My Story – Lee Arnold

I haven’t always been in a wheelchair. I used to work in construction. I poured concrete until a crane fell on me and crushed me in half. When the doctor saw me after surgery, he didn’t say “Hi, how are you?” he said, “You’re lucky to be alive.”

It took months for me to rehabilitate, but when I was better I opened Noah’s Closet, a consignment store for children’s clothing. I owned the business for 10 years – until the economy tanked and I had to close.

I started searching for a job. I don’t know how many résumés I sent out: hundreds. I could get an interview – I had lots of experience — but people had a hard time seeing past the wheelchair.  So that’s when I came to Goodwill Industries of Northeast Indiana. I worked with its employment services department and enrolled in its retail training class.

About the same time I finished the retail training class a job opened up in – Goodwill’s online auction site. I applied for the job and was hired. I’ve now been at Goodwill for about four years.

Since working at Goodwill, I’ve purchased a house. This past summer, I put in a garden and grew foods I love to eat. Working at Goodwill has given me back my dignity and respect.

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