At Thrive, we believe one of the most important ways to fight burnout is to find purpose and meaning in the work you do every day. Our partnership with Walmart enables us to see the power of Thrive’s behavior change platform in action every day. Through small better choices that build momentum over time, Walmart associates (and their friends and family) are able to make changes that drastically improve their lives and the lives of those around them.

Each month, we award 18 winners with a cash prize for their accomplishments in the Thrive Challenge. Reading through their stories and learning how each of them overcame everyday struggles gives us so much inspiration and passion for the work that we do. 

Below, read the stories of our 18 winners for the month of April. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Richard Bregenzer, Fulfillment Center #7559; Bethlehem, PA

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“I feel healthier and happier, I’ve lost weight, and the future’s looking bright. My fiancée, Andrea, and I are getting married soon, and we talk about how grateful we are to have each other. I also talk to my mom regularly. Getting together with my whole family makes me feel happy and calm.”

Ashton Collins, Distribution Center #6014, Clinton, SC

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“My friends are my second family. There are 10 of us guys; we hang out all the time and we’re there for each other. We’ll go bowling, play basketball, or go to the mall. If I’m feeling down about myself, I’ll talk to them. We’re there for each other. My self-esteem has improved and when we’re out, I don’t care as much about what others think about me.”

Tammy Palacios, Distribution Center #7559; Waco, TX

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“I began the Thrive Challenge with simple Microsteps, like drinking water instead of energy drinks, and food prepping. I go for walks in the park with my grandkids; I can keep up with them and chase them now. I’m happy to say I’ve lost 36 pounds in the past year and I’ve started to believe in myself.” 

Juan Mayo, Home Office #01-9102, Bentonville, AR

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“I was recovering from a serious health condition and I needed to exercise, but movement was difficult, so I started slowly. I began practicing Tai Chi, following five-minute videos for beginners, and I felt the benefits right away. As my stamina improved, I gradually practiced for longer. Tai Chi helps me to relax and breathe, and relieves my anxiety. I’m getting stronger and I view each day as a gift.” 

Tina Doty, Distribution Center #6028, Crawfordsville, IN

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“Whenever I’m stressed or upset and tempted to light a cigarette, I close my eyes and do a breathing exercise. That helps me calm down. I haven’t smoked for six months, and it makes me cry talking about it because this addiction doesn’t control me anymore. I can laugh without coughing and walk without getting out of breath. And I know I’ll be around for my five grandkids.”

Deb Knopsnider, Walmart Supercenter #1765, Somerset, PA

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“I have more energy in the evenings to play the guitar; it’s my passion. I have a whole songbook with 40 songs that I want to get published. Dancing also makes me feel joyful. Now my joints aren’t aching, I’ll put on some music and get moving, and on walks I’ll even do a couple of dance steps too.”

Jacki Lyn Thompson, Distribution Center #6014; Laurens, SC

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“Throughout my journey, I’ve been focusing on my well-being rather than weight loss. But along the way I’ve actually lost 10 pounds. I’ve been building new habits and I’m starting to feel like myself again.”

Daniel Santiago, Fulfillment Center #7559, Bethlehem, PA

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“I’m preparing for the birth of my first child by taking care of myself. I’m going for walks with our dog, and I’m already envisioning taking baby Stella for walks in the stroller. When she’s older, I’ll teach her to play soccer and take her snowboarding. I’m going to be an energetic, active dad.”

Joanna Galindo, Distribution Center #9153, Waco, TX

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“I’m cooking healthy meals. And instead of ice cream, I’ll have frozen Greek yogurt with fresh fruit. I feel successful, which I haven’t experienced for a long time. I have a newfound confidence in myself and my abilities.”

Amber Lopez, Walmart Supercenter #1254, Bellmead, TX

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“We’re having family dinners and we’ll walk in the evening with our dogs. We live next door to my father and brother, which is great because we can support each other on our well-being journeys. We’ll grill together and sit around chatting about when my brother and I were kids.”

Kuldeep Khangura, Walmart Supercenter #2030, Sonora, CA

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“I realized that instead of going back over the past, I could just move on and do things differently. I schedule time to stretch regularly, I practice yoga for a few minutes every morning, and I’m building my strength. I started meditating and I’m sleeping better. I’m feeling more joyful and more confident, and I’ve learned that it’s important to put myself first sometimes.”

Stacey Brooks, Walmart Supercenter #2175; Branson West, MO

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“We’re buying store brand food instead of name brands. And we’re not spending money on candies and sodas, which brings down the total at the register. Food prepping is another money-saver. I’ll cook chicken and veggies in the crock pot, which will last for days.”

Lhanti Hewitt, Walmart Supercenter #1843, McMinnville, OR

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“My husband, Ben, and I are bonding and listening to each other. We like working in the yard together, and when we can, we love to steal away to the beach. I’m enjoying being with my son. We have a beautiful relationship, and I’m proud of him. I’m more peaceful, and I have a sense of belonging. I’m letting go of sadness and feeling more positive.”

Terrell Goracio, Sam’s Club #6448, Port Richey, FL

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“I put away my electronics an hour before bedtime and I take a hot shower, which helps me wind down. I’m sleeping well and I have more energy for activities I enjoy, like taking my dogs for walks and playing football with my nephew. I’m also working out. My exercise routine has helped with my sleep, and my sleep improves my energy levels and mood — they’re all intertwined.”

Diann King, Walmart Supercenter #2312, Roanoke, VA

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“When things feel overwhelming, I’ll head to the park with my pup, Bailey. It’s so peaceful by the creek, with beautiful flowers and trees. There are frogs singing at the top of their lungs, which is music to my ears — I can physically feel the cares of the day falling away.”

Whitney Saul, Distribution Center #7055, Gas City, IN

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“My husband and I keep our phones on the other side of the room instead of by our bed, which makes a big difference. I used to reach for my phone and play games. Now I get into bed, write in my journal, and reflect on the day. I drift off to sleep, and most nights I get seven hours of sleep. In the morning, I’m ready to go.”

Dianna Harris, Walmart Supercenter #2485, Ponderay, ID

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“I was paying for three T.V. subscriptions, and by cutting just one, I’m saving $480 a year! I’m always challenging myself to look for new ways to save, like couponing and finding bargains. Clearance items are my new best friends.”

Raul Kunzel, Walmart HVFC #4124, Lebanon, TN; $5K Winner

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“I’m getting one thing done at a time instead of multitasking and my ability to focus has increased. At work, I feel I’m giving my best to my team and I have the energy for my passion, playing my guitar. I’m sleeping well and waking up happy, and my wife can feel the good vibes. I laugh a lot more; I feel peaceful.”