Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My Life's Commitment

In 1981 I received a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan in Community Organization. All the social work I did was connected to the community in order to provide services to people who needed them. I worked for an area agency on aging, providing resources to allow elderly people to remain in their homes. I was able to do this by coordinating care with visiting nurses, meals on wheels, transportation, and housekeeping services to the elderly. When I started working in hospitals, they were community hospitals, so that I had to develop relationships with similar people as above, as well as nursing homes and rehabilitation centers and medical equipment companies. I even had to collect names of facilities that would come out to people's houses and care for their pets, because a lot of people would refuse care unless they knew their pet was being cared for first. I knew where to get clothes for people, where they could get food, where they could sleep if they were homeless, and where to find them if they were homeless. I had contacts within the police and sheriff's departments to look for people if they didn't come in for treatment. I connected people to hospice when it was time to die. I am proud of every single thing I did as a community organization social worker. When I stopped working I did volunteer work in the community. After seven years at one volunteer program, I decided to move on to use my beadwork to create items for charity. I make approximately 6 items a year that are auctioned to raise funds for cancer, for food banks, and for homeless shelters. I am proud of how I have spent my life's work, and I will continue to contribute as long as I can.

9 comments:

abeadlady said...

You go, girl! As an RN who worked with prisoners, and physically and mentally challenged adults, I understand your dedication.
You will be in my thoughts as you recuperate from your surgery. Bless you and all the good work you have done so far. I know it will continue into the future.
Arline

abeadlady said...

Oops! Wrong Susan for the surgery. Sorry about that.
Arline

a2susan said...

Thanks for your support, Arline. I was just so angry after listening to last night's convention speakers. I felt like they were insulting my entire life's work, although I'm not sure if they realize how alienating their remarks were. Guiliani actually mocked Obama for being a social worker in community organization and had people laughing in the audience.

And to the Susan who is having surgery, I too hope it goes well.

Susan in Ann Arbor

Marty S said...

I read your description of your life's commitment, and right away I thought of last night's speech. And then I read your reference to the speech. The speech made me angry, too. Both my parents were social workers, starting right after the depression. I'm a retired educator and president of the board of a local not for profit social service agency. Community service is a selfless activity, and it should not be belittled.
Marty S

Kiwi Ellen said...

Susan, I think you have every reason to be proud of your achievements - Hopefully, McCain & his 'team' are digging their own graves.. You should go wider with your statement - maybe your local TV station? It is a wonderfully wise, honest statement, which I am sure many would agree with

MixPix said...

Wow - thanks for sharing your life and your sense of commitment - the world would be a much smaller place without you. The people who disparage your work are the ones who should feel ashamed.
Beading is lovely, too - original and great sense of colour, shape, balance - you go girl.

freebird said...

I haven't been here in a little while. You go girl!

Drea said...

You should be SO proud of those things! Your work, and your choice to carry on those principles in your art, are both very special.

I agree with Kiwi Ellen -- hopefully McCain is digging his grave with those kinds of statements.

Hélène H said...

Wow, what a great life achievement ! I admire you.