Lee Anne shows some of the cards she is responsible for.
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Mosaic in Northern Colorado

Lee Anne - Hallmark

If you shop at Hallmark in Fort Collins, you may know a woman named Lee Anne. She’s friendly, always willing to help and has been working there, stocking the cards, for 10 years. If you are a regular shopper at the Hallmark in Fort Collins, Lee Anne knows you, though she admits she has difficulty remembering names. You may have noticed Lee Anne is a little different. Maybe you haven’t. October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and Lee Anne is a shining example of how inclusion works and people with intellectual disabilities can be successful, productive employees.

In addition to stocking the cards, Lee Anne also bags up extra envelopes (in groups of 25), ties them with curly ribbon and sets them out to be sold. She loves her job and says she gets along great with everyone she works with. That wasn’t always the case, however. In the beginning of Lee Anne’s employment, there were some who didn’t think she belonged there. There were some who didn’t think people with disabilities should be hired to work at Hallmark. Those individuals were not kept around long after that.

All jobs come with challenges, and Lee Anne explained one of her challenges is when corporate comes and changes all the cards around. She says this happens about every 4 years. Admittedly, learning a new layout can be difficult for anyone. “My favorite thing about working is meeting new people and helping them.” She also likes to read the cards, and described several that had animals in silly situations on them. When asked what she likes to spend her money on, Lee Anne exclaimed “everything!” Thank you for your honesty, Lee Anne, and thank you for contributing to your community and sharing your story.