Apr 10, 2014
Going from working on cars to working in a retail store every day was a big change for Curt Chaltain. Yet, it was one that he faced head-on, and he’s been happily engaging with customers in the Bay Road Goodwill store ever since.
At the time Goodwill came to Rochester 20 years ago, Curt, who is blind, had been receiving services from the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI) that prepared and empowered him to continue contributing to his family and the community. He transitioned into the retail position with the opening of Goodwill’s Bay Road store, the first in the area.
“It was different for me. It was new. It was a challenge doing something I’d never done before,” Curt recollected.
Though challenged, he kept working at it because he believed in what the organization did.
“The whole concept of what is done at Goodwill – making revenue through receiving and selling donations, that in turn fund local programs and services. How can it get any better than that,” Curt exclaimed.
And whenever he had the opportunity, he said he told people about the programs and services he took part in, hoping they too could gain the confidence to do new, challenging things.
“Working with the general public who came into the store made me deal with my vision loss. It helped me immensely by making me more comfortable and confident,” Curt said.
Looking back over the last 20 years, Curt marveled at how far Goodwill has come in our community.
“It has gone from a little organization in Rochester to opening its eleventh store in the area. It’s pretty impressive.