Warren, AR, native Eddie Leonard is passionate about Goodwill.
Eddie was once an active high school athlete and received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. He lived overseas while working for the Department of Defense and later worked as a supervisor with an agency that served youth and group homes in his home state.
But Eddie admits to making some bad decisions. He started using drugs and alcohol and got in trouble with the law.
Eddie decided to take charge of his life. However, finding a new career was difficult because of several physical limitations from previous sports injuries and his past criminal record. He was referred to Goodwill Industries of Arkansas (Little Rock) where he started a Ticket to Work Program in February 2008. He started working in Goodwill’s Work Activity Program and loved everyone he worked with.
He felt a higher calling to Goodwill from the beginning.
“It was just something about when I first came through those doors,” he says. “The first thing in my mind, and I guess it was God telling me, ‘Boy, you need to stay here.’”
As his term of employment at Goodwill’s Work Activity Program was drawing to an end, he decided there was nowhere else he wanted to be.
After speaking about his desire to work for Goodwill, he was offered a position as a floor care manager. Eddie is now responsible for cleaning and maintaining the floors in Goodwill’s offices and retail stores all across Arkansas. Eddie’s supervisor calls him a conscientious employee who does an excellent job keeping the building clean.
Eddie is very grateful for his opportunities.
“One of the most important things God has blessed me with is that God put people in places in my life at the time I needed them and that was Goodwill and the people at Goodwill,” Eddie says. “I am so blessed to be here.”