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E-newsletter Summer 2023



Maritza came to Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota (GESMN) looking for a new career that would help support her mom economically as she ages. With your support, Maritza is building a stronger future for her family.

Photo of Maritza smiling

"My goal for the future is to get a house, just keep working, to keep saving money, being there for my family and my loved ones,” Maritza said. “These are probably the first years of my life that I actually have financial stability."

“I was a waitress. I loved being a waitress, but then COVID hit and now that was taken away in a few minutes,” Maritza said. “I was unemployed. I literally had no savings. I saw my family situation, and I’m like, ‘Oh, my timeline has suddenly shrunk. I need to get a job.’ I need to be able to financially support my mom, too,” Maritza continued.

Maritza started looking into construction. “The one thing that stood out the most was Goodwill-Easter Seals was one that gave you a foundation,” Maritza said. Thanks to your partnership, she was able to complete the 12-week hands-on construction training at no cost to her.

“I was never trained on resumes, interviews. I didn’t even know what paperwork to take when I had to apply,” Maritza said.

“Goodwill-Easter Seals was a steppingstone to start my career,” Maritza said. “I was able to get into [the] CCC (Carpentry Contractors Company) right away. I was able to get a car. And then in May was when I joined the union,” Maritza continued. “Because it [GESMN’s construction training program] helped me to find a good job, my life has improved dramatically.”

Watch more of Maritza’s story here.


Thank you to the nearly 300 guests and sponsors who celebrated the 17th Annual Power of Work Event with us on May 11! Our annual signature fundraising event supports job training and customized career support to help participants eliminate barriers to work and independence. Thanks to you it was a meaningful, inspiring, and fun evening!

Your commitment to equity impacts people’s lives, and the GESMN workforce development staff see it every day.

Photo of Michael and Shannan smiling

GESMN President and CEO Michael Wirth-Davis with Power of Work emcee Miss Shannan Paul.

Photo of Roxy smiling

“The holistic approach we take is really important. Our program We’re doing workforce development but we’re participants get the also finding out what wasn’t working before, like needing childcare or housing, so we can open doors and giving people the opportunity to move forward."


Roxie Lorine,
Workforce Development Manager,
Event Panelist

Photo of Kyle smiling

"Our program participants get the opportunity to prove what they can do despite what people might see from the outside."


Kyle Van Acker,
Workforce Development Manager,
Event Panelist

Photo of the multiple circular tables with people seated at them raising their cards to bid.

Your gifts make
a difference!


The fun and exciting auction featured one-of-a-kind packages with items donated to local Goodwill stores by people like you, including vintage jewelry and an antique desk, and custom outdoor games like a bean bag toss set made by the GESMN YouthBuild program.


Lisa Christianson

How did you get involved with GESMN?
I am honored to represent Goodwill-Easter Seals as a commercial real estate broker to help negotiate leases, renewals, and purchases of property for stores and programs.


Why do you volunteer at Power of Work?
I believe in the amazing work that GESMN does to help people with the support, skills and training they need to help themselves. I believe in the Power of Work!


You attended Power of Work in May. What was your favorite part of the night and why?
I am grateful and thankful to work with such an amazing organization! Happy to support GESMN in any way that I can – plus it was a really fun event!

Photo of Lisa smiling.

Thank you

to the Power of Work 2023 event committee!


Your leadership helps open doors to brighter futures.


Anthony Bass

Kortney Cartwright, chair

Marcella de la Torre

Chase Foreman

Jewelie Grape

Robyn Hansen

Lauren Beecham Henry

Patricia Jesperson

Peggy Kadlec

Rachel Lockett

Karin McCabe

Sita Morantz

Sheila Olson

Michelle Terkoski


We hope you can join us next year

18th Annual Power of Work Event

MAY 9, 2024

Quincy Hall


Get involved with Power of Work 2024!
Learn more here.

  • Join the event committee
  • Volunteer at the event
  • Donate items to the auction
  • Become a sponsor


Where there’s a will, there’s Goodwill

For over a century, Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota has helped connect people to jobs in our community. In July we launched a campaign that makes it easier for people to connect with our services by visiting A new texting option will be available soon as well. You may see billboards, social media, digital and television messaging around the community to let people know we are here to help.

This campaign shines a light on our mission, honors the drive and talent of the people we serve and will benefit all areas of our organization.

Learn about the campaign.