A supervisor at Salvation Army was a little skeptical that a 68 year old truck driver could serve successfully as a customer service associate at the retail store. But how could she say no to a volunteer offering 40 hours per week of volunteer time?
KKW Trucking offered to pay Mr. Smith* to volunteer temporarily at the nonprofit organization while he recovered from a shoulder injury he received while working. Mr. Smith was released to light duty work because he was not able to lift more than 5 pounds and could not work above his shoulder level. This disqualified him from his normal job – driving a truck – so his company offered the Transition2Work program to him so he could stay active during his recovery.
The day after entering the program, a light duty assignment was found ten minutes from his home matching his skills and abilities. The work schedule allowed him to work 40 hours per week with the flexibility to work around his doctor and physical therapy appointments.
Karen Sanchez at Salvation Army was doubtful the assignment matched the worker; she was willing to try to make the assignment work. Mr. Smith reported to the Salvation Army to help sort and price donations, test small appliances and greet and assist customers. “We love him!” stated Karen. She goes on to say he was reliable and did a great job for them, “We love the way he talks to customers and he accomplished every task we set before him. He is a terrific volunteer.”
Mr. Smith faithfully attended the assignment at the nonprofit organization for about three months until his doctor released him to return to work without restrictions to KKW Trucking.
Sara Sherman, Safety Manager for KKW Trucking tells us, “[He] said it was like having daily physical therapy and getting paid while he was recovering from his surgery.” Ms. Sherman explains the employer benefits of the program, “It has helped us get employees back to work with modified duties that are too far away from our locations.”
The program is successful because it was designed to benefit employers, insurance carriers, non-profit organizations and the injured employee.
*The volunteers name has been changed to protect his privacy.