Meet Israel: Manager of Goodwill in Ballard

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
January 7, 2015

One might be hard-pressed to find a person more passionate about helping people through the mission of Seattle Goodwill than Israel Juarez, the manager of our Ballard location.

Israel's journey to Seattle Goodwill has covered over 6,800 miles—and involved two different Goodwill affiliates. Israel left Mexico City when he was 20, after an invitation from his father to join him in Indianapolis, Indiana. “When I came to the United States I needed to learn English, so I went to Goodwill in Indianapolis,” he said.

Israel worked for Goodwill Indy for a while, but then decided to move to Seattle, where his wife Darcy is from, to be closer to her family when they had their first child. Before they made the move, Israel did his research he knew he wanted to continue working for Goodwill, because he believed in what Goodwill was doing, and he himself had been impacted by the programs Goodwill Indy had to offer. “One of the main reasons why I work for Goodwill is that as an immigrant and as a person who took advantage of these programs, I believe in the potential of each individual. I want to help.”

Upon arriving in Seattle, he began working as the production supervisor at the Bellevue store—and has worked his way up to being manager at the Ballard store. Israel spends most of his spare time focusing on being a husband and father. He and his eight year-old daughter Naomi both play soccer—and you'll find him at both his daughter's soccer games, as well as his own when he gets the opportunity. Rafael, his five year-old son, loves playing with LEGO, and it's not uncommon to find Israel joining him. “I'm a person who's always trying to find new ways to improve myself.” He said, “New ways to help my family—and do better for ourselves. I don't like to stay in one place all the time. I like new challenges. I like to help people as much as I can.”

“Working here is just different than working at a normal corporation. It feels very good going home knowing that I helped a person. It feels really good meeting someone in a job interview, seeing their challenges and needs, and saying,‘I want to help change the life of this person’ and hiring them. That's the real work!”


Kim fancies herself a professional communicator. She has experience in writing, graphic design, and social media, and is always looking to expand her knowledge base into other fields of communication. She loves people, coffee & Seattle (including the rain).

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