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The People of KANDU

Posted on : 06 Jul 2021 | No Comments

It has been five months since I joined KANDU Industries and time has flown by. Thank you to those of you who have spent time with me and helped me to become more involved in the communities we serve. I understand the importance of community involvement and look forward to becoming even more involved. 

I am writing the letter this month because I want to talk about our clients – the people that are our reason for being here and the reason for KANDU’s mission. It has been such a pleasure getting to know each-and-every one of them and having the opportunity to experience their joy from working and being here. They are achieving things, making friends, and feel great pride in what they do. And, they love coming to KANDU. 

I see the struggles they all must endure each-and-every day, and believe me there are many, in ways most people cannot imagine. My biggest light-bulb moment was to witness the incredible courage, hope and determination they display in going beyond their disability. Each unique individual at KANDU embraces their own success with the collective efforts of job coaches, families, guardians, and caregivers. They are champions and they share and create so much joy in this world. 

The delight they have given me is beyond what I had expected. To see them smile, ask for a fist bump, or tell me I look like Barbie (not quite the look I was going for but ok). Or when they ask “Kathy, when are we going to have another Fun Day,” or explain their job and how many pieces they did that particular day, or have someone make a special picture just for me, or learning more about them during coffee time on Thursday mornings while they are waiting to go to work, or even just a “Hi” that is so hard for them to get out. I could go on and on. This experience has both humbled me and given me great determination to do everything I possibly can to make their world a little brighter.   

The people that work here, the KANDU team, have strong bonds and develop caring relationships with our clients. The compassion and nurturing spirit that lives at KANDU is bigger than any one of us. And although we need to make a living, we are not here just for the job. I have actually had comments from several staff members that they would have to be drug kicking and screaming (or in a box) before they would ever abandon our clients. I understand this devotion now more than ever. It is so refreshing to see just how much KANDU puts people before profit. 

Yes, I have fallen in love with the people of KANDU. It is a special place that truly has an impact on making this world better for the people we serve. As we evolve, the one thing that will remain the same is that compassion will be at the forefront. Thank you for your support! 


Kathy J. Hansen 
Executive Director