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Hamlet Family Dollar Store Manager Is Extended Family for Circlewood Drive Residents

familydollar1Most people feel like a trip to the store for daily essentials can be mundane. For the people who live at Monarch’s Circlewood group home in Richmond County, a short walk to the Family Dollar next door is anything but.

“Hey William!”

It’s a familiar greeting from the Circlewood residents to the Store Manager William Leviner who said it is the highlight of his day.

“They’re like family. I’ve met everyone that stays there and they love talking to me. I love it too, it’s like I’m their big brother,” said Leviner.

Circlewood is a transitional home for people Monarch supports with mental health diagnoses. The goal is to get residents stable so they can move out and continue to live their lives in the community with little to no supervision.

“He gets really familiar with them because that’s the closest store. When [the people we support] get unsupervised time they get to walk there on their own. They get what they need and when they talk to him he makes all of them feel welcome,” said Jessica Jordan, the residential manager at Circlewood.

One of Circlewood’s residents is Kristy Brady. She’s lived there for two years and says she looks forward to going to the store and seeing William, even for a quick routine trip.

“He’s a nice friend, he’s very helpful,” said Brady.    

It’s a relationship that was established not long after people supported by Monarch moved into the home about four years ago. Throughout the year and especially around the holidays, Leviner puts together gift baskets with items donated from the store and brings them to Circlewood. They often include soaps and other daily essentials, but holiday baskets come with even more goodies.

“When we get to donate stuff it’s usually like food, cookies, clothes and we get to do that at least three times a year,” said Leviner.

It is just one way Leviner has shown his support and has helped the residents feel more connected to the community. He also offers something priceless; his friendship on more difficult days.

“Just a few months after we moved here, he started getting to know the staff and the people we support. People would go to Family Dollar and William would sit outside and talk to them,” said Jordan.

There are days when Circlewood residents make multiple trips to the store. Leviner said he looks forward to their visits and they’re the highlight of his shift. His motivation for his generosity is purely for the love of helping others and brightening their day.

“I’d rather see someone smiling than being down,” he adds.

“It gives them someone to talk to besides staff because their families aren’t always involved, and sometimes [the staff] is all they have, so the comradery with William gives them another outlet,” said Jordan. “It only takes a second to change someone’s day or even their life. William has taken that extra second in a day, and to some people that means everything.”

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