Associate stories

See first hand how your donations have already made an impact.

Every day the Staples Share Fund team receives stories of tragedy and loss and how, thanks to your generosity, the Staples Share Fund has helped these associates through very difficult times. Below are just a few stories of fellow Staples associates and how your donations have already helped in more ways than you know — and hopefully never have to.

“I am proud to be a Staples associate and encourage others to contribute whatever they can afford to the fund because you never know when you may need their help some day.”

– Anonymous Employee

Heather Adams, an associate from Maryland, has been a part of our Staples family since 2010. She applied to the Staples Share Fund after her mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Heather has taken on the role of primary care giver for her mother and they have struggled to make ends meet since her diagnosis.

“My family & I want to thank you greatly for the grant we received. What may not seem like a lot to some is the heat in my home, power to run my sick mother's oxygen tank and food in the pantry on Thanksgiving. From the bottom of our hearts we thank you and everyone who shares. We appreciate it more than words can express. I love my job, my coworkers and the company I work for!”

– Heather Adams, Associate from Maryland

Staples Share Fund Hurricane Florence Relief

Hurricane Florence made landfall on the North Carolina coast on Sept 14, 2018 and caused widespread flooding throughout the state. Florence caused an estimated $45 billion in damage leaving thousands homeless and struggling to rebuild.

The Staples Share Fund provided over $32,000 in assistance to associates in North Carolina.


Rachel McCarley, Operations Supervisor at our Wilmington, NC store, has been a part of our Staples family since 2005. Rachel reached out to the Share Fund after her husband had two emergency surgeries and was out of work for several months and they were struggling to keep up with monthly expenses. While he was recovering at home, Hurricane Florence hit the North Carolina coast and caused flooding and damage to their home. The Share was able to help them get back up to date on expenses and to make some much needed repairs on their home.

“Thank you so much!! You have no idea how much this means to me!”

– Rachel McCarley, Operations Supervisor

Jennifer Squires, a Print & Marketing Supervisor at our Goldberg, NC store, has been a part of our Staples family since 2007. Jennifer applied to the Share Fund after Hurricane Florence left her home town of Kinston flooded and her home damaged. Below are just some of the pictures she sent showing the devastating effect of Hurricane Florence in her home town of Kinston, NC.

“I have been working for Staples for almost 11 years now. I wanted to share my story so that employees understand that the Staples' team is here to help. I was out of work for a week because the roads to commute to work were barricaded off in all directions. The Share Fund has eased some mental and emotional stress caused by my financial burdens from the storms. Sometimes people have difficulty being approved for other resource help in situations like this, or it may take too much time to be approved for the needed help. Other individuals may let pride get in the way of asking for help. The Share Fund team responded within 24 hours of my application and reached out to me with a grant to help repair damage in my home. I am grateful for all that the Share Fund team has done for me and my family. As well as, thankful for all associates that donate money to this fund so that fellow associates in need can access the funds. I encourage everyone to donate to this cause, because as we all know, no one can predict life and the challenges that it throws our way.”

– Jennifer Squires, Print & Marketing Supervisor, Store 880, Goldberg, NC

US 70 in Kinston

Operations Supervisor, Lisa Pekau from North Carolina, applied to the Share Fund when she and her family were displaced due to Hurricane Florence. Below are a few pictures of her home surrounded by flood waters.

“I decided to reach out to the Fund shortly after Hurricane Florence, because our home was a part of the flooding. I knew from neighbors that the toll of a flood in the area was not going to be short term, and they were right. My family was misplaced for 2 weeks between both storm and flooding. The water is currently going down. We've been able to assess the damages, the clean-up that will ensue, and the horrid smell of lingering flood waters, but luckily, we still have a home to go to. Being misplaced didn't stop us from working and it allowed me to just be someone positive for other people to share their stories with. My family wants to say thank you to our staples family for being there for us! ”

– Lisa Pekau, Operations Supervisor, Store 600, New Burn, NC

Lisa's home as seen from drone footage.

Kaitlyn Williams contacted the Staples Share Fund after her families’ home in Mount Olive, NC was damaged by flood waters from Hurricane Florence. The storm and flooding caused extensive damage to the roof, damaged the floors and caused structural damage to the home. The Share Fund was able to provide some relief for Kaitlyn and her family, so they could begin to rebuild. (below is a picture of Kaitlyn’s backyard submerged in flood waters)

The Share Fund provided a grant to an associate located in North Carolina who asked to remain anonymous. This associate applied to the Share Fund for help after the roof of her home was severely damaged due to the hurricane.

“I appreciate all the help, I even went in and started to contribute to the Share Fund. As I knew nothing about the program until a coworker informed me. And I myself am grateful for such an awesome work place like Staples that I'm thankful to be able to contribute what little I can back to the Share Fund for other associates like myself in such a difficult time.”

– Anonymous Associate in North Carolina

Help in Time of Need

Jose Gutierrez, General Manager of Store 1086 in Brownsville, TX, applied to the Staples Share Fund on behalf of one of his employees, Elsa Morales, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017.

“It’s tough finding out you’re sick and that it will be a life changer. One is not prepared for these things. I’ve gone through partial removal, chemo, and am now about to start radiation. I’ve been in and out of work as I am not feeling well but still need to continue working. It’s been tough as I have payments such as my mortgage, utilities to pay, and my kids to take care of. When I applied for the Share Fund I didn’t think much about it, so when I received a grant I was overwhelmed with emotion. I want to THANK YOU ALL FOR THE SHAREFUND DONATION!! IT REALLY, REALLY HELPS!! I GREATLY APPRECIATE IT!!”

– Elsa Morales, Sales Associate, Store 1086

Elsa’s manager, Jose, shared his experience with the Share Fund and the impact it has had on his employees.

“I cannot say enough about how this program has helped. It not only helps relieve some personal stress and financial burdens, but it helps so much more in terms of emotional assistance. To have a company that backs up an associate, who is going through all of these emotions of uncertainty, really says a lot. I can recall seeing the disbelief in Elsa’s face when she received the check from Staples. That check helped her with her struggles to make ends meet and to pay her outstanding bills. But it also gave her hope and confidence. I’m really proud to be employed by a company that goes above and beyond for their associates.”

– Jose Gutierrez, GM Store 1086

Recovering from Storm Damage

Sales Associate James Penzavecchia from Pennsylvania applied to the Share Fund in May 2018 when a storm uprooted an Oak tree that fell on his home, causing significant damage. The Share Fund provided James with a grant to help him and his family recover from the storm.

“I greatly appreciate the grant the Share Fund has had the generosity to award me. It has been of significant help in getting the road back under my feet after the storm that damaged my home. I’m moving ahead now, in part, because of the thoughtfulness of all the Managers, General Manager, D.M.’s, and other hardworking Staples employees who, by donating to the Share Fund, act for the good of all of us, and each of us. But it’s not only the money that has helped me. It is heartening to know that there are still people who care about the welfare of others. It is a kindness I will not forget.”

– James Penzavecchia, Sales Associate, Store 1242

Battling Kidney Cancer

Carolyn Allen, Print & Marketing Supervisor at Staples’s Port Chester, New York store, has been a part of our Staples family since 1999. Carolyn applied to the Share Fund after her husband underwent surgery for kidney cancer in August. After his surgery and recovery, Carolyn and her husband struggled to make ends meet and they asked the Share Fund for help.

The Share Fund provided Carolyn with a grant in August to help her get back up to date on her monthly expenses, so she could spend more time worrying about the things that matter, her husband’s recovery.

“This year was very challenging for my husband and I. My husband was diagnosed with kidney cancer that had us taking time off from work for medical procedures. This left us behind & struggling to pay bills. When we thought we were alone with our struggle, the Staples Share Fund came through and helped us catch up with our bills. I would like to thank all the contributors and the Share Fund staff for making a very challenging situation a little bit easier.”

– Carolyn Allen, Print & Marketing Supervisor, Store 4

In Need of a Miracle

The Share Fund recently provided a grant to an Associate in need who wishes to remain anonymous. Read her story below:

“Recently I had a life–altering accident after working for Staples for a short period of time. I have been in excruciating pain for the last seven months. I only took a few days off work and even came to work every day for 12 weeks in a full torso brace because I knew my team needed me and I needed them. I had been saving for a house, but my savings have been totally spent on bills. Then someone at work told me about the Staples Share Fund and explained that it helps associates in need. They encouraged me to apply for a grant. I decided to give it a shot because I needed a miracle. Imagine my surprise when I received an email from the Staples Share Fund approving my application! I don’t know many companies or associates that help out their fellow associates like this. My experience has encouraged me to start contributing to the Staples Share Fund and tell others about it as well (many don’t know it is tax deductible). I am proud to be a Staples associate and encourage others to contribute whatever they can afford to the fund because you never know when you may need their help some day. It is personally rewarding to know that you are helping someone else in need.”

–Anonymous