Recently, a longtime Goodwill volunteer received the ultimate recognition from the organization: her photo on one of Goodwill Manasota's trucks. Jo Rita Stevens, 89, has donated her time and resources to Goodwill for decades, contributing more than 50 years of volunteer service and support to the nonprofit.
Prior to moving to Sarasota approximately 25 years ago, Stevens was heavily involved in the Goodwill Service Guild in Indianapolis, Ind. She began her involvement as a volunteer as a young mom staying home with two children. Throughout her time volunteering with Goodwill, Stevens learned about working with people with different abilities, and Goodwill’s role in helping them to achieve self-sufficiency and feel the pride of work. In addition to financial support, Stevens has volunteered on numerous committees, proudly represented Goodwill in commercials and print advertisements, and served as an Ambassador for the organization for many years. In recent years, she has also volunteered with The Haven, Healthy Start of Sarasota, and the Kiwanis Club, and served as an advisor to the Sarasota High School Key Club, secretary of the board of trustees at her church, and the secretary of the Historical Society of Sarasota County.
In early July at Goodwill's Corporate Campus in Bradenton, Stevens saw her dream of being featured on a Goodwill truck become a reality. In attendance were members of Goodwill's team, including president and CEO Bob Rosinsky, who said a few words in Stevens' honor before photos were taken to memorialize the occasion.