Let’s begin 2019 with some good news…
This Christmas Brian Breach got into the spirit of giving, but with a twist; he decided to give to givers. He dressed down as if he were homeless, printed a sign that asked for donations to feed his family at Christmas, and stood in front of a mall with a tin cup. When anyone approached and dropped coins into his cup, he would give them a crisp new $100 bill. “I wanted to recognize the good giving people who would willingly share the little they have to help a stranger in need.”
Brian’s story got us to thinking about our FAMCare blog. It is our attempt, we realized, to give to all our social worker/case worker readers the gift of information and inspiration by sharing stories about their colleagues that might help them do their own dedicated work. Here’s a sample of stories from 2018:
- Caroline Diehl works tirelessly in a cold shed every morning before sunrise filling backpacks with food staples to distribute to hungry local school children.
- Mike Robertson, a Harvard Business School graduate who decided that he was going to do what God called him to do established the Love Kindness Award at Piedmont College.
- 11,826 Certified Nurse Midwives worked tirelessly in the United States attending 332,107 births in 2014 (the most recent year for which final birth data are available), without anyone even noticing.
- Social workers who work every day behind the scenes in suicide prevention reminded us that suicide is part of the human condition and not the dramatic exception that celebrity suicide seems to suggest.
- New York City social workers assigned to help homeless students are desperately overwhelmed. During 2015-2016 school year, there were 110 family-assistance workers responsible for helping 32,243 students in city shelters and the number of homeless students in New York City public schools jumped to a breathtaking 100,000 students.
- Because our country has always been blessed with abundant natural resources most fortunate people rarely think about “urban food deserts”. However, dedicated professionals like Holly Frieshtat are shining a light on a lurking social problem that has implications across the entire food supply system. Right in the middle of America’s urban centers people are seriously undernourished because good food is not available.
- The Ford Foundation has established a program to provide $1 billion in grants over five years to social justice nonprofits for organizational development and support.
- Jim Langford, a true son of Georgia, has raised millions of dollars to fight opioid addiction in his state to make the overdose-reversal drug, Naloxone, available over the counter and to beef up an existing electronic system for tracking opioid prescriptions. He has also produced a series of T.V. ads aimed at preventing opioid addiction modeled after a similar campaign he produced against meth.
These stories are only a sample of the stories we covered in 2018. During the coming year as you toil in the vineyards of the less fortunate take a look back through our archives and perhaps, you’ll learn some small detail or find inspiration in a particular colleague you identify with. Let’s have a great year helping one another help others.