This Isn’t Goodbye… 8.14.13

My last couple of weeks at the office have been stressful for me. I am in the middle of planning a family wedding and finishing up projects with Family Support. The rummage sale is coming along nicely and we already have a ton of donations!

On my last day at the office the whole staff wished me goodbye and said they hoped that I would come back again.

My feelings leaving to organization are mixed. I had a great time getting to know all of the people in the office and learning more about how they function and how much impact they have on the community. Some parts of the internship was hard for me especially at the end when our effectiveness seemed to dwindle and we had very little to do. I am definitely interested in returning to the organization in the future and hope to stay in contact with the amazing people I got to meet through this experience!

Thanks For Keeping Up With Me!

Megan Parker

Sell Out 8.8.13

With the recent poor spirits around the office and general bored nature that has taken over our work I have been non-stop brainstorming about what we can do to draw attention to our organization.

I pitched an idea today of having a rummage sale in our parking lot! Our office is on a fairly busy road and it has plenty of space for a sale! I got the idea because one of the large churches down the street just had their annual sale and it had a great turn out. This event would bring people to our office to learn more about our services as well as raise money for our everyday office needs!

So today we started the process of sending out flyers to advertise for donations and trying to figure out the best date for the event. After work I went home and started going through my stuff to donate to the sale!

Till Next Time,

Megan Parker

Not Enough to Go Around 7.30.13

Like I have mentioned a few times in past blogs, we have been experience some intense budget cuts from every angle. We usually receive federal funding and state funding as well as private donor funding. This year all three of those sectors have been shaved down and we have seen some tangible differences within the office.

After a bad leadership team was transferred out last year and a new director came into our office they have been trying to rebuild and start fresh with a lot of programs etc. I have been told that we lost a lot of support and interest in our organization during this poor leadership era.

Having lost so much funding in the recent months this has been exacerbated even further. The last couple days our production and tasks have come to a screeching halt. It seems as if we are reaching at ideas and small tasks to keep ourselves busy and to avoid admitting that we are at a complete loss of what to do.

Many of the people that used to be clients have now found resources in other nearby towns or have stopped taking advantage of resources all together, and with so little to offer now with the intense lack of funding the organization seems to be at a fork in the road without any sign of which way to go.

I can’t help by fixate on what we can do to ramp up the excitement again about our organization. If any of you readers out there have any ideas I am all ears!!

Till Next Time,

Megan Parker

The First Cut is the Deepest 7.17.13

Today we felt the first effects of massive spending cuts throughout the country and especially in the health service industry. Our staff here at the office consists of 2 case workers, 1 director, 1 donations specialist, 1 parenting class instructor, and 1 psychiatrist. Today we said goodbye to one of our own.

Due to funding cuts we have had to cut a position in the office and that fell in the psychiatry sector. The board felt as though it was extraneous to have a therapist on site when we have many other therapy resources in the area.

Some of the work I have been doing this work is organizing case studies and paper work and informing people of the staffing changes in the office. We did not have too many clients that would be directly affected but I kept thinking about how hard it would be for those people to basically start over with a new therapist.

We had a sad goodbye and the office quietly and slowly went back to business as usual.

Till Next Time,

Megan Parker

Do I Know You From Somewhere? 7.12.13

Today was a very awkward day for me… I was working with intake patience to the counseling and parenting classes. These are usually new people to our office and are just starting their assigned classes. Many of the parents that take parenting classes from our office are either required under their divorce or domestic abuse cases.

I have done this kind of work before at the office and never found a problem or uncomfortableness with it. Today, however, I helped intake a parent that I had known from growing up in the area. The parent was a father of a girl I had travelled with in high school.

The encounter was extremely awkward because it was very clear that he did not want to be recognized or acknowledged.┬áSomeone once told me “when you find a place that’s uncomfortable for you, just sit and revel in it for a second and you’ll be a better person for it.” So that’s what I did. I went with his disguise and pretended not to have a history with him. I felt extremely uncomfortable but I wanted to respect his subtle wish to finish his business and move along with his day without interruption.

Although I know that this persons identity was to be protected by our confidentiality policy I began to worry about seeing other people I knew or seeing him out in public again. I’m not sure why this event was so troubling for me but I think I learned that you don’t have to be uncomfortable or ashamed of coming to our parenting classes because it is something you are doing to better yourself whether it is court appointed or by choice!

Till Next Time,

Megan Parker

Recurring Themes 7.2.13

Today at the office we had a recurring visitor. It seems like every time I am in the front office the same women walks through the front door and asks if she can look around our donations room.

The first time she walked in I was very happy to help her thinking I was helping her out and would never see her again. The next couple of times I saw her I started to be concerned that she was taking advantage of me by coming in so often to take donations from our office.

She seemed always to be well dressed and well put together. Shamefully, I noticed that she wore gold earrings and other accessories. She told me the first time I met her that she was poor and needed help from people better off than her. That day she took some lotion and left.

I spoke to some of the other members of the Family Support Council team about her and they informed me that their policy with her is that she can come in 1 day a week and take 1 or 2 items. They told me that she has had some problems in the past and is in real need. After that I started paying more attention to her and her actions. When she comes in now I walk with her to the donations room and chat with her about her day and the weather. She usually takes some shampoo or lotion and leaves peacefully wishing me a good day.

She has been an interesting client for me because I feel as though I judged her too quickly without knowing her real life story. As it turns out she was a client with a mental health condition and did not have a strong support system as far as family and friends are concerned. This lesson helped me to less judgmental and more open to others going forward. I am glad that I met her now and I know she will have a lasting impact on my life that I can take away from this experience.

Till next time.

Megan Parker

Kidding Around 6.28.13

Today is Thursday which means we have our weekly parenting classes in our office. This week they called on me not to attend the class as usual but to help out with babysitting as the woman who usually handles it was out. I gladly agreed and took my place in the kids room for the hour long meeting.

I love kids so this was not the worst job I could have been given but still there was something difficult about watching children of people you have been in parenting class with. The kids were great but as kids do they often would tell me too much about their families and their lives. Because of confidentiality issues I can’t elaborate on that but just know that kids pick up on everything even things you don’t think they will understand.

I definitely got my own lesson in parenting today and how smart kids can be. They see things you think they don’t and they understand more than you think!

Till next time.

Megan Parker