Achiever of the Year-Tim Straw


“My life has definitely changed. I felt helpless before, but now I have a sense of purpose because I’m gainfully employed.”

Tim Straw is a confident man who believes that good work speaks for itself. Not one to call attention to himself, Tim has been a loyal and trusted Goodwill employee since 2013.

Tim had fallen on hard times and was homeless due to his serious issues with alcohol. While living at St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy, Tim met with onsite providers from the Department of Social Services as well as the Matt Urban Center who helped steer him in the right direction. After he completed 15 months of outpatient treatment services for his alcoholism, he was connected with ACCES-VR (Adult Career and Continuing Education-Vocational Rehabilitation). Tim was offered choices as to where he could go to receive employment services. He had “heard good things” about Goodwill and decided that he would go there to begin his journey and receive the help he needed to find a job.

Tim began working with Goodwill’s Employment Services Manager to begin the process of getting his life back on track. The first step was developing a resume, which he did not have, and improving interviewing skills. His job developer provided him with leads, but he initially found that there was “lots of temporary work but nothing permanent”. That’s when a position in Goodwill’s Donated Goods division became available at the then soon to be opened Union Road Plaza store. Tim said to himself, “I have no income, no money, I need a job!” and decided to “get his foot in the door” at Goodwill.

He was hired part-time initially to help set up the soon to be opened store, and his strong work ethic made quite an impression on the Director of Donated Goods/Retail and the Store Manager. After just one week, Tim was asked to move into a full-time position as an attended donation center attendant at the Union Road store accepting and processing donations from the public. But Tim did so much more than that! Not only was he great at managing the donated goods, he was good at managing people and created a team that was dependable and efficient. Tim was promoted to the Production Manager he is today, where he manages the back end operations of the Union Road store, processing an average of 1,400 donations daily to keep the store stocked with merchandise for Goodwill shoppers.

Tim says, “Goodwill gave me a chance, and I want to show them they made a good choice.” We are confident we made a good choice and proud to recognize a man who deserves our recognition as he strives to be a good role model for his five children and five grandchildren.


Copyright © 2020 - Goodwill of Western New York

​Goodwill of Western New York

1119 William Street

Buffalo, New York 14206

(716) 854-3494

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