Santa Wheels helps more than kids during Christmas season

By: Jorge Lopez Email
By: Jorge Lopez Email

News 12 First at Five / Friday, Dec. 14, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- We first met Olivia Lumpkin Thursday night. She's a little girl with a big grin and has a lot more to smile about on Friday.

Olivia is moving into her first apartment with her mom and sister in Augusta. And it's thanks to the job training program that Goodwill provides through the Santa Wheels project.

Olivia's mother, Beverly Lumpkin, got to Augusta about a year ago.

"I knew one person out here in Augusta," Lumpkin said.

She lived with a friend for a while but then found herself homeless.

Lumpkin went to the Salvation Army and that's where she met Shelley Glass, the case manager for Goodwill's job training program.

"She came dressed up, as if she was going on a job interview. She told me that she didn't care what the job was. She just wanted a job search and she wanted a job that was going to help her take care of her daughters," Glass said.

They put Lumpkin to work on the Santa Wheels project. Being the only woman on the crew didn't bother her. She worked just as hard, if not harder than anybody else.

Lumpkin's job training wrapped up Friday, and Glass says she's ready for the next step.

"Trying to get her another job, so that she can move forward with her life for her daughters," Glass said.

And while Lumpkin is also looking forward to a new job, she's more excited about leaving the shelter with her girls.

"I'm looking forward to just seeing them at home and running up and down the hall playing and things," she said.

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