My Goodwill Story – Roy

In celebration of Military Appreciation Month, we are spotlighting the story of Roy, a veteran who came into MERS Missouri Goodwill Industries (St. Louis) for support.  

Roy’s introduction to Goodwill’s services came through his church and the local Veterans Affairs office which led him to the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). This program, designed for older Americans, combines community service with work-based job training, offering a platform for growth and contribution. 

The Call to Serve 

As part of SCSEP, Roy began working with the John J Pershing VA Medical Center. He found camaraderie among fellow participants, witnessing their triumphs and envisioning his own. His desire to support and uplift other veterans resonated deeply with him — a calling that had guided him throughout his life. 

Roy discovered a profound sense of purpose in mentoring veterans, providing support and fostering a spirit of solidarity. This, he believed, was his true calling. 

For Roy, SCSEP was transformative. It offered him a sense of belonging to something greater than himself. His happiness stemmed from helping others, a fulfillment that echoed his sentiments: “We are put on this earth to look after our fellow man.” 

Continuing the Legacy 

Roy’s dedication did not go unnoticed. His commitment to doing his job well led to recognition and opportunities for advancement. Thanks to his work with SCSEP, Roy was eventually hired by the VA Medical Center as a Red Coat Ambassador. SCSEP was the gateway that allowed him to step through and be hired, a chance that might have otherwise eluded him. 

Reflecting on his experiences, Roy shared, “I enjoyed my time in the program. It was a very good experience for me… I was part of a team, a caring team that puts the participants first.” His journey with SCSEP was not just about finding employment; it was about finding his place in a community that values each individual’s contribution. 

Through Goodwill and programs like SCSEP, older Americans like Roy continue to serve, mentor and make a difference.