Rocky Mount, Va.—Long known for selling second hand items, Goodwill in Rocky Mount is also giving people a second chance.
"Of course I should've thought about it before I messed up but I didn't," says Carol Bates, an ex-offender.
Bates is one of those getting a second chance. She is currently on probation after spending several months in jail. Her original charge was for distributing narcotics. These days, Bates is looking for clothes, determined to find a job.
"I started noticing when I brought people in for their initial interviews, a big need was well, I need clothes." says Sherri Perez a probation officer.
Last year, Perez contacted Goodwill to make sure people on probation are presentable when they go out to look for work. Together, the Department of Corrections and Goodwill created a voucher system. Ex-offenders can come and shop for three shirts, three pairs of pants and a pair of shoes, at zero cost.
"Everybody has been very happy that we've been able to supply it to them," says James DeHaven, store manager at Goodwill in Franklin County.
"To have your probation officer say hey, we've got this program going on, would you be interested in it?," says Perez.
So far 63 people have benefited from the program. Bates makes 64.
"It really makes me feel good cause of the communities action. It's like they understand we all make mistakes and we are trying to do better," says Bates.
She says the new clothes give her a new kind of confidence, and hopefully a new opportunity to make a living for her and her family.
The Department of Corrections in Franklin County often drops off clothes that people donate to them to Goodwill. In exchange Goodwill donates the clothes and shoes to ex-offenders. The DOC says it will pick up donations.