Your Health Community: Why I am a social worker
I knocked on the door just as he was saying, "Come on in, Miss Katie!" "I'll be right in, I just need to get something," I replied. I went back to my car and popped the trunk. Regretting my shoe choice, I heaved the air conditioning unit up and carried it to the porch ramp.
There was nothing cool about how I kicked off my black heels and eased up the ramp with the big box. My patient was shaking his head and mumbling about how he wished he could help me. Their house is small, happy home.
I set the box down as gently as I could, and they just grinned. Immediately, I began sweating, so I plopped down on the box in my bare feet and grinned back. They began to thank me, and I made sure they knew that Lowe's had helped them not me.
I was just the delivery girl, and I am glad because it was hot in there. Their sincere thanks and knowing that these dear older people struggling with illness will be cool today made my whole week.
I'm writing from Gonzales at the Texas Junior High Rodeo Finals where my oldest daughter is competing. The adrenaline here is as high as the river, and we are ready to see what Anna is made of. Summer is here, and that means people feel the heat. My time as a social worker is spent connecting needs that people have with resources that are available.
The resources come from the person I am helping or from the community. I find myself chuckling when I look at my list of calls that range from the Department of Aging and Disability to Lowe's to the County Tax Assessor.
If one thing doesn't work, I try another, and a lot of times that doesn't work either. I've moved mattresses, broken up fights, looked for old stoves, and filled out grant applications. The biggest success I have as a social worker is seeing another person have a need met that allows them to take responsibility for meeting other needs.
I invest hard in peoples' lives, but I remember that they have strengths to have survived without me and will again. I like hearing people's stories, and I think it is wonderful that they allow me to be part of their story.
The big picture of social work for me is creating opportunities for folks to live better lives; this is an interesting dance between the choices of the individual I am helping and the resources available to them.
Your healthy community is full of social workers that strive to help others in many different ways. In my next June article, I will tell you about a few of them. It's important for you to know about us.
You might need us someday. We want to help, and we want you to help, too. If you own a business, be a community-oriented business and look for ways you can help others.
This month as you wear your sunscreen and stay cool, consider helping others stay cool by donating a fan to the Victoria Senior Center. Be cool.
Katie Sciba is a writer, a licensed social worker, a pastor's wife and a mother from Victoria. She works for AARN Health Services and blogs online at Always Simply Begin.