From Sirens to Shopping Carts by Paul Seale
From sirens to shopping carts, Don Dubreuil has done it all. A paramedic for 28 years, Don finally decided it was time for a change. But, like many older adults, Don felt he was often overlooked when trying to re-enter the workforce. Luckily for both him and the store, the Old East Village Grocer works to make sure that no one is invisible, and Don’s now a member of the OEVG team.
The Old East Village Grocer is a non-profit food store owned and operated by ATN Access for Persons with Disabilities. In addition to its role as a neighbourhood grocer, it’s a live classroom teaching job skills to people with barriers to employment. “It’s great that the store gives people without experience the opportunity to learn and gain the confidence they need to move on to other employment.” Don says. “We don’t discriminate against anyone here. Everyone is treated equally and given equal opportunity regardless of age, disability, or experience.”
Though we value everyone as a person, ATN and the OEV Grocer recognize that people often value themselves by the work they do. Don says that this job helps to give him purpose. “You’re more than just a transaction number when you come here; you’re a customer or a client and you’re treated like family. I love getting to know the regulars and feeling a part of this community.”
As it turns out, Don’s fit right in. It’s a little slower than life aboard an ambulance, but he’s finding his new job as a grocery clerk less stressful and filled with more happy faces.