My Story: Timothy Bruner

I am so glad to get the chance to share my story. Somewhere out there is another ‘Tim and Ayden’ who need some help and guidance, and I’m here to tell them that Goodwill® can help them….just like it helped us. Goodwill took a chance on me and it paid off. Never quit, never give up, no matter what life throws at you; overcome it and do it.
I am a single father with my twelve-year old son, Ayden. He came into my care after Child Protective Services removed him from his mother as an infant. In 2014, I lost my job because I was unable to work the nights and weekends required to pay for Ayden’s childcare. When the paychecks stopped and without any income or savings, Ayden and I became homeless.
At first, we stayed with friends but soon ended up at All Church Home (ACH) Child and Family Services in Fort Worth, TX. It was one of the few local shelters that would take a male and a child and not separate them. While living at ACH, I enrolled in their program and was referred to Goodwill’s North Texas Institute (NTI). I applied – and was accepted into – the Commercial Truck Drivers (CDL) program, and attended free-of-charge through Goodwill funding. In 2015, I graduated from NTI with Ayden by my side!
As I was completing my training, a Box Truck Driver position became available at Goodwill and a member of the Workforce Development team brought my application to the attention of the Agency’s Transportation Manager. I not only passed the test to graduate from NTI, but I also passed the driving requirement to be employed by Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth and became a valued addition to the Transportation Department! I was working steadily full-time for four months, when an opportunity for a Goodwill CDL Driver became available and I was promoted to this position. It was in September 2016 that Ayden and I were successful in securing more permanent housing by renting an apartment. Now, Ayden is settled and successful in school.
I am my son’s hero. He tells me quite often that ‘I am proud of you Dad.’ This is huge for any parent to have a child look up to them. This is what makes it all worth it. My son is happy and proud of his Dad.
I want to thank all those who had faith in me. I especially want to thank the staff of the North Texas Institute and Workforce Development, my Transportation Manager (Nate Lear- who gave me my chance to prove myself), and CEO David Cox for supporting me and others in helping gain independence. Without the support of these individuals who believed in me, Ayden and I would not be self-sufficient today.
Now that I’m working at Goodwill, I’m excited to show Ayden what it’s like to pull yourself up once you’ve got a hand to help you. Goodwill has been that hand! Goodwill has done so much not only for me but for so many others. Regardless of how people get into difficult situations, everyone needs a chance. I know that our story will inspire someone else. There is somebody out there that thinks they can’t do it; but if I can do it, they can do it.