Post Office partnership yields rewards for two - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Post Office partnership yields rewards for two

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Every Friday a special delivery addressed to the American Postal Workers Union wheels into Fargo's downtown Post Office.

It's the response to Union President John Durham. He sent a message to non-profit Community Living Services expressing his desire to help, but instead of giving money, they asked him to give opportunity.

"They came up with the idea of having one of the clients come over and do some work and some help," says Durham.

CLS helps integrate those with intellectual and developmental disabilities into the community and now since January 2014, the local APWU found a new communications director in one of their clients.

"I do whatever he needs me to do like grievances notices, type letters, type emails and shredding," says 22-year-old Communications Director Steven Eltz.

He doesn't let anything stop him from getting to the job.

"The coldest we've walked here was about negative ten," says Eltz's assistant and CLS Day-Support Supervisor Heather Stueven.

Eltz takes his job seriously, holding true to the postman's pledge: rain, sleet or snow, even wind chills of 20 below.

"So no matter what the weather is, I still come," says Eltz.

His new position has exceeded teaching work and social skills.

"It makes me happy and smile and not feel down on myself," he says.

In return, Durham never expected that by helping someone else out, his 40-hour weeks would be so much brighter.  

"For me it has really changed with Steven coming in now because his attitude is better. He's got the smile on and he's eager to do some of this work," says Durham.

Durham says he would encourage any manager or boss to take on a client of CLS as a worker.

In the future, Eltz hopes to use his skills learned in this position to become a greeter at Walmart.


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