Meet Brandie

Recovery Associate

“Goodwill is very accommodating and accepting of everyone — they really helped me.”

“I’ve always enjoyed life, and I’m thankful for what I have.”

As the owner of a “handywoman” business in Colorado City, TX, Brandie did odd jobs like mowing lawns, fixing pipes, and cleaning out abandoned buildings. However, after 10 years, her contracts with the city came to an end; and that’s when Brandie decided it was time to seek new opportunity.

“I felt stuck, and my wandering ways wanted to ‘wander’ a little bit. I had always wanted to move down to Padre Island — and I don’t have kids or a significant other —so I sold everything and packed up what I would need. I made my own trolley cart and just started walking.”

Brandie walked 300 miles in 30 days, and although she didn’t make it to Padre Island in the end, she enjoyed reconnecting with nature and fellow travelers. “It was 30 days of walking, and all I had to worry about was food, water, and putting one foot in front of the other.”

It was November, and the temperature dropped. Brandie stopped in Fredericksburg to wait out the rain, camping in a wooded area beside an abandoned building. She noticed that the Goodwill store across the street was hiring. “I’ve been here ever since!”

Collette, Goodwill Store Manager, hired Brandie to process donations, and everything was working out fine. But after about a week, local authorities informed Brandie that she was trespassing and would have to camp elsewhere. Upon hearing this, Collette immediately offered Brandie a spot on her acreage to set up her tent — she didn’t want to lose her newest team member! Says Collette: “Brandie has shown a dedication and appreciation for her job that I haven’t seen in most people. She’s very engaging with customers and ensures their shopping experience is always a positive one.”

After mastering donation handling, Brandie moved onto greeting customers on the sales floor and keeping things organized as a Recovery Associate. “I don’t like being stagnant and doing the same thing, day in and day out. I like to learn how to do everything wherever I work — I like to know it all,” she laughs. Today, she’s a full-time cashier.

A self-described minimalist, Brandie realized early on what’s important in life. “My mother said I’ve always been this way. I don’t want a bunch of stuff — you can’t take it with you. You can take memories; you can leave an impact on people.” After years of moving from state to state (Texas, Arkansas, Oregon, New Mexico, and Colorado) and serving in the U.S. Army after high school, Brandie has finally found a home in Fredericksburg — and at Goodwill! That cold, rainy day when Collette offered her a job at Goodwill turned out to be the first day of the rest of Brandie’s life. Securing stable employment was a game-changer, because she was able to break free from homelessness and at last find the job security and personal fulfillment she had always wanted.

“I’m so happy where I’m at. I fell in love with Fredericksburg, and everybody at work is great — they’re good people. Goodwill is very accommodating and accepting of everyone. They really helped me. I’ve got a job, a little cabin, a car, and clothes on my back. One day I’d like to take a vacation and go down to Padre Island!”

One thing’s for sure though — Brandie is sure to return home to Fredericksburg and Goodwill.