As a consultant, I don't usually refer people to these kinds of resources. That's more the role of a case manager. Unfortunately, things have been topsy turvey at my place of employment lately, and as a result, the client's name was not put on the Christmas fund list this year. Like so many, she fell through the cracks of a crumbling system.
I dreaded having to tell her. I postponed it as long as I could. She's been through so much this year and so has her family. One day last week, with a bit of extra office time on my hands, I tried to make it right by searching for other resources in my usual way, by asking my colleagues in homecare for help. They provided me with names and numbers and one by one I called them, only to be told that it was too late to apply for this Christmas. The cheques and baskets were already being distributed for the year.
Dejected, I mentioned this to one of my colleagues in passing, because that's how we cope with bad/sad news after failed brainstorming where I work. We talk about it and commiserate and comfort each other.
Yesterday morning when I rolled into the office, there was an enevelope on my chair and a text message on my cell phone from the aforementioned colleague. The money in the envelope was for my client. I was to give it to her and tell her it was from the CLSC, to make up for our gaff.
I gave the envelope to my client and told her why it was cash and not a Gazette Cnristmas Fund cheque. But I didn't tell her it was from the CLSC. Instead, I told her it was from a colleague who had heard her story and wished to remain anonymous. She hugged my neck and cried. I wish my colleague had been on the receiving end of that hug instead of me. I sent her a text instead and told her she had made a significant difference in someone's life that day.
The stories are important, folks. They are what touch us, move us to advocate,
prompt us to contribute, convince us to give a little more of ourselves when we think tnere is nothing left to give. You can make a difference in someone's life too. We all can. Use your voices to tell the stories. Listen to others telling them. And act.