By BRENNA GRITEMAN
If you shop at the Sixth Street Kroger, odds are you know Addie Moothart.
If you live on Elm Street, she’s the person who delivers your newspaper.
And if you call up the Blanchard Valley Center, it’s likely to be her friendly voice greeting you on the other end of the phone.
“Everyone knows Addie,” says Nadine Weininger, quality services manager at Blanchard Valley Center.
From working the center’s popcorn booth at the fair to ringing bells on behalf of the Salvation Army, Weininger says she is always astounded at the number of people who know 25-year-old Moothart when the two are out in the community together.
“I mean, EVERYONE knows her,” she says.
As Blanchard Valley Center marks October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month, superintendent Kelli Grisham notes that “people with disabilities can be a valuable part of any workforce, and they have repeatedly proven that in Hancock County.”
“Addie is a great example of someone with a disability who contributes to our mission every day,” Grisham says. “I don’t see her as a person with a disability. She is a full-time employee, our receptionist, and she does a great job holding down the fort. She’s always smiling and the first point of contact for anyone who walks through our door.”
Maintaining that smile and outgoing nature can be hard for a person holding down three jobs, but Moothart, who has Asperger syndrome, seems to have an endless supply of positive energy.
She’s up at 5:20 a.m. every day except Sunday to deliver The Courier along Elm Street, a route she’s maintained for 13 years.
According to Rob Jenney, Courier circulation manager, Moothart has been named carrier of the month many times, and is regularly praised by her customers for being on time and reliable.
“She’s one of those special people that you just love to see her be successful, because she’s a big part of who we are,” Jenney says. “I’m just tickled that she’s part of our team.”
She spent four years working as a bagger at Kroger, having transitioned to the deli about a year ago. There, she handles everything from slicing meat and cheese to preparing rotisserie chickens and decorating cakes.
She works about 20-25 hours a week at the grocery store, rollerblading to and from each shift.
Moothart says about a year ago, she was recommended by her former service support administrator to fill a vacancy at Blanchard Valley Center’s reception desk. She works at the center full-time and handles the phones and fax machine, scanning, shredding, directing visitors and helping clients sign up for classes.
Weininger says Moothart shows excellent attention to detail in all aspects of the job, especially proofreading internal and public communications. “She is a human spell check.”
Rather than rollerblading, Moothart hitches a ride to and from the center from her grandmother, Barb Thomas, with whom she lives.
Moothart won’t say which job is her favorite, but says she likes keeping busy and getting to know so many people in the community. When she’s not at work, she’s usually napping (for obvious reasons), drawing, gaming and helping out her grandmother and great-grandmother.