Monday, November 4, 2013

Thankful for the hands that serve

By Marisa Geitner, president & C.E.O. of Heritage Christian Services

I started this year writing about family traditions and about the traditions that matter the most to us here at Heritage Christian. It’s only fitting that as we turn to this season of giving thanks that I’d count our tradition of compassionate care as one of things I appreciate the most.

We make it a point to hire the best people we can, but our employees have a choice in how they serve. For most of them, that choice is to serve with patience and dignity and love. They don’t just show up and coast through their shifts. They show up to make a difference.

And that’s what I’m thankful for, for the hearts and hands that serve here. For a glimpse inside those kind hearts, keep reading…

When I began working at Heritage it was just a job for me. I thought just for a short while, as I was finishing my degree. When you care for someone completely you can’t help but get involved in their lives and want to make a difference. In making their dreams and hopes come true I now better understand how to make things happen for myself and overall how to be a happier person. A true caregiver. I don’t think that part of me will ever change. To serve here means to care, care about people, care about independence, care about compassion and most of all care for yourself and your family better. – Emma Lange, direct support professional at the home on Clover Street

Eilleen Mendez and Maria Sanchez
It has been a humbling experience to have worked at Heritage Christian the past five years. It is like the analogy of a seed being nurtured and blossoming!  I have stayed at Heritage Christian because of the fulfillment that I feel in doing Christ’s work in action by being the hands,  the eyes,  the legs, and the voice of supporting the individuals that I have been blessed to know and support. – Maria Sanchez, assistant manager at the Nine Mile Point day program 

Sam Weinberg and Kelly Odrzywolski

I look forward to working with the young man I support each day. He always greets me with a big smile and says, "Hi Kelly!" As a habilitation specialist I get to go to fun places with Sam during the week as well as work on any skills around the house he would like to learn. It makes me feel good about myself to know I am making a difference in someone else's life and at Heritage Christian I feel that my work doesn't go unnoticed. – Kelly Odrzywolski, community habilitation specialist 

I feel like I’m doing what God wants me to do. I like helping people learn new skills so they can become more independent, and I enjoy the opportunity to build relationships with the people we support and their families. – Jennifer D’Addario, direct support professional at the home on South Forest

Carlton Maxwell
I came to Heritage Christian because I needed a flexible schedule, but shortly after getting hired I fell in love with the place and the individuals and Heritage became like a second home to me. I enjoy seeing the individuals grow and overcome obstacles that many feel they couldn’t do. I have been afforded the opportunity to learn and grow in a field that I knew nothing about. What gave me the confidence to stay was the values of Heritage Christian and knowing I already had these qualities in me and Heritage was just asking me to combine my values with theirs. – Carlton Maxwell, assistant manager at the home on Larwood