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Three jobs = busy life

Three jobs = busy life

October 9, 2018

(Editor’s note:  October is Disability Employment Awareness Month.  This year’s theme is “America’s Workforce: Empowering All.”)

No one can say Maggie Smith is afraid of hard work.

Maggie, 41, has held several jobs over the years at places like Swan Cleaners, Kroger, and the Holiday Inn.

But it’s her current job at Winchester Terrace Nursing Home that she says is the best job she has ever had.

“I love it,” says Maggie.  “The residents are like family to me.”

Maggie has worked in the dietary department at Winchester since September 2015.  She’s there four hours every Wednesday and occasionally fills in on other days.  Maggie is responsible for preparing the dining room for supper by getting glasses and silverware ready, taking trays from the kitchen to the dining room, and helping with cleanup.

“It’s fun going back and forth, back and forth,” she adds.

Maggie also helps to restock the nursing home’s small café, which offers sandwiches, salads, and drinks.

“She’s an excellent employee,” says Dietary Manager Virginia Webber.  “Anything you ask her to do, she’ll do it.”

If Maggie’s job responsibilities change, a trainer from Richland Newhope Industries, Inc. (RNI) can come in to help her learn the new duties.

“They can shadow them whereas maybe we can’t,” notes Webber, who also employs two other individuals who receive supports from the Richland County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

She thinks Maggie’s best trait is her personality.

“She’s always bubbly,” says Webber.  “She’s never mean or upset about anything.  She’s just got a positive outlook on everything.”

Working at Winchester Terrace isn’t Maggie’s only job.  She also works on Mondays at Raemelton Therapeutic Equestrian Center, volunteers there on Thursdays, and sometimes even rides the horses.  The other weekdays she works at RNI.  HR Choices provides transportation.

“If I’m not busy, I stay home and get bored,” explains Maggie.  “It keeps me out of trouble!”

Outside of work, she participates in Special Olympics and is a contracted artist at Element of Art Studio/Gallery where she paints and makes jewelry.

But perhaps the thing she loves most is being a member of the RNI Dance Troupe.  Maggie joined the troupe when it was formed about nine years ago and has since performed around Ohio, including once at Winchester Terrace.

“It changed my whole life,” says Maggie. “I’d never danced before.  It makes me work out and lose weight.”

Maggie shares a home with two roommates and, when she finally has some down time, she enjoys going to movies, doing crafts, and playing games on her computer. 

And some day Maggie hopes the dance troupe can do an encore performance for the residents at Winchester Terrace – a place she loves.

“If I’m having a bad day, I can come here and relax,” she adds.

With a busy schedule like Maggie’s, that means a lot.

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