Shannon*, a Client Manager for a Fortune 100 Technology Company, lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and three dogs. Her children, twins, had just enrolled in college and Shannon and her spouse were looking forward to enjoying their active lifestyle and traveling before Shannon started experiencing back pain in early 2017.

A trip to her doctor revealed that she would need back surgery. Shannon endured two months of excruciating pain before the surgery could take place and was bedridden for that time. After her surgery, she was limited in her mobility and it was difficult for her to sit or stand for long periods of time. This prevented her from enjoying many of her regular daily activities, including driving to work.

Throughout the summer of 2017, Shannon focused on healing and rehabilitation through her prescribed physical therapy. However, she had been out of work for several months and was starting to feel anxious about her job and her “normal life.” Her doctor couldn’t release her to go back to work while she was still healing from the surgery, so she reached out to her employer to find out if there was some capacity they could use her in. Shannon knew healing was her first priority but felt if she could return to work in some small way, it would help combat her anxiety and stress.

Although Shannon’s company could not provide any work until she could drive again, they realized that getting her back to work quickly and safely would benefit her. They enrolled her in ReEmployAbility’s Transition2Work program to match her with an assignment at a local not-for-profit. Through ReEmployAbility’s nationwide network of not-for-profit partners, an assignment was secured for Shannon with a national emergency services organization that needed workers to match volunteers in their database to disasters happening across the country. From hurricanes, to wildfires, to earthquakes Shannon was able to provide valuable assistance from her home, safely following her medical restriction of no driving. Her assignment kept Shannon connected to her company and also connected the community while she healed.

“The at-home program gave me a reason to get up in the morning,” said Shannon. “I was able to work from home knowing that every hour I was putting in was going to make a difference. I immediately stopped thinking of it as putting eight hours a day to get paid. I did it with enthusiasm and passion and the desire to help. I was happy to be part of [a not-for-profit] that has been around for over a hundred years; an organization that is actively helping our country in a time of desperate need. I was able and ready to go to work [from home].”

Shannon completed her physical therapy and was released to her regular full-duty position with her employer after several months. She remains active with the not-for-profit she served and has taken a leadership position in her region to continue their valuable initiatives in her spare time.

Shannon’s success is just one story among the thousands of successful placements of injured employees each year who participate in Transition2Work. Many, like Shannon, return to their full duty positions after participating but still remain active with the not-for-profit where they were assigned.

*name changed for privacy