“I keep it on my desk. I have had it on my desk for over two years,” he said.
On Tuesday, Life Bridges held a recognition ceremony to honor those local businesses that provide their service recipients with work opportunities.
“A person that has a job has means to quality of life. It’s not just about the paycheck you get. It’s about having those experiences that you’re able to say that you are a part of the community. That you have value,” he explained.
A number of local businesses were recognized for their outstanding help in providing jobs to those Life Bridges serves: Lee University, McDonalds, Taco Bell, Cleveland Tubing, Fun Treats, Top Tech, Ocoee Investments, SkyRidge Medical Center, Peyton’s Southeastern, Rubbermaid, Wendy’s, Lubing Systems and Jenkins Deli.
“You are our heroes, and you are the heroes of Bradley County because you have given our folks what this lady was asking for but did not know how to say,” said Queen.
“I think we have been able to show people that the folks that we serve can do more than maybe it was ever thought that they could,” added Diana Jackson, deputy director of Life Bridges.
Jenkins Deli received a special recognition. For the past 20 years James Murphy, a service recipient of Life Bridges, has worked at the deli.
According to Terry Caywood, director of vocational services at Life Bridges, that is the longest record of anyone, served by Life Bridges, working at a single place for that period of time.
Murphy was honored by those gathered for his hard work, dependability and positive attitude.
“He is extremely dependable. He has missed two days of work in 20 years. One of those is today. Which actually, he is still on the clock today too, so technically he has only missed one,” joked Kay Jenkins Cowan, owner of Jenkins Deli.
Cowan was awarded a special plaque for her “dedication and commitment to those with learning disabilities” and her 20 years of providing those individuals with a vast variety of aid.
According to Caywood, Jenkins presently employs five Life Bridges service recipients. Cowan even created an additional position at Jenkins last year when one service recipient lost a job with another employer and desperately needed work.
“Over the years she has provided jobs, supplies, (and she) donates food and her time for many activities related to the support of adults with disabilities. For years she has taken an active role in supporting the Civitan Club, who sponsors the Special Olympics,” said Caywood.
All businesses represented were given a certificate of appreciation and a gift in recognition of the meaningful work and income provided to Life Bridges’ service recipients.
“Cleveland is a better place to live due to the contribution and dedication you offer our program at Life Bridges. Without your help our service recipients would not be able to live the quality of life afforded them,” said Caywood.