Sun Prairie man finds new purpose after losing his job during the pandemic
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Millions of Americans are now unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Dan Thorstad of Sun Prairie initially fell into that category. He may have lost his job, but he’s found a new one and he gained renewed purpose.
Back at the end of March just as the pandemic hit, Thorstad’s position at work was cut. He worked for decades as a data processor at a local printing company.
"I had been there for 22 years and so, what’s next?' said Thorstad. “And I tried to find something positive to do with this negative,”
About a week after he lost his job, Thorstad began volunteering with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Southern Wisconsin.
“So, I came out early April and started volunteering and got to know some of the staff and volunteers,” said Thorstad.
Over the next couple of months, Thorstad spent of a lot of time helping feed the needy in our area.
“He was volunteering a lot because I was coming a couple times a week and I always saw him,” said Second Harvest volunteer Diane Wirkus.
Then in mid-July, a staff member approached Dan with an idea.
“(They) said there is a job opening here, if you’d be interested,” said Thorstad.
He applied, got the job as a volunteer coordinator, and he’s now on a new career path he never saw coming.
“I guess it was just being a part of something bigger than yourself,” he said. “I said yes because I wanted to be a part of this,”
Thorstad says losing his job in March and now being a paid staff member for Second Harvest has made him a happier man.
“Surprisingly, yes. I didn’t know where this would turn and fortunately it turned out pretty good,” he said.
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