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“Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance.”
FRANCIS OF ASSISI

Two Well Employed Adults Get Good Press

Punctuality Plus:

The November 21, 2005 issue of Time magazine is still on the wall of Rotary International’s mailroom. Proud employees posted it to honor one of their own, mail clerk Chris Hebein, who was featured in the publication last fall.

Hebein, a clerk in RI’s mailroom, was interviewed by Time for an article discussing a new technology that detects Down syndrome earlier during pregnancy. Hebein, who has Down syndrome and his mother, Sheila, gave their thoughts on the new technology and noted the significant contributions Chris makes working full time at Rotary International.

“I love my job very much, says, Chris, noting that he has never been late for work in 12 years. “My mom says, ‘Chris, you have the perfect job.’”

Sheila attests to her son’s punctuality and devotion to Rotary. “One day Chris called me from work about 8:40 AM and said he’d been robbed,” remembers Sheila. Worried, she asked Chris what had happened, and he told her that a boy on a bicycle had approached him a few blocks from home and asked if he had any money. When Chris said he did, the boy reached into Chris’ pocket, took the money, and rode away. But Chris continued walking to the bus stop and got to work on time.

“When I asked him why he didn’t just come home, since he was only a few blocks away, he told me, “Mom, he only stole my money, not my bus pass! says Sheila.

But RI employees like Chris for more than his punctuality. “He’s very thorough and efficient.” says his supervisor, Golden Corbbins. “Chris is great to work with, and he knows the departments like the back of his hand.”
As for celebrity status? Chris seems to be enjoying a little good publicity, “I got a lot of attention,” he says. “Everybody (on my mail route) said ‘’great job.’”

Winning Work Ethic:

For years, Molly Bourke has worked for Grand Food Center in Winnetka, IL, either bagging groceries or straightening up the shelves. But recently her job has been different. Molly has been promoted to cashier. Grand customers have watched her for a long time and are thrilled to see her progress. Even when other lines are available, they want to be in her line.

The new job reflects not only Bourke’s achievement, but also the good training her parents have helped provide for her over the years. If more employers like Grand were willing to give opportunities and training to those with developmental disabilities, there might be more checkers like Bourke. If you take the time to teach someone with Down syndrome a job, they may take longer to learn it, but once they learn it, they will never forget it.

Molly treats everyone the same and this makes her an excellent worker. When the store is busy, some workers get flustered, but not Molly. Her cheerful attitude tells the customers that she is going as fast as she can and she hopes that is good enough for them.

Molly’s dream was broadcast in an article in the Pioneer Press newspapers. The new checker says her only career ambition is to be the best checker she can be. “I want to do this forever,” she says.

NADS News, July, 2006