MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

June 29, 2013

Truck honors Golden Rule worker

Verlin Crigger’s face graces side of vehicle

By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Muskogee’s most recognizable employee at Golden Rule, Verlin Crigger, is a man who doesn’t articulate like most.

He’s a disabled man who most will know as having worked at Furr’s Cafeteria when it was in Curt’s Mall, who works now at Dollar General and the Golden Rule thrift stores, rides his bike around town and always has a big smile and friendly wave for everyone he sees.

Golden Rule officials decided to honor Crigger by choosing his likeness to grace the side of the organization’s new donation truck, along with a logo and motto.

They surprised him during a monthly party for Golden Rule employees and unveiled the truck for everyone.

Crigger, who speaks through gestures and noises, saw the truck for the first time, gasped and covered his eyes.

Then he marched to the truck with his hands on his hips and a big smile, threw his arms wide, shook his head, high-fived his friends, and doled out hugs.

Vocational Director Michael Robinson said Crigger’s likeness was chosen for the truck because their intention was to “tell a story.”

And Crigger is the “most popular guy we have,” Robinson said.

“He’s the most recognizable face in the community. And no matter the day, no matter the time, Verlin is always in a positive mood,” Robinson said. “He always takes care of his co-workers, too. He’s a stand-up guy, a productive citizen who works two part-time jobs.”

Golden Rule Industries Inc. has a mission to provide training and vocational opportunities to people with disabilities.

It employs those with disabilities through several avenues including sheltered workshops, job coaching and custodial contracts.

Robinson said proceeds from sales at the thrift stores help support the mission. There are thrift stores in Tahlequah, Wagoner and Muskogee.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.