By Sadie Hess
Recently, I was on a conference call in my Redding office enjoying the view out of my window (there were no vagrants that day, which is always a plus). Out of the corner of my eye, I saw flying Easter eggs! A number of brightly colored eggs were being tossed about by a few of our Team Leaders preparing for an Easter event. They were hiding eggs for what they expected to be about sixty or seventy people. A few minutes later, my view changed to SLS and ILS clients and staff from both Tehama and Shasta County having a great time looking for eggs.
Perhaps you are whispering, what is the significance of an Easter event? For me, it was a surprising moment because I learned about the event as Easter eggs flew by my window! Members of our team and community organized an amazing event without any admin time or monetary support. Why, you ask– Because we are an awesome community of staff and clients who “get it” and understand the value of being together and celebrating.
On Cesar Chavez day, we had over seventy people go fishing together. In Siskiyou alone we had a bowling event, an Autism awareness day, and a surprise birthday party for an ILS client that had never had a birthday party— all in the span of about a month! This weekend, ILS and SLS clients are going to be in the Red Bluff round-up parade. We have so many events that I often find out about them by accident, not typically as dramatic as flying eggs, however. J
Events are more than just a nice thing we do or a little “extra” we give. They are a central part of our community and philosophy. Cassandra, who has a featured article in this newsletter, brings up how community made a difference in a client’s life. She recently sent me an amazing story and summed it up this way, “Events are so much more than a party. They are a way for clients to feel accepted, loved and a part of something bigger than them…” She went on to say it was a rough season for her client and the event gave him some hope and community at an important time.
Yes, we party hard and often around here. However, it is not just because we like eggs or fish or birthday cake. We party to create opportunities for the better parts of life: connection, relationship, love, memories, laughter and hope. These are the parts of a party that truly make a difference, not just for clients, but for every one of us.