As a software vendor in the Health and Human Services arena it’s inspiring to be partnered with agencies that work tirelessly to help others.
Sometimes, not often but sometimes, I get bogged down in the business side of what we do in the process. We sometimes, not always but sometimes, have implementation projects that have difficulties launching. We typically are able to plow through the issues and get to a place where we’re all working together. During the difficult times it can become very frustrating.
However, recently I had the privilege of attending an awards ceremony for one of the agencies that we serve in the state of Michigan that reminded me to keep pushing. How amazing it was to hear the stories of the kids that went through their adolescence in their care. One young woman was placed in their care at the age of 12 due to negligence by her birth parents and embroiled in a drug and gang influenced childhood. She not only was now living on her own but has been granted a full-ride scholarship to a very prestigious university. What an inspiration to not only the other kids that may find themselves in her previous circumstance but also to those of us who try to make a difference through our work.
Another award was made to a foster couple who had countless children in their care over the last 15 years. When they were asked to come to the stage to receive their award the mother simply said “I don’t know why we’re getting an award for this. This is just what we do”. Talk about a selfless attitude in the service of others.
I was also very impressed by a young man who certainly had a bright sports career ahead of him but instead decided to pursue his Masters in Social Work. He was quite an inspiration to everyone in the room. His parents were in attendance and were so enthusiastic for his choice and his success. It was very moving.
Last, but certainly not least was a short talk given by the new Director of Health and Human Services. He broke through my previous impression of bureaucrats that are higher in the government spectrum. My experience had been that they lose sight of their real mission to help those that are the most vulnerable in our society. However, his words completely changed that impression. He spoke of his “why” and that it was awards ceremonies like this that made it worth it to go to work every day. He went to the trouble to travel with his wife and teenagers to hear the stories of those he and the rest of us serve. It was very inspiring.
So when any of us in the human services field get frustrated-remember the ultimate goal of our mission- working together to help enhance the lives of those we serve.