Published: April 27, 2021 | Updated: April 21, 2021

Diamonds in the rough

Mike Patrick

Mike Patrick

Goodwill of the Inland Northwest.

Tesh, Inc.

Union Gospel Mission.

When you see those words, what do you think of? If you answered "thrift store," you get points for honesty. And here's a bonus:

They are much, much more.

These organizations, all with deep roots in our community, work night and day with people who live with disabilities of some kind. While the easier task might be to see what's wrong with someone, Goodwill, Tesh and UGM specialize in seeing what's right with that person. Through training and mentoring, through sweat and love, they all seek to help their clients reach their full potential.

For most of us, that potential includes holding a job. We submit that it could be any job. As long as a person is part of a team, producing something of value and being rewarded for that production, an unparalleled sense of accomplishment and belonging goes with the paycheck.

Many of us can measure at least part of our societal worth by the work we do, and that's one of the goals of the three organizations mentioned above.

When it comes to Seasons on the corner of Second Street and Lakeside in downtown Coeur d'Alene, though, the owners and managers have taken it a step beyond hiring people with disabilities. They give some people who have made a mistake in life another chance. And the result is one of our region's finest restaurants, boasting not just excellent food and service, but a happy workforce.

Seasons is no stranger to Goodwill, Tesh and UGM. In fact, it's a partner showing the rest of the business community that a little risk often provides the very greatest rewards.

— Mike Patrick, BJNI editor