Occasionally, we come across one of life’s little known secrets, which, if only more widely known would be a catalyst to change the world we all live in.
Through our media releases and social media posts, many of you have been introduced to our Green Light Fire Bag team member Eric. Eric is an adult living in our community who suffers from a developmental disability. This developmental disability is indeed inhibiting to many of the little things we all enjoy in our daily lives, and without workplace accommodations, many of the tasks we often take for granted who prove to be far to daunting for Eric.
As a manufacturer we utilize 1,000’s of boxes and bags each and every month, which are all hand amassed. When Eric first came to Green Light Fire Bag, he was excited at the prospect of taping boxes. However, what has become a very routine task for other employees, was quite difficult for Eric. Yet, with
encouragement, modification and practice Eric has become the very best at taping boxes, and truly takes pride and enjoyment in his duties.
What appears to be a “little thing” taping and assembling boxes, is truly a BIG thing when it comes to our manufacturing process. Bar none, having boxes assembled correctly and ready for the assembly line is a must, and Eric has become integral to the manufacturing process. More importantly, Eric has employment, an occupation, and the same sense of pride we all get from performing our very best at our job.
With that, we were fortunate to witness how the little things in life can have a domino effect, and can truly make a big difference. Yesterday while in our manufacturing facility Building Blocks Ministries director Paula Whetro stopped by to check on Eric and introduce us to “Craig”. Craig like Eric, suffers from a developmental disability, and Craig had come to watch some of the job skills that Eric has learned at Green Light Fire Bag in hopes of one day to finding a place where he can become employed.
Craig watched very curiously as Eric opened boxes, taped very willfully, assiduously and then stacked them alongside the assembly line. Craig’s eyes gazed wide as he watched Eric whom comfortably and assuredly completed his work.
As I watched Craig, I could see in his eyes a wonderment for Eric, and as I watched Eric, I saw tenacity that had not been there weeks ago. We asked Craig if he would like to try to tape a box, and with a fervent “yes” Craig took a few steps to where Eric was working.
What happened next was nothing short of inspiring, we all watched on as Eric began to mentor Craig and teach him how to tape the box. For those who know or love someone with a developmental disability you will understand the depth and breath of this experience. For us, to watch on as Eric mentored Craig, meant more to our company than you can imagine.
So as we make business plans for the upcoming year we are stopping to enjoy this moment, and the success that cannot be measured by financial data, but rather the impact being felt within our community by building a legacy, not just a business.