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Home Depot Legends: Karen - Knoxville, Tennessee

This month's featured Legend Winner is Plumbing associate Karen from Store 773 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Karen got involved in an interesting project when she approached a customer looking at PVC pipe and asked how she could help. The customer's answer was a little surprising. She asked Karen for advice on building a "waterproof" wheelchair and explained she was leaving early the next morning for a trip to a water park in Florida. The customer's 4-year-old son was in a car accident a year ago and now uses a wheelchair. His mother didn't want to damage his high-end wheelchair at the water park, but she wanted the little boy to join in the fun. She drew a diagram of what she had in mind. "I figured out immediately that she wouldn't be able to do this on her own," Karen said. So she cleared it with her store manager, who agreed for her to start working on the special project. It took Karen three hours to design and build a perfect solution that he could splash around in, using product from several departments. She cut PVC pipe for the frame and used some canvas tarp for the seat. She grabbed some lawn mower tires for the back wheels and small castors that would swivel for the front. She also took the time to mark each part so that the family could break it down and re-assemble the chair easily. "The customer was elated. She was laughing and crying at the same time when she saw the finished product," Karen said. When the customer returned from Florida, she came into the store with muffins and refreshments for the associates. She also brought her little boy in to meet Karen. "When I saw him, I knew I had seen him before," Karen said. "I had helped his grandparents the year before when they were modifying the bathroom and his bedroom after the accident. He is such a wonderful little boy." Home Depot Legends are selected weekly and announced internally to all Home Depot associates. The program rewards associates for specific examples of outstanding customer service. Once a month, Marvin Ellison, Home Depot's EVP of U.S. stores, selects a Monthly Home Depot Legend winner.
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