Saturday, October 24, 2009
This week's recipient of our Yellow Envelope Project exemplifies why the project exists.
Equally good is how I came to know of this story.
A week ago a friend called excited to tell me, after four years of thinking about doing a nice gesture, that she finally did it. Dawn wakes up each morning at 4:00 am, so she can head to the gym. By 5:30 am she has exercised, taken a shower, and is ticking things off her checklist while walking the isles of Walmart. Impressive, I know.
Over the past four years, Dawn has slowly become more acquainted with one of the few Walmart clerks working the register at such an early hour. They exchange pleasantries and, I imagine for both of them, enjoy warmth in the familiarity of their weekly exchanges.
Dawn explained to me, that for the past couple of years she has wanted to offer the woman a ride home. Somewhere along the line she learned the woman rode a city bus to and from work, but Dawn's has two children and is usually rushing home to get them up and ready for school.
Last week her children had a three day weekend, so Monday morning Dawn didn't have to rush home prepared to jump start their morning routine. Instead, she offered to give a lift home to the Walmart clerk she has slowly come to know over the past four years. Appreciative, the woman accepted.
During the drive Dawn finally learned the woman's name - Brenda. She also learned Brenda lives 30 miles from the store. She takes a city bus every night and every morning in order to fulfill her job responsibilities at Walmart. Her shift begins at 9:00 p.m., but Brenda must leave home more than two hours early to catch a bus that will get her to work on time. She does the same long trek home every morning after having worked an eight-hour shift.
Every day a 12 hour ordeal so she can get paid for her 8 hours of work. Every day, like clock work, Brenda is there. And Brenda doesn't just show up. Dawn describes her as happy, good natured, and filled with gratitude.
Brenda is what this Yellow Envelope Project is all about. She is hunkered down in her corner of the world, gracious, pleasant, and working hard to make her time here matter. She might never win an award, be featured on t.v. or in a magazine, or win public acclaim, but Brenda is a star.
Please join me in letting Brenda know that, though half of her day is spent at the Walmart in Tempe, Arizona, her spirit shines far and wide, making her an inspiration around the country.
Brenda (cashier on the 9pm-5am shift Monday-Friday)
1320 W Elliot Rd
Tempe, AZ 85284-1193
Signing off until Monday...