Last week, we learned all about how Golden Rule’s Director of Vocational Development Becca Geiger McLemor joined our growing family. While she came to Golden Rule Industries “completely by accident,” she’s made a mark on the Muskogee, Wagoner, and Tahlequah communities that’s unforgettable. And truly, as we saw last week, her hard work has been an important part of supporting careers for people with disabilities in Oklahoma. You can probably tell that we’re very glad to have her as part of the team, and today, we’re learning a bit more about Becca and what she’s taken away from Golden Rule in part two of her profile.
Hands down, it is the Working Partners; everything about them!
Seeing the Working Partners struggle when they do; it’s not all the time, and we provide them with all the support they need. But there are still times when they may struggle with a specific task or activity. Many of them cannot tie their shoes or read or perform other everyday tasks, for example.
However, they have the best hearts. And many of them have a huge desire to work in the community. Truthfully, they want to be just like everyone else. Sometimes it’s heartbreaking. My job as Director of Vocational Development is to find job opportunities for our Working Partners that allows them to lead fulfilling career.
I have to develop jobs using the skills that a Working Partner has or can obtain. Sometimes a person will only have the use of one arm and use a wheelchair to get around, but she wants to work; she still deserves to be an important part of the community. Finding or creating jobs based on interests and skills of the people I serve can sometimes be very challenging. But we work to match up our Working Partners in roles they’ll be successful in throughout the Muskogee, Wagoner, and Tahlequah communities.
Abilities outweigh disabilities. Like I said earlier, when I met my first group of Working Partners, I was amazed by all of their skills. At the time, they were working on some orders for a contract for a local fan company, and they were putting some wire boxes together, doing something with springs, all kinds of things that I didn’t recognize. But they knew exactly what they were doing. This is cliche, but I say it a lot because it is so true: “Not everyone can do everything, but everyone can do something.”
Many people are unaware of all the services offered by Golden Rule. We are SO much more than a “junk store.” We use the phrase “meaningful day” a lot around here. We want to make sure each Working Partner has a meaningful day. Our goal is to change their lives for the better. As a non-profit in Oklahoma, we currently serve 5 counties and 70 Working Partners. With all we do… that’s an enormous impact to the community!
We are going to open a new store based in our corporate office. It’s going to be different from any other business model we’ve used in the past, and if all goes as planned, I don’t think there is another place like it in Oklahoma. I don’t want to tell too many details as we are still working the kinks out, but it is really exciting! We are also working on ways to improve how communities view us. I am looking forward to getting more involved with the cities we serve. Although I wasn’t initially impressed with Golden Rule Industries, my view has completely changed. I want Green Country to know what Golden Rule is all about. I also want them to be more than impressed with our program as we continue to serve our mission. And it’s an important mission!
Golden Rule Industries of Muskogee, Inc. is a non-profit agency established in 1953. Its mission is to better serve adults with disabilities – to improve their quality of life through vocational opportunities and more.