Sherry Franklin, Retired
What began as a prayer ended up being a blessing.

It was 2007 and I was looking for a part-time job to help fill some gaps as I tried to start my own business. I put the need on a prayer list and at a meeting with a church group I was told of a part-time position at a new business close to my home. That business was New Danville, which I had not heard of, so I applied for the job as a driver. I guess I have held a dozen roles since then, and each one has helped make me a better person. The Wranglers have a way of doing that.

In about three years, I was working full-time in the day program. I guess most people think of me as the “woodshop lady,” which began at about that time. One of our board members made pens and we picked up the project in our woodshop. And to think, we’re now looking at making distinctive executive pens as one of our job creators. It was in pen making that we created the “Ooops Box” where mistakes in making were placed. The Wranglers realized that it is okay to make mistakes.  Oooops.  Put it in the box and move on.

So much has changed over the years, and I am proud to have been part of it all.  People have said that I was a “Jill of All Trades,” and it felt that way at times.  I had the pleasure of doing so many different assignments. Each one had a way of shaping me and teaching me a lot about life and about others. There were times when I was driving routes that some of the Wranglers would get in the van and it was clear that they had had a rough start to their day at home. I was determined to help give them a new, brighter start to their day.  That gave me a brighter start to my days, too.

At different times over the years, people – friends and family – would encourage me to look at other job opportunities. I couldn’t. There is nothing like working here. It chokes me up when I reflect on how much this job, the Wranglers, and everyone I’ve worked with here has meant to me.  But, it’s family, so no wonder.

I didn’t know anything about this world, the world of adults with IDD, when I began working at New Danville. I’ve learned so much along the way. I’ve learned how to do a variety of jobs, and I’ve learned patience for myself. I wished everyone could learn what I have learned by working with the Wranglers and the New Danville family: be nice, slow down, strike up conversations with people with IDD – they are funny, insightful  — and listen. Listening…it goes a long way.

Sherry began her career at New Danville in 2007 as a part-time driver. Her work ethic, empathy and compassion moved her through a multitude of roles. She resigned in June 2021 but will remain in the hearts and lives of the New Danville family.

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