Everyday Hero: Personal grocery shopper gives her all for others during crisis

May 12 2020, 6:36 pm

Everyday Hero is an initiative by TELUS, in partnership with Daily Hive, that puts local people doing good in the spotlight. If you know an everyday hero who you would like to nominate, click here.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in Canada, we have all been relying on essential services while we stay safe at home and do our part to help flatten the curve. But for those working on the frontline, there are challenges every single day.

Grocery stores in particular are dealing with an increase in online orders, which often results in earlier start times for employees, and longer days.

While this is something that many people would gripe about, Albertan and single mom of three, Sandi Hesson, is embracing it.

Hesson is a personal grocery shopper at Walmart in Olds and has been with the company since October 2007. Nadine Laurent, a friend of Hesson’s for almost 20 years, nominated her as an everyday hero.

Laurent wanted to recognize how Hesson is working on the frontline not only because she needs to, but also because she wants to be there.

Sandi Hesson and her three daughters/Sandi Hesson

“Sandi’s been the one over the years who’s always there for you,” says Laurent. Hesson’s perseverance and heart of gold inspire Laurent, who has seen her overcome various health challenges to support her family.

“It’s just no matter — her health or whatever — she just keeps going, for herself, her customers, and her girls to provide for them.”

Hesson selects groceries for online orders and is often tasked with leading the team during shifts. “She’s running all over the store. She starts at 4 am and then works 10 to 12 hours,” says Laurent.

“She loves her job at Walmart,” says Laurent.

Hesson confirmed this with us, noting when she’s at work, it’s a personal mission for her to select the best quality groceries for her customers. “To be able to give customers help and the satisfaction of finding what they need or showing where an item is, [that] means a lot,” Hesson explains.

After starting work at 4 am, Hesson gets things ready for her staff in anticipation of their arrival. “Customer orders must be printed with times of pickup, coloured bins, and bags on carts,” she says. She checks in regularly with her team members to ensure they’re doing okay and ask if they’ve taken their lunch breaks.

“I make sure things are done before I go home if I’m in charge for that shift. I may leave at 12:30 or I may leave by 4. Customers first,” adds Hesson.

Sandi Hesson’s three daughters and her eldest daughter’s fiancé/Sandi Hesson

She says she’s inspired by her 11-, 14-, and 23-year-old girls, making sure they have what they need, and ensuring that the family has a roof over their heads.

“I am a happy-to-help kind of person who loves their job maybe too much, but my job is for my kids and we all need to be happy,” says Hesson.

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