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Working hard for their money: Business pays employees for helping out

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Catherine W. Idzerda
August 15, 2008
— Plenty of people cry about their jobs.

Jenny Pearson is no exception.


But when Pearson cries about her employer, they’re happy, grateful tears.


Pearson works at Sanford Business-To-Business as a machine operator.


“It’s not often that you get to work at a place where the company and the employees are so wonderful to people,” Pearson said Thursday.


Pearson’s story started June 12.


On that day, Pearson and her long-time fiancé John Powers were evacuated from their home at 1903 Joseph St., Janesville, because of flooding.


Their home, located in Janesville’s Mole & Sadler’s subdivision, was across the street from the Rock River. By the time the flood crested, the first floor of the little two-story home was filled with 18-inches of water.


That was bad.


Then things got worse.


In July, Powers had part of his foot amputated because of an infection related to flooding in his Milton home in 2003.


Then, one day, when Pearson was walking her little dogs and her son’s golden retriever, the big dog spotted a squirrel and took off, launching Pearson into the air. She came down face-first on the sidewalk, ending up with a giant knot on her forehead and a shoulder broken in two places.


By that time, the floodwaters had receded, and the couple was faced with the task of removing the flood-damaged items from their sodden and moldy home.


Neither of them was in any shape to do the work.


That’s when Sanford Business-To-Business stepped in.


“So many people came to me and said, ‘Is there anything I can do?’ and “Let me know if you want me to come and help,’” Pearson said. “I think it kind of snowballed.”


The company’s Community Awareness Team got involved, and soon management decided to set up two days when employees could help Pearson—on the clock.


That’s right, on the clock, as in paid time.


“They told people to come to work and clock in and then come over here,” Powers said. “I get choked up thinking about. Clock in and then come work here.”


On Thursday, about 10 Sanford employees donned masks and gloves and hauled everything out of the house into massive Dumpsters.


Sanford provided lunch.


Workers did such a good job that the second shift, originally planned for today, won’t be needed.


This isn’t the first time the company has extended itself to its workers and their communities. The Community Awareness Team has donated money to a variety of local organizations including Rotary Botanical Gardens and the Hedberg Public Library. They’ve also helped with scholarships for employees’ children.


“They’ve done so many wonderful things,” said Pearson, who has also served on the team.


Now she’s one of those “wonderful things.”


“I’m proud to work there, and I’m proud of the people I work with,” she said.



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