Community

Kent woman finds hope, opportunity with Goodwill

Maly Wan Song thrives in her work at the Goodwill Christmas Shoppe on Kent
Maly Wan Song thrives in her work at the Goodwill Christmas Shoppe on Kent's East Hill.
— image credit: Mark Klaas/Kent Reporter

Maly Wan Song has found hope in hard times.

The Kent woman and mother of four is back to work, thanks to a partnership between Tacoma Goodwill and a community jobs program through the state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).

Song is one of two seasonal employees at the Goodwill Christmas Shoppe on Kent's East Hill. Goodwill is working with its partners and businesses to provide more jobs to people in the community with disabilities or disadvantages to employment.

In all, Tacoma Goodwill has 30 permanent employees at the Kent store.

Song appreciates the opportunity to rediscover the work force.

"I am happy, blessed to have a job," Song said as she assisted customers at the holiday store. "I am able to help my family and buy presents for my kids."

Song and her family have been victims of the economic downturn. Her husband, an aerospace worker, has been laid off and is unable to work because of a medical problem.

"We were struggling," Song said. "It's really difficult right now, but I know we can get through it."

Song completed the community jobs program, learning necessary skills. DSHS referred Song to Goodwill, which found her work in Kent this fall. She hopes the job becomes permanent.

Song's job in sales at the Christmas Shoppe is a good fit. She excels at customer service.

"I'm able to provide for my family. It's a blessing. And, give my kid's a Christmas," she said. "I was worried, but now the holiday season I can give our kids the gifts they want."

Tacoma Goodwill placed 1,902 people in jobs with 793 companies this year, according to Amanda Bedell, Goodwill public relations and communications manager.

Goodwill also provided job training and support for 8,638 people this year, including 2,997 young adults at the REACH Center.

More about the store

Tacoma Goodwill operates a stand-alone Christmas Shoppe in Kent, 25814 102nd Place SE, dedicated exclusively for the sale of holiday treasures. The store is stocked daily with merchandise.

"We started with two million pounds of high quality holiday inventory," said John Nadeau, Tacoma Goodwill's director of retail sales. "There are trees, lights, dolls, ornaments, books, toys and all the trimmings to make decorating this holiday season easy on a shopper's budget."

To learn more, visit tacomagoodwill.org.

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