Maybe I am not supposed to admit this but I am very proud of the way the Center operates. In particular, I feel very fortunate to work with such dedicated and caring staff and volunteers. I am reminded of our staff’s genuine concern and willingness to serve those in need on a daily basis.
I have seen Dana hug a client that was hearing voices telling her to harm herself until she was able to set up a meeting with a therapist. I have witnessed Iva find baby clothes and other items needed for a young women that had just left a domestic violence situation and was expecting a child in 10 days. I have watched Ericka plan a memorial service and raise the money to bury a client’s newborn baby that had passed away. I have seen June personally shop and find all the houseware, clothing, and personal care products for a homeless single mother with autism that was now moving into an apartment. At night and on the weekends, I have seen Keith driving groceries to the home-bound elderly, who he finds out have no food. Moreover, I have seen what the staff does together to help the less fortunate. There is no better example of this than two weeks ago.
Two young men Stephan and Alexander came into the Center the Wednesday before the supposed winter storm to end all winter storms. Not unusual, Stephan and Alexander cautiously approached the front desk. It was readily apparent that Stephan and Alexander were scared, tired and most of all cold. June offered the young men a cup of hot chocolate, and they proceeded to share their story. Stephan and Alexander had traveled to Omaha from Las Vegas on the promise of a job. Unfortunately, the job fell through and they found themselves in a city with no food, family, or funds. The young men came to the Center hoping for some help as they were now living on the streets. Most of all, Stephan and Alexander simply wanted to return home to where their family and friends were. Paying for the trip was an easy decision but still required some work for the Center staff. Over the course of the next few days, I witnessed such kindness and compassion. One staff member opened her own purse and gave the young men money for miscellaneous expenses on their journey home. A second staff member put together a basket of food to last the boys throughout the trip. Another staff member transported the young men to and from the bus terminal on a multiple occasions as their trip was delayed because of the snow. A last staff member spent time just talking with Stephan and Alexander to make sure they did not need anything else.
Late last week June received a text message from an out of town phone number stating, “Hello. We made it. Happy to be home. Wanted to thank you again so very much. We will always remember you.” It was Stephan and Alexander.
I had nothing to do with helping Stephan and Alexander. Even so, I am so proud to be a part of this place and more importantly proud to work with such caring and compassionate individuals like June, Ericka, Dana, Iva, and Keith.