The student news site of Pierce College in Lakewood, Washington.

Megan Sokol/Staff Photo

Megan Sokol/Staff Photo

Albertson’s ray of Sunshine delights customers with a smile

Cashier attracts flocks of customers with her singing and positivity

March 9, 2017

Sunshine lives up to her name. She sings as she rings up items, thanks soldiers for their service, and wears the usual headband and smile. Customers are instinctively drawn to this woman’s positivity, but underneath her joyous demeanor is a dedication to communal service.

Elvira M. Root, or Sunshine, has been donating to her family in the Philippines since 1988. She sends approximately $200 a month to her loved ones. Vecause of her donations, she struggles with finances. “I can’t retire. Me and my husband are poor and I send a lot of my money to the Phillipines,” said Sunshine. “Those are my people.” Tearing up a bit at the thought of her family, she began talking about her manager Amy.

“She’s an amazing manager. She’s the kind of person where if you make a mistake, Amy will tell you that ‘no one is perfect.’” In Sunshine’s 18 years at Albertson’s, that had to mean something.

Even though she is full of positivity and cheerfulness, Sunshine has a strict work ethic. “You must always be patient with customers. My mother always told me to treat customers like myself,” said Sunshine. “I never bring my problems to work and I always pray before I start my shift.”

Sunshine knows how unique her attitude is to the retail service, and she embraces it. “I give 125% to customers. I treat children and disabled people as any other customer. I treat everyone with respect and they appreciate my service.”

At home, Sunshine is greeted by her husband of 49 years and her huge family. “I have 28 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and 4 children.” Her children, Terry, Kathy, Darryl, and Lonnie are part of a vast Air Force network, following their father’s footsteps.

“We are very involved with the military. I always thank soldiers for their service. I volunteer to donate to the military,” said Sunshine. On July, 4, Sunshine was ecstatic to wear her American flag dress. She received many compliments and even sang the star-spangled banner, one of her favorite songs.

“I love to sing the national anthem, ‘Because of you’ which is a Phillipino song, and ‘Unchained melody,’ it’s a love song that I share with my husband.”

Sunshine’s marriage birthed her pseudo-name. “My husband could not pronounce ‘Elvira’ that well, so he told me that I was now ‘Sunshine’ because that was who I was to him. I was his sunshine.”

“I am nobody,” Sunshine says. But that’s simply not true.

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