On the verge of losing her house, Sara Keeley got into her car and went on a desperate search for a job.
The Army veteran spotted a Veterans Support Organization office and walked in. She told the staff about her lengthy military career and then explained that she had just lost her job and needed work to avoid financial ruin.
VSO offered her a job on the spot.
|Working at VSO is an amazing and fulfilling experience…If not for VSO, my life could have easily unraveled.|
Within days, Keeley went to work as one of VSO’s fundraisers, seeking donations from passers-by outside of supermarkets, pharmacies and other stories. In a matter of weeks, her finances were back in order.
Her life only got better.
She was soon promoted within VSO to events coordinate, then to assistant manager, and then to chapter manager of the agency’s South Florida office, which she continues to oversee today.
“If not for VSO, my life could have easily unraveled,” she says.
Born in Maidenhead, England, Keeley spent 11 years as an Army Artillery Repair technician and as a Florida Army National Guard staff sergeant. After leaving the military, she got an associates degree in electronic engineering and worked for years in quality control jobs.
When her industry began downsizing in the early 2000s, she bounced from job to job until she couldn’t find any work. Her past problems with post-traumatic stress syndrome resurfaced, and she had to work hard to keep herself from sinking into a depression and from abusing alcohol, which struggled with years earlier.
VSO didn’t just provide her with a new job at a moment of desperation, she says. It gave her a new outlook and new path in life.
“I pulled myself back together again. I found new friends and a new self-worth,” she says. “Working at VSO is an amazing and fulfilling experience.”