Scrappy
      December 23rd, 2011 at 11:28 pm

      keep up the good work, you are one of the few.

    • Kristy Ballers
      April 2nd, 2012 at 12:47 pm


      I applaud you for your success. I am a firm believer that GOD has a plan and purpose for each of our lives, we just have to walk in faith and then there’s nothing to impossible.

      The ability to change individuals lives through the power for education, is what an Education Professionals dreams.

      Keep pursuing all that GOD has for you and your family, because he has so much. I believe everything you touch going forward will be blessed. Stay connected with individuals that love you unconditionally and care about your success.

      What the devil meant for bad, GOD meant for good!!!!!

      Have a Blessed Day!!!!

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