When you partner with WIN Warehouse, we want to get to know you. So, it’s only fair you get to know us, too! Here, our Inventory Control Specialist Frank Martin shares his life story and what led him to WIN Warehouse. In the end, you’ll know how you can also make a difference in your community.
Born Through Tragedy
Looking back, I think I’ve led a rather remarkable life. In fact, one of the most amazing things to happen to me occurred before I was born. In April 1960, my family was involved in a head-on collision that was so horrific that it made international news. My parents were severely injured, and my younger sister was killed, as were two children in the other car.
At the time, no one other than my mother knew that she was a month pregnant. When she told the doctors she was expecting, they said there was no way a fetus could have survived that crash. Nevertheless, I was born full-term eight months later, weighing almost 10 pounds. I guess you could say I’ve always had a strong survival instinct.
A Natural Musician and One Dollar
My childhood was rather nondescript, but I think a couple of things stand out. One was that early on, I demonstrated a love and talent for music. I studied string bass and vocal music in school, winning Best Musician in eighth grade and lettering in music in high school. I also taught myself to play piano by sight. From that, I learned to focus where I excelled while striving to develop areas that needed improvement.
I also learned early on the value of hard work. My family was rather poor, and if I wanted to spend money, I had to earn it. So, in addition to the usual teenage jobs like cutting grass and shoveling snow, I took my first regular job at 13 years old as a carhop at Sonic Drive-In for $1 an hour plus tips. From that experience, I came to appreciate the pride that comes from a job well done and the sense of self-worth from making one’s own way in the world.
Jumping from Airplanes
After high school, it was time for a new challenge. I joined the Army as a Combat Telecommunications Center Operator, and at the insistence of my high school ROTC instructor, I applied for airborne training. I was accepted, graduated, and assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. And I’m proud to say that after 75 jumps, I was never seriously injured.
Jumping from airplanes was a blast, but after three years, I decided that a full-time army career was not for me. So, I got out of the Army and decided to apply the skills I had learned to a civilian job. Unfortunately, those skills had been obsolete in the civilian world for about 25 years.
Joining the Carnival and Starting a Family
So, to find myself, as it were, I spent the next couple of years traveling the road with a carnival. I traveled with them from Texas up to Canada and back to Florida, setting up and operating carnival rides such as the Spider and the Flying Bobs. It was a fun way to see the country, but not something I wanted to do the rest of my life. I decided to settle down, get an education, and find a real job.
I went back to school, got an accounting degree, and pursued a career in bookkeeping, finance, and office administration. Along the way, I got married, had a son and three daughters, and gained two stepdaughters.
Then, in 2009, I was diagnosed with COPD, which eventually developed into full-blown emphysema. I was eventually forced to stop working and spent the next five years surviving on disability. In 2017, the doctors determined that I needed a lung transplant. After being evaluated for transplant candidacy, I was placed on the list on April 8, 2020, and received my new lungs exactly three weeks later. After a three-month rehab, I was allowed to return to work.
I’ve come to feel very grateful for all these experiences and decided earlier this year that it was time to find a way to start giving back. I found the Inventory Control Specialist position at WIN Warehouse, a job that uses my knack for numbers.
It checked all my boxes.
- The organization’s mission is an excellent way for me to help build my community and make a positive impact on the world around me.
- The warehouse is close to home, so it’s an easy commute.
- The folks I work with are fun, committed professionals with whom I’m proud to be associated.
It’s been a long, wild ride, but I’m proud of my accomplishments and proud of my association with WIN Warehouse. I look forward to a long, happy relationship, helping them turn excess inventory into a force for good.
Give Back to the Community
WIN Warehouse appreciates its employees like Frank and corporate donors. With their help, nonprofit members pay less for goods and equipment, up to 90% less than retail costs.
You, too, can give back to the community. When you make a tax-deductible donation of excess inventory to WIN Warehouse, you are not only saving your company money; you’re helping to change the world. Your generosity equips nonprofits with the resources they need so they can focus on doing more good.
When you’re ready to donate, contact us today!