If anyone can be described as a hard worker, it would be Dorothy Sallis, laundry and housekeeping manager at Weimar Institute. Before coming to Weimar, she put her two kids through school by hard work—school maintenance, cleaning classrooms, and keeping grounds. She also sewed custom draperies.
Sallis came to Weimar for her children who were both ready for college at the time. That was twenty years ago, and today, she is still as hard working as she was back then. She currently works in the laundry department at Weimar, where she cleans and does laundry for the Weimar Inn, NEWSTART, and other places on campus.
According to Sallis, she has been immensely blessed by being at Weimar. She enjoys the social aspect of her job; being able to talk to guests and get to know them in a more personal way. She especially enjoys talking to the students who work with her.
“I’m a little nosey so I like talking to the kids.”
Through her job she has had the opportunity to reach out to students in more ways than one. When she sees students who used to work for her, she is able to encourage them to keep moving upward, especially when she sees them losing their hold on God. She tells them to remember what they learned when they were in school here. Students also have talked to her about what they are studying in their Bible class, and she enjoys listening to them and tells them to keep studying.
Another way that Sallis reaches out to her students is she has little worships with them. She recalls parents coming back to her and thanking her for those worships, because the kids will go home and share with their parents what they had talked about that day.
One of most important things that Sallis wants to instill in each student that works with her, though, is the importance of hard, diligent work. She teaches her students how to fold towels neatly, and how to make a bed so nicely “that when you throw a dime on it, it will bounce off of the bed.” She reminds them that Jesus cares about the little things in life, and that He cares about them being neat and tidy. And because of that, she expects them to work like they are working for Him. Sallis tells her students the story of when Jesus rose from the grave and how He folded His grave clothes. In the same way, she encourages her students to work with the same diligence. Work is important, but work done well is something she stresses.
Not only that but Sallis also wants to stress the importance of time to her students. She said her students must think her stickler for always making them to be on time! But it has paid off. Many of her students have come back to her years later thanking her for teaching them the value of time, as well as work ethic. “They will come and tell me, ‘I taught my mom how to fold a bedspread!’” And many students tell her how they are stricter with their time than they used to be because of her.
When college student Joanna Rice was asked what she liked or appreciated about working for Sallis, she said, “Ms. Sallis is a hard-working woman that I have had the privilege of working alongside for about two years. She is dedicated to her job and ensures the comfort of all the guests that come onto campus, whether they be visitors or NEWSTART patients. She is kind and friendly in her interactions with all the guests and faculty she encounters, yet has a strong work ethic that has inspired me to be a better worker myself. She treats her student workers with fairness and consideration and always makes sure we do our jobs well. I appreciate Ms. Sallis for her loving and Christ-like spirit that she demonstrates to me on a daily basis.”
The native Chicagoan also finds time to help people outside of her work. She is passionate about missions, and she collects bottles and cans to be able to send money to the mission field. But she also finds a mission field where she is. She remembers one student from another country that had graduated from the academy. He wanted to go to nursing school, but he did not have the funds, and had to go back home. “I encouraged him to stay and said I would find sponsors. I was the first sponsor, and I was able to find other sponsors. We were able to raise money for him to stay in the states to pursue nursing school. This was the most rewarding thing for me to do.”
Sallis is definitely a hard worker; not only for God, but also for others. Whether it is raising money for missions, or teaching her students the importance of diligent, hard work, she is determined to do her best in all that she does and to teach others the same.
“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much…” (Luke 16:10).
By: Lindsay Philpott, Weimar College student