Throughout the month of December, we are highlighting stories of how we have worked together to be a stronger community and get through the difficult days of the pandemic – together we are Triangle. This week, we have the amazing success story of a program participant from our Salem location.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the value of perseverance for everyone. Ralph, a program participant from our Salem location, is a prime example of how hard work can pay off in difficult, unforeseen circumstances. Before the pandemic began, Ralph had worked at Price Rite in Lynn as a Porter for almost four years. He loves meeting new people and helping customers, and he was a loyal and dependable worker, even being recognized as the Customer Service Team Member of the Month a couple years ago.
When the pandemic hit in March, Ralph was unfortunately laid off from his job. Like countless others, he was unsure of when or how he could return to work with so much uncertainty. After he was laid off, he spent time with his family at home, played basketball in his yard, and went for walks and runs. He attended Triangle’s Zoom-based virtual programming and enjoyed working on his money management skills.
Ralph was given the option to return to work in September. His supervisor was understanding and gave him as much time as he needed to feel comfortable coming back to work. To prepare, Ralph attended face covering trainings over Zoom with Triangle’s Manager of Clinical Supports, Ena. Ena reviewed the importance of wearing a mask, the proper use of face coverings, and what Ralph’s work environment may look like. Ralph practiced wearing his mask around the house and gradually increased the time he had it on to prepare. While wearing a mask and gloves all day was a daunting challenge, Ralph also worked with his Employment Specialist Bridget until he felt ready to work on his own. Over time, Ralph has gotten used to the extra safety precautions in place and is now working two nights a week.
Thanks to Ralph’s hard work, along with the support of the Triangle community, he was able to return to earning a paycheck. His story illustrates the importance of working together in order to get past challenging circumstances. Now Ralph is working hard to earn the Customer Service Team Member of the Month award again!
Keep your eye on our social media and blog for more stories of how we have come together during this difficult time. If you want to support our innovative programming, you can make your year-end donation here. Together we are Triangle!