EXTRAordinary Worker: BLAKE
We all felt inspired after “meeting” Blake and hearing his story as an EXTRAordinary Worker finalist for February. One of the most fulfilling parts of our EXTRAordinary Worker Campaign has been the connections we have made with these EXTRAordinary people. And the relationships that have developed from those connections.
So, we reached out to Blake and our other finalists to see how COVID-19 has impacted their lives. It took one response from Blake to know that his everyday life is totally different from what it was when we met him in February.
In case you didn’t have the pleasure of meeting Blake during the EXTRAordinary Worker Campaign last month, Blake is a Shift Lead Barista and Barista Trainer at Starbucks in Texas. Blake has never met a stranger. He exudes a level of positivity and work ethic that is energizing and inspiring. Blake often works double shifts to pay for college and his health costs since losing access to his family’s health insurance. You see, Blake’s story is EXTRA special. Blake has ALPS, a genetic blood disorder which means he is immunocompromised. Which means COVID-19 got very real for Blake, very fast.
Due to his condition, Blake’s doctor instructed him to go into complete isolation two weeks ago. Having ALPS puts Blake in the high risk category and contracting the virus could be fatal.
The thing is, this isn’t Blake’s first rodeo. Remember the swine flu days in 2009/2010? (Unlike today, the hot item you couldn’t get your hands on wasn’t toilet paper, it was a bottle of hand sanitizer…That’s a rant for another day.) While the rest of us carried on a normal routine with extra hand sanitizer in our pockets, Blake was in social isolation and didn’t return to school for nearly 3 months. Today, Blake has reduced all contact with nonessential people, which includes losing the privilege to work. A lot of us are complaining about the difficulty of balancing work from home and playing Mommy/Daddy daycare, or about being bored at home while we still get paid and still have a job waiting for us on the other side. Blake doesn’t get the luxury so many of us are joking about for the sake of entertainment on social media. He doesn’t get paid, had to file for a medical leave of absence, AND had to move out of his house because one of his roommates works in the medical industry (and has had interaction with positive coronavirus cases).
All of this and Blake is still one of the most positive people we have encountered during a time that has been difficult on the entire country. Blake’s story inspires us. Blake’s story motivates us. He is not just an EXTRAordinary Worker, Blake is an EXTRAordinary Person.
So, in line with our theme of being EXTRA kind to the frontline right now, we would love to encourage you to be EXTRA kind to Blake.
If you feel inclined, we invite you to join us in showing support for our frontline workforce – to show it for Blake. Feel free to leave comments full of words of encouragement for Blake, his teammates, his frontline workforce community.
We are also introducing the opportunity to leave monetary encouragement for Blake via paypal –paypal.me/BlakeAngerstein to help support him during this difficult time. We’re kicking it off with a $500 donation to Blake. Every bit helps for him $1, $5, $10, whatever. All contributions go directly to Blake. On behalf of the goHappy team, and Blake, THANK YOU for any and all support we are able to show him!