Tim Hortons franchise owner Mark Wafer empathizes with former Goodwill employees who suddenly found themselves unemployed recently.
On Sun. Jan. 17, Goodwill released a memo announcing the closure of 16 stores and 10 donation centres in the GTA.
The store closure affected 450 low-income families.
Six of Wafer’s Scarborough Tim Hortons locations have extended job offers on social media to Goodwill’s one-time employees, with a commitment to helping those with disabilities.
“Inclusiveness is very important to me, if the workers are happy and doing tasks correctly then the business will continue to grow,” Wafer said.
Wafer quickly began receiving applications and setting up interviews.
“I have no ties to Goodwill, but I believe everyone in society wants to contribute,” Wafer said. “Everyone wants to reach their full potential and make a name for themselves.”
Wafer shared his own personal struggle with a disability. “I am deaf and capable of hearing only 20 per cent of what is being said to me,” he said.
Former goodwill employee Wanda McLean worked as a donor grader at the Community ReUse Centre in Scarborough for 11 years.
“I really enjoyed my job, I had plans to work there until I retired,” McLean said.
McLean found her job to be very therapeutic.
“After losing something that meant so much to me, I can only feel worried about what’s next,” McLean said. “I am dyslexic, but when I was working at the centre I was happy.”
She hopes to break the barriers for others with a disability actively seeking work.
“I believe something good will happen to me very soon, so I will not give up,” she said.