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Waupaca celebrates anniversary of store’s ‘teacher’

By Debra Werch
Store team leader

Rebecca is what we at Goodwill NCW are all about. She helps us live out our mission every day.

Rebecca with President and CEO Chris Hess

The team at the Waupaca Retail Store and Training Center recently celebrated Rebecca’s 10th anniversary with Goodwill NCW. I spoke with Rebecca’s parents to find out how Rebecca came to our nonprofit human services organization. According to her mom, Sherry Brownlow, Rebecca’s previous employers didn’t accommodate her needs or make her feel like she was as important part of their team.

We do that at Goodwill. When Rebecca first started at the Waupaca location, she started by pulling merchandise and pricing items. As time went on, she continued to thrive on extra responsibilities and new tasks. Rebecca is now one of our cashiers.

We have challenged Rebecca, we have added responsibilities, we have given her new tasks. She accepts the responsibility of the position and will always try and do her best job.

Rebecca continues to grow and develop and accepts the challenges we present to her. Rebecca has a sense of pride and loves giving herself to her work, Sherry said. She appreciates that we challenge Rebecca, treat her with respect and make her feel like an equal.

Sherry said years ago when Rebecca was asked what she wanted to be, she would say a teacher. Rebecca has fulfilled that dream. Every day, she teaches us to be understanding, to be patient, to look at things as she looks at them. She helps teach us to look at the world through her eyes and helps us understand that everyone hears, learns and processes differently and that we, as leaders, need to help our team members be their best selves at work.

As much as we challenge Rebecca, she challenges us.

Rebecca has a difficult time with change. She had worked Thursdays for a long time. When we changed that schedule, Rebecca thought she had done something wrong. We had multiple conversations regarding the schedule change, helping her understand the why, reassuring her that it is OK when there are changes and helping her process this new schedule. Now, if I don’t have her on the schedule for Thursday, she will ask me if I need her and will let me know that she is there for me.
Rebecca tells me that often. “Debra, I am here for you.” Rebecca is there for all of our team. She brings in treats and will make cute cards. She is everyone’s friend and is always kind to others. Rebecca paints her fingernails and brings a pen that matches the color tag of the week. We have endless “Rebecca” stories and are blessed to have her on our team.

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