One positive outcome for this current national health crisis is to see so many Americans drawing together to express their appreciation for doctors, nurses, and all first responders.
Here at NCCF we have always been grateful to those colleagues on the front line who partner with us to ensure the most vulnerable members of our community receive the services they so desperately need. What has become increasingly clear, in this time of great uncertainty, is what it means to be “essential” and who should be included under the umbrella of “first responders.” These individuals go far beyond what we usually perceive. We are learning that grocery store cashiers, truck drivers, pharmacists, maintenance workers, cleaning staff, and non-profits who mobilize resources are all essential members of the community’s larger emergency response team.
Today, I would like to add to that list of first responders who deserve our thanks and ask you to spend some time reflecting on all the people who are doing their part to support our clients and customers. Do not forget our Social Workers and support staff, residential assistants, youth counselors, and other line staff, who continue to serve our most vulnerable community members. Today, as they do every day, these Social Workers and support staff work in jails, shelters, residential facilities, group homes, psychiatric facilities, hospitals/emergency rooms, and nursing home facilities, risking their own health and safety to make certain others in need are thriving and well.
Today is the last day of Social Work Month; this year’s theme, “Generations Strong,” was particularly prescient. Social work is a field that requires both stamina and teamwork, while respecting and embracing diversity and inclusion. These are the skills of first responders – these are the qualities of heroes. Although we did not plan to spend Social Work Month 2020 fighting to keep people safe from a global pandemic, here we are, more than ready to rise to this challenge. Social Workers and support workers are out there fighting COVID-19 every day and for that we can be eternally grateful.