Kathleen is retired, but she isn’t slowing down. “I didn’t want to retire. I wanted to keep on going,” she said. She runs Kathleen’s Corner, a snack shop housed in the break room at Community Living’s Family Center. Once a week, usually on Tuesdays, Kathleen stops by the Family Center and picks up her ID badge from Liz at the front desk so she can swipe in to unlock the door between the lobby and the offices. Once she’s in, she can pick up a rolling chair and load it up with all the merchandise she brought to restock.
“They’re serving me. I’m serving them back.”
Kathleen started her snack shop business because she wanted to show people what can be accomplished by people with disabilities. “People think I don’t know what I’m talking about. They just think I’m disabled,” she said. “I figured it would be nice for people to know I’m capable.” She also likes to make people happy by offering snacks to hungry employees. “I want to make people happy. I want to make sure they get what they want,” she said. “They’re serving me, I’m serving them back.”
Kathleen keeps her prices low, but still turns a profit. After restocking, she counts up the money she’s collected and divides it into two pouches. One portion of her earnings is reinvested into the business. She buys more chips, candy, and soda to deliver the following week. The other portion is hers to keep. “Whoa! I’m loaded. I’m rich,” She joked, finding a rare $2 bill in her jar.
Kathleen live sin the community with the support of Community Living. She moved into the house she lives in now about a year ago. “I got the master bedroom and I feel a lot happier,” she said. She has a few roommates and likes the employees who work in the house. “I feel I’m very lucky. I have very good staff where I’m at.”
When she’s not at home or restocking snacks, Kathleen keeps busy. She’s been to The Price is Right Live at the Family Arena, but wasn’t selected as a contestant and didn’t get to talk to Bob Barker, so she’d like to go again. She’s also figuring out how to ride her new bike, and likes to play music at her church. “Everybody thinks that I’m so overactive and I don’t know why they think that. I’m just very determined.”