Danielle’s story is not just of her survival, but of her ability to find success and grow. She and her siblings had difficult childhoods. Danielle’s own path brought her to Winnipeg with two young children, where she remarried, only to lose her husband and her son within three years of each other. Experiencing such grief and loss in such a short period of time brought on depression; it became a serious struggle just to survive and carry on. It was through these losses that Danielle was able to tap into the resources of Thrive Community Support Circle.

Danielle started as a client and is now a staff member in the Thrive Thrift Shop. She overcame the lingering trauma of an abused childhood, as well as the death of her adult son. With the help of Thrive, Danielle was able to find a way out of isolation and depression and she now has hope, a job she loves, and all the tools she needs to move forward in her life. After graduating from Thrive’s Leadership Development course, Danielle moved from being a Warehouse Coordinator to the Store Supervisor and Head Volunteer Trainer.

Taking charge of her life this way makes Danielle true leadership material.

Taking charge of her life this way makes Danielle true leadership material.


Montreal-born Mikaelle has been volunteering at the Thrive Thrift Shop since January of 2017. She took our Leadership Development Program and after graduation started training new volunteers, which she now does in addition to being our head cashier on Saturdays. We asked Mikaelle how she felt about working at Thrive. For example, did she see any challenges at first, and if so, how did she overcome them?

“When I first started volunteering at Thrive, I felt super shy,” admits Mikaelle, “because my previous employers did not accommodate my health needs, so I was concerned there would be the same problems here at Thrive. Not so! In fact, at Thrive I feel very valued. The people here understand and respect me.”

“I admit there have sometimes been challenges just dealing with the public. That can take its toll on you. But in fact I don’t avoid it, rather I choose to accept it, find and follow the proper protocol. And, if I still find myself drained from it, well, then I just take a few minutes to balance myself.”

Mikaelle’s decision to face challenges head-on has in fact helped her gain confidence in problem solving and dealing with customers. She enjoys it more now.

“Oh yes,” agrees Mikaelle, “In fact it seems like I’m always laughing now. People here make me laugh a lot! So, yes, it’s enjoyable. I especially enjoy the diversity of people, not only the different ethnicities but also different types of people.”

What are her immediate plans for the future?

“I believe I will benefit by continuously developing my work ethic,” confirms Mikaelle. “Problem solving and exploring new areas to help me gain experience when I enter new employment.”

We’d say that was spoken like a leader!

At Thrive I feel very valued. The people here understand and respect me.