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    “It takes six ponytails to create one wig, so we helped a lot of people.”

    October 3, 2016

October 3, 2016

“It takes six ponytails to create one wig, so we helped a lot of people.”

Adapted from UFCW Local 1428

Monica Jimenez, a pharmacy technician and Local 1428 union steward at Rite Aid, loves helping others. At her job she helps patients fill their prescriptions and in her spare time she runs races to fund research to cure diseases.

She began her career at a laboratory, but after three years she wanted a change and applied at Rite Aid.

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“What I like about Rite Aid is that the people in the store come together,” Jimenez said. “We treat each other like family, so going to work doesn’t feel like going to a workplace.”

Jimenez thought she had it all: a loving husband in Earl, two daughters, Vanessa and Emily, and a job she loved. But an earthquake in 2012 taught her she needed something more: to help the less fortunate.

“I felt like I needed to make each day count, so I signed up for a 5K race and then another one and then another one,” she said.

Her volunteering spirit quickly spread among her family and friends. Her daughters joined her in races and then her co-workers followed suit.

At work, Jimenez encouraged patients to donate to the Children’s Miracle Network, which benefits children’s hospitals.

“When customers check out at Rite Aid, they are occasionally asked to donate $1 so they can write their names on balloon cards that are displayed in our store,” Jimenez said. “Our store raised the most funds for the Children’s Miracle Network, so we were invited to an event to meet the kids our donations helped.”

Last year, Jimenez and her sister decided to grow their hair out and donate their ponytails to Locks of Love, an organization that creates wigs for people who lose their hair while having chemotherapy.

“People asked me why my hair and my sister’s hair was getting so long,” Jimenez said. “We told people it was for Locks of Love and we got so many people who wanted to help that I needed a place to host an event to cut people’s hair.”

UFCW Local 1428 stepped up and offered its auditorium. By the end of the night, Jimenez and her sister collected 85 ponytails for Locks of Love.

“That night was so special,” Jimenez said. “It takes six ponytails to create one wig, so we helped a lot of people that night.”

Jimenez participates in the Labor United Against Cancer Fun Run/Walk

Jimenez participates in the Labor United Against Cancer Fun Run/Walk

Monica Jimenez with other volunteers at 2014’s Big Sunday event, which collected and sorted canned goods to feed more than 1,000 families during the holidays.

Monica Jimenez with other volunteers at 2014’s Big Sunday event, which collected and sorted canned goods to feed more than 1,000 families during the holidays.

Monica received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority for her work in the Greater Los Angeles Homeless count in January 2016.

Monica received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority for her work in the Greater Los Angeles Homeless count in January 2016.

Monica Jimenez gets her hair cut for Locks of Love

Monica Jimenez gets her hair cut for Locks of Love

Jimenez participates in the Labor United Against Cancer Fun Run/Walk

Jimenez participates in the Labor United Against Cancer Fun Run/Walk