Marilyn Parsons, an employee of West Texas Lighthouse for the Blind, was honored with the 2018 Artie Lee Hinds Award presented by WorkQuest, (formerly TIBH Industries, Inc.) at its recent awards dinner. The award honors an outstanding community rehabilitation program (CRP) employee for his or her leadership, dedicated service and commitment to excellence.
“People can either be a stumbling block or a stepping stone,” Parsons said. “I want to be a positive force and an encourager.”
Parsons serves across all areas of production at the Lighthouse, including writing instruments, lanyard assembly, operating the bagging machine and blister packaging. Parsons has adapted quickly to new tasks over the past six years, and she’s also the first to volunteer to try a new task or help a new employee, making her an invaluable presence at work, according to her supervisor.
“She can learn anything, even the more challenging jobs,” Leslie Bell, Parsons’ supervisor, said. “We can rely on her because it always just clicks.”
Parsons’ road to the Lighthouse began in 1979 when she was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease that caused scarring on her retina. Her vision progressively worsened over the next two decades, leaving her with numerous blind spots. In 2005, her doctor advised her to stop working as an activity director and assistant administrator at a nursing home—a job she cherished for 22 years. Parsons was unable to work for seven years, which left her without hope, but after she began working at the Lighthouse, her sense of purpose returned.
“Marilyn is the perfect example of our mission of creating jobs and changing lives,” Vickie Sanders, marketing director at West Texas Lighthouse for the Blind, said.
After attendees celebrated Parsons’ story of perseverance and reclaiming her sense of purpose after losing her sight, Parsons’ family joined her on stage as she accepted the 2018 Artie Lee Hinds Award amid tears of happiness.
Congratulations to Marilyn Parsons and to all of the 2018 Artie Lee Hinds Award nominees for their dedicated work and commitment to excellence.
”“People can either be a stumbling block or a stepping stone,” Parsons said. “I want to be a positive force and an encourager.”Marilyn ParsonsWest Texas Lighthouse for the Blind