Fighting COVID-19 has cost millions of jobs and Jim’s was one of them. “Company is closing its doors due to economic damage sustained over the year. They’d rather let us go now while they can still afford a little bit of severance.” Those were the word Jim wrote in his application to join our Unemployment Transition Program. He understands the challenges our country faces because he has seen it from both sides. His friend Ryan tragically lost his stepfather Eddie to COVID back in August. Eddie was a dedicated worker at a big hospital in Dallas and was most known for his selflessness, his commitment to his work and caring for others. Unfortunately Eddie’s brother also passed away due to COVID, so the pain is felt deeply in the family.
As a part of our 8-week Unemployment Transition Program, each participant completes a capstone project to help a grieving family. “I started to generate ideas as to what I wanted the capstone to be and represent.” Jim said. “The family had recently conducted a fundraiser for Eddie with the proceeds going to the hospital he worked at, so my thinking was guided to more of an art piece or wooden installment to give to [Eddie’s Wife] as a piece of remembrance that she could either keep or donate if she wishes. I ultimately landed on building a wooden bench with a copper plaque illustrating Eddie’s name. I enlisted the support of a good buddy who is a talented woodworker to help me build it, which he did fantastically.”
“Coincidentally, and sadly, we uncovered that the lady who owns the house where the woodshop is located, also lost her brother to COVID-19, roughly 2 weeks before I started the capstone project. So now that we were building one bench, we actually decided to build two and dedicate one to her brother as well. We are planning delivery of the benches this weekend (December 12th) to both my buddy Ryan and his mother, as well as Sylvia who owns the woodshop we worked out of…”
The #becauseisaidiwould staff would like to congratulate Jim for honoring his word, completing his capstone project and graduating from our leadership program. Jim is the type of person who deserves an interview. If you know someone who has lost their job to the pandemic and might benefit from our Unemployment Transition Program, more info can found at becauseisaidiwould.org/backtowork.