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Marnie's Story

Marnie standing outside Butte Goodwill store

Our Goodwill® stores in Montana, southern Idaho and Utah operate with the goal of providing job training opportunities inside the store and also financial support for the organization’s mission-focused services, which create opportunities for meaningful work and greater independence for people with disabilities or other barriers to employment. Our mission-focus also includes professional healthcare services and grief support for families in Montana's Silver Bow county. Marnie, a supervisor at the Butte Goodwill store, has experienced these services firsthand.

Originally from Wisconsin, Marnie and her husband Chuck moved to North Dakota to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Several years later, the entire family moved to Butte.  By then, Chuck had been diagnosed with cancer and Marnie was his primary caregiver. When Chuck’s condition took a turn for the worse his oncologist suggested that Marnie call Easter Seals-Goodwill’s Highlands Hospice. “That was the best decision we made,” recalls Marnie. 

Caring for a loved one who is extremely ill is physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting and hospice can help with all of these. “On days that I thought, ‘I can’t do this anymore,’ our hospice nurse, Chris was there to help me through it,” explains Marnie.  Chuck also really liked Chris. “If he was anxious about something, just talking to Chris would usually calm him and he felt better afterwards,” continues Marnie.

Marnie at the Goodwill store cash register

Marnie says that support from Highlands Hospice was especially important because they had only recently moved to Montana and didn’t have a network of friends nearby to help. Even though they lived with their daughter, son-in-law, and their family, Marnie’s daughter worked and had young children so wasn’t able to help with much of the care.  “Even with family, Highlands Hospice provided so much support for our entire family—that’s where the contact with Highlands Hospice meant so much,” said Marnie.

Marnie had left the workforce to care full-time for Chuck. After his death in late 2013, she needed to go back to work. “I saw that the Butte Goodwill store was hiring and I knew right away it was the right place for me. I wanted to give back to the organization that helped us so much.”

Marnie started in Goodwill’s production department in February 2014 sorting donated items. Today, she is a valued team member and store supervisor.

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