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 July. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Hannah Crews, Walmart Supercenter #4187, Florence, AL

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“My faith is important to me and volunteering at church brings me joy and helps lower my stress. I take care of the babies in the nursery and I serve snacks to teenagers in our youth group. Everyone is so friendly, and after services, a group of us go out for dinner. I’m more of a listener, but I’m learning to open up and share my feelings.”

Diana Carroll, Walmart Supercenter #538, Gainsville, FL

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“One weekend a month, my best friend, Tricia, and I go to the beach together. Sometimes a group of us go, and we all stay in her family’s condo. We reconnect, enjoying the sun and the sand. The beach is my happy place and helps me reduce stress. Having these joyful little vacations makes a big difference to my life.”

Milene Bargher, Walmart FC #7559, Bethlehem City, PA

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“I’m making time for my hobbies. I like diamond art, and I just finished a beautiful picture of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. I’m knitting again, which my mom taught me when I was little. As a family, we’re scheduling time for activities we all enjoy. We go for bike rides in the park, and we all go fishing whenever we can.” 

Michelle Barrett, Division 1 Store # 1843, McMinnville , OR

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“Thrifting has become a passion. I’m buying most of my clothes at thrift stores, including athletic gear. I love reading, and I buy all my books second hand, for as little as a dollar. I’ve tried to instill in my boys that shopping in thrift stores should be applauded. You’re being smart with your purchases.”

Cody Hartmann, Walmart Supercenter #5240, Ithaca, NY

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“I’m enjoying quality time with my fiancée, Megan, and my 10-year-old son, Mason. We have a family rule: our phones stay in the living room at meal times so we can enjoy conversations. In the evening we’ll play board games, and at bedtime, rather than scrolling on my phone, I’m reading physical books. Before I go to sleep, I journal about my wins and what I’m grateful for.”

Nathaniel Fernandez, Walmart Return Center #9153 , Waco, TX

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“One Microstep I’m taking is finding time to do something just for myself. I go boxing four times a week, and stepping into the ring feels amazing. My teammates and I motivate each other; we’re like family. We do weight training, we jog, and we spar. I love getting stronger, and I feel accomplished. I think that boxing is helping me be an active, engaged dad.”

Larry Isaac, Walmart DC #6014, Laurens, SC

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“Music is my passion, and I’m making time for it again. I love singing gospel and R&B music. I sing with the kids at home, at church events, and at assisted living centers. Music is a healer for me, and I use it to minister to others. Now that I feel happier in myself, I have so much more to give.”

Giuliana Fuentes Marin, Walmart DC #2076, Laurens, SC

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“I took Microsteps like doing my laundry in cold water and getting rid of cable T.V. I’m saving over $300 dollars a month and gradually getting out of debt. Now I can send a little more money to help my sister in Mexico. Taking control of my finances gives me a sense of empowerment. I’ve become more financially responsible and I’m feeling more positive about life.”

Shay Byers, Walmart FC #4124, Lebanon, TN

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“I quit drinking alcohol. Now I drink sparkling water, and if I’m out for dinner, I’ll have a sugar-free soft drink with bubbles in a cute glass, and I don’t feel like I’m missing out. Asking for support helps me feel less stressed. I have therapy, my husband, Stefan, is a great support, and my community at church helps me lower stress and stay strong.”

Henry Lamar, Walmart Fulfillment Center #9042 & #9097Pedricktown, NJ

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“We have a home gym with an exercise bike, a rowing machine, and weights. Julian gets excited showing me his new workout routines and what he’s learning. We’ve both been getting stronger. I’m in less pain and I can get up from seated positions easier. I saw my doctor the other day and she said I’m making awesome progress.”

Clara Rodriguez, Distribution Center #9153, Waco, TX

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“When I get home, I charge my phone in the living room, and my husband does the same. That one change has made a big difference to our sleep. I enjoy some quiet time by writing down my thoughts in my journal, which helps to lower my stress. I take a shower, watch a soothing Thrive Reset, and get ready for bed.”

Julian Lovell, Walmart DE #6094, Bentonville, AR

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“I’m working in the yard again, which I hadn’t been motivated to do for a long time. I’ve planted a variety of bulbs; I love seeing the beauty the flowers bring to our yard. My granddaughters love helping me. We’ve made a pumpkin patch and we’re growing watermelons. The girls make me laugh and bring me joy.”

Corbin Onorato, Walmart Store #7034, Smyrna, DE

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“Angela and I go to the park together and play with our dog, Skadi. I feel stronger, less stiff, and I’m in less pain. I have more energy than I’ve had for years. My doctor tells me to keep up the good work. I’m healing my body by changing my whole outlook on life, health, and well-being.” 

DeWayne Stocks, Walmart Distribution Center #7055, Gas City, IN

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“I started playing volleyball and golf with my family. As a dad, I’m more active with my daughter. When she asks me to play outside, I jump up and go, rather than saying I’ll do it later. She’s really into softball and she’s so happy that I’m always ready to practice with her now. It’s very rewarding for me watching the smile on her face.”

Mark Chernisky, Walmart Store #4585, Owasso, OK

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“Working out at the gym has become my hobby. Sean and I enjoy challenging each other. We’re doing cardio and strength training. I’m getting stronger and I’m happy that I’m a good role model for my son, showing him the importance of physical activity. I’m leading by example.”

Nikki Crumley Brodbeck, Walmart Neighborhood Market #5490, San Antonio, TX

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“I’ve been experimenting with food swaps, like using garlic and herb seasoning instead of salt. Chauncey’s always helping in the kitchen and I’m teaching him how to cook. We make meatloaf with ground turkey rather than beef, and shrimp with broccoli, spinach, and jasmine rice. Since starting the Challenge I’ve lost 11 pounds, I have more energy and my back doesn’t hurt anymore.”

Isela Pennington, Walmart Supercenter #5487, Travelers Rest, SC

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“I’m getting eight hours of sleep a night and I’m less stressed. I have more energy to enjoy my passion: being a band mom for my two teenagers. I love taking care of the kids with the other band moms, who are friends. We measure them for their uniforms, prepare food, and help to carry instruments to football games.”

Merritt Craine, Walmart DC #6014, Laurens , SC

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“I keep my phone out of my bedroom and I read to help me wind down. Right now, I’m enjoying the Harry Potter books and I’ll read them to my granddaughter. Then I’ll do a calming Thrive Reset. We’re all in bed by 8 p.m. My granddaughter is sleeping through the night and I’m sleeping seven hours a night. I wake up feeling well-rested.”