Labor of Love

This is a notably hectic time at Hillsides. There is a certain seasonal aspect to admissions into our residential program. As some residents complete their treatment to return home and into their community during the summer months, they are replaced with new residents. Typically, these children arrive at Hillsides relatively traumatized and in need of a great deal of attention during their initial period in residential treatment.
As I was walking across the playing field a few weeks ago, a preadolescent boy approached me asking who I was. Before I could introduce myself, another resident quickly mentioned that I was the boss. The new resident was very happy to make my acquaintance and began to question me as to the extent of my influence in the program. He just wanted to make sure he was directing any questions he may have to someone who could do something about it. I found it amusing he thought I had such influence and assured him that he could come to me with any concerns. A week later this incredibly gregarious boy found me as he was frantically running around the campus, clearly anxious and compulsively looking to leave. We talked about how he could address his concerns, and we were joined by staff that continued the conversation until he was less agitated.
As I walked away and returned to my office, I could not help but be grateful for the wonderful staff that so ably attend to our residents. Staff patiently and skillfully assure residents that they are safe, that things will get better, and that we are committed to their success.
This level of commitment is evident every day at Hillsides, whether it is our clinical staff, our school personnel, or any one of our support services employees. The question that drives them is: “what more can we do to assure the success of those we serve and of the organization?” Such unquestionable dedication is contagious and priceless.
The true meaning of Labor Day is often overshadowed by the end of summer festivities. However, it is important to not lose sight of all those, especially in our field, whose fine and hard work are essential to the fulfillment of our mission to make a lasting change in the lives of all we serve. Without them, little would be accomplished; with them, great things are achieved. I am especially grateful for such dedicated co-workers and commit to do everything possible to acknowledge their dedication and secure the resources necessary to maintain them in this field. For all these hardworking people, Labor Day is not just a day off, but rather an opportunity to celebrate what is indeed a labor of love. 

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