East Nashville Employee Recognized for Outstanding Service

An East Nashville employee of Goodwill fought back tears of happiness to avoid smearing her fresh mascara.

Rebecca, a cashier at the East Nashville Goodwill store, was surprised by her co-workers and a local salon with a complete makeover on Tuesday, May 31, as a way to recognize her for her perpetually cheerful attitude and outstanding customer service.

Store manager Kay-Lynn Carew calls Rebecca the store’s  “Ms. Sunshine,” and says the way she chats with customers — often congratulating them on their great finds at the store, makes each one feel special and appreciated.

Her impact on the community doesn’t stop at the doors of Goodwill, however. During winter months, she coordinates volunteer efforts by her church, Point of Mercy, to assist Room In The Inn, a Nashville nonprofit that provides shelter for more than 1,400 homeless citizens each season.

Rebecca showed up at the Goodwill store Tuesday expecting a normal day at work, but Assistant Manager Ashlei Martinez lured her across the street with a story about needing to find a lost buggy. Rebecca’s co-workers called their scheme “Operation B” (for ’Becca).

They went to Eklipse Salon & Spa to ask about the lost buggy, and inside stylist Dewayne Richards and his entire staff were waiting to give Rebecca a custom makeover. First they tag-teamed Rebecca’s waist-length hair, then finished up with her nails and makeup.

When the five-hour makeover was complete, Rebecca returned to work where another surprise was waiting. Goodwill employees and some of the many customers who love Rebecca were waiting near the front of the store to “ooh” and “ah” over her new look. They were wearing “Operation B is a Success” stickers, and Carew presented Rebecca with a framed certificate recognizing her achievements. There were lots of hugs and more than a few tears.

Richards said he donated his salon’s services because he appreciates Goodwill’s mission of changing lives through education, training and employment, and because he wants his business to be an asset to the community as well.

“People like Rebecca deserve acts of kindness and to be noticed,” he said.

Rebecca, who had protested that she did not deserve all the pampering, struggled afterward to find adequate words to describe the experience.

“They have gone above and beyond anything I could dream,” she said.

Demonstrating Goodwill, Providing Room In The Inn

Rebecca says she loves volunteering through her church for Room In The Inn, a Nashville shelter for homeless people. She frequently shops at Goodwill to find items that will make the women she cares for more comfortable, such as night clothes or pillow shams to make their sleeping quarters “a little more feminine.”

“There’s such a need for it,” she explained, “and I feel that I’ve got a lot to give. It’s a win-win situation. You’re helping them, and you’re helping yourself at the same time.”

Melanie Barnett, community development director for Room In The Inn, said her nonprofit has over 6,500 volunteers, but those who provide supplies out of their own pocket such as Rebecca stand out.

“That’s going above and beyond to meet the needs. She sees that there is an opportunity to love and serve in a more tangible way, and she definitely has a heart for service,” Barnett said.

“People like Rebecca deserve acts of kindness and to be noticed.”

— Dewayne Richards, owner, Eklipse Salon & Spa


  • Leo Grady, a frequent shopper at the East Nashville store, sang “You are My Sunshine” to Rebecca at the reception following Rebecca’s makeover. “She’s very cheerful no matter what,” Grady says. “Yes, she’s like the sunshine to me.”


  • Adrianne Crawford, one of the stylists who works at Eklipse Salon and a regular Goodwill shopper, had admired Rebecca’s customer service skills long before she knew anything about her. She rates Rebecca among the tops in her profession. “She’s always really friendly and helpful,”  Crawford says. “She definitely gets a 10 because she stands out. Ten out of 10.”

For more stories like this read the Spring 2016 edition of The Ambassador – Goodwill’s quarterly magazine which provides readers with stories of events, activities and the inspiring changes Goodwill is making in the lives of others.

  • Elisabeth Donaldson
    Posted at 11:10h, 24 June Reply

    This is so Fantastic! The amazing workers and costumer service at Goodwill is one of may favorite things about shopping there! She looks beautiful!!!

  • Shanna Sadlee
    Posted at 14:58h, 12 June Reply

    I love her. She has a beautiful soul. I don’t know what I would have done without her during my difficult time. She always smiles and has positive outlook. She very much desrvered this make over and more.

  • Joy adkins
    Posted at 20:09h, 10 June Reply

    She looks absolutely beautiful…don’t know her but very happy for her!

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