My name is Sarah Pine. I am a single mother of three children, a grateful recovering addict with six years clean, and I have a learning disability. I grew up in an alcoholic home and started using drugs with my mother when I was nine years old.
School was difficult for me so I quit in the 9th grade. I never wanted to be like my mother, but I found myself becoming more like her as I turned to meth instead of the alcohol. Before I knew it I was a full-blown addict whose life was spiraling out of control. My addiction took me to places I never thought I would go.
I eventually was arrested for manufacturing methamphetamine and endangering the welfare of a minor. My bad decisions cost me my children, my freedom and everything that mattered.
I spent a year in state custody, and it was my turning point. I vowed to change my life for myself and my children. When I paroled out I faced challenges because I was now a convicted felon. I had a lot to prove to the state of Arkansas because I was fighting to gain custody of my children back.
One of my biggest obstacles was trying to find employment. I submitted almost 80 applications and heard nothing. I asked my parole officer what to do and she referred me to Joe Bruton at Goodwill Industries of Arkansas (Little Rock). Mr. Bruton helped me enter into the transitional employment opportunity (TEO) program with Goodwill. I graduated from the program two weeks early because a position opened at one of the Goodwill stores. I was hired full time, and have been working my way up ever since.
I am now an assistant manager at the Springdale, AR Goodwill. Goodwill gave me a chance when no one else would, and for that I will be forever grateful. The TEO program helped me learn how to become a productive citizen, gave me the confidence I needed, and taught me how to gain my independence back.
The road was long and tough, but I regained custody of all three of my children. I have the opportunity to be a clean mother today. Now I get to take a narcotics anonymous meeting in the prison where I was incarcerated and share my experience, strength, and hope. I was chosen to be a partner family with Habitat for Humanity of Washington County, and by this time next year I will be a proud first time home owner.
I look forward to getting my GED this year and Goodwill has been working with me on that. It has been my honor to work for a company that is a part of changing so many peoples’ lives. My heart beats the Goodwill mission because my life is forever changed because of God’s grace and mercy.