People Who Have Influenced My Life-My Goodwill Easterseals Family

As you know I’m a part of the Cooper Family. I’m also a part of another family.  That family is just as colorful as the Cooper’s.  It consists of different races, genders and disabilities. I’m proud to say my other family is Goodwill Easterseals Miami Valley (GESMV).

I’ve been employed at GESMV for eighteen years. I feel like I see my work family just as much as I see my real family, and sometimes maybe a tad bit more. When that’s the case, you can’t help but connect with the people you work with every day.  As for me, there is just something special about my work family.

During my time at GESMV I’ve had many milestones and my Goodwill Family has been there for many of them. Around late 2004 through 2005 I was transitioning from walking to having to use an assisted device just to get around; this was a hard time for me and my GESMV Family could tell. I agreed to do a two week intensive therapy program at a facility so I could learn new techniques to help me maintain my independence and gain strength. I really didn’t like the place. Nothing was really wrong with it, I just didn’t want to be there. To my surprise, every day while I was there, one of my GESMV’s peeps would come to visit me. They would bring me snacks and just sit and chat and that really motivated me to get better and back to work.

In 2008, I won Ms. Wheelchair Ohio and had to go to compete for the Ms. Wheelchair America in Rockville, Maryland.  Before I left, my GESMV Family surprised me with a good luck queen party. I had no clue it was even in the making; they even secretly invited my mom and sister. The well wishes they bestowed on me were overwhelming and once again, gave me the push to do my best. Three of my GESMV Family members even traveled to Maryland and although it was only three of them, they cheered the loudest.  I didn’t win Ms. Wheelchair America, but I felt like I did because of my GESMV Fam.

Often if a person needs assistance, he or she feels funny asking. Thanks to the compassion of my GESMV Family members, I do not. They have assisted me in many emotional and personal ways including; assisting with my coat, eating, as well as carrying and picking up things. I’ve even partied with a few of them and shared dinners, laughs, tears and prayers.

When any of the GESMV Family is going through anything and needs help, we all pitch in to see how we can help. Work can be redundant but when you work somewhere with co-workers you actually like, that makes it worth it.

I would like to thank my GESMV Family for all the love and support throughout the years.  All of you, whom I work with now or have in the past, have really influenced my life. I salute you.

12 comments on “People Who Have Influenced My Life-My Goodwill Easterseals Family

  1. Amanda Williams on

    So glad I have gotten to work with you these last 6 years! You are an inspiration to every person you meet. Great article Shari.

  2. Tracy Hunter on

    Thank you for the kindness and friendship you have shown me over the last sixteen years. It has been a pleasure to know you and receive words of encouragement when I was going through mobility issues. You inspire everyone to achieve their very best.

  3. Mary Pfeil on

    This is a great synopsis of your exciting career there. It’s been 18 years already? I am proud of your success. It is great to consider such supportive coworkers as a “work family.”

  4. Margie Wehner on

    You have influenced and informed my life, Shari. Goodwill Easter Seals’ friendly atmosphere made a good place for us to meet and begin a lasting friendship—about 20 years ago.


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