Emma puts books on the shelves at the Coeur d'Alene Goodwill.
Emma came to WFS through Vocational Rehabilitation and became a participant at the Coeur d'Alene Goodwill store about three years ago. Even on days that were hard for Emma, she made sure those around her were doing okay. Emma would move crates of books for others, staple bags, and help out any way she could. Emma worked sorting, bagging, and scanning books. The only task that seemed too hard for Emma was taking out a bag of toys to the retail sales floor. Even the thought of it would fill Emma with anxiety. One of the job coaches gained the trust of Emma. Together, they would look out the window of the double doors in production onto the sales floor. After Emma deemed it was okay and there were not too many people in the store, both Emma and the job coach would enter the store and quickly put the bag of toys on the shelf. This was hard on Emma. Some days she just couldn’t do it. Over the next two years, Emma has slowly built up her ability to be on the sales floor. Emma started going out without the job coach if the job coach stayed by the windows on the double doors. After that, Emma put albums and CDs on a shelf that was a little farther from the doors. Now Emma takes six crates of books out and places them in the proper areas of the bookshelves. Emma even volunteers to de-tag books, a task that keeps her on the sales floor for 20 minutes at a time. When asked how she is doing, Emma responded, “I like de-tagging books. Some days it is still hard, but I like doing it.” It has been an honor to watch Emma make the effort and work so hard pushing though the daily barrier. The barrier is still there, but Emma fights it and comes out on top.