Anyone working in social services knows that when talking about our careers there are two questions that inevitably pop up: "Why do you do it?" and
"Do you think you’ll actually be able to make a difference or effect change when the system is so broken?"
I think the “why” is simple. Because it’s needed. We live in a world where reality television has taken over our airwaves, depicting the lives of the rich and famous in “devastating” situations that may alter their worlds forever. Of course, their devastation is much different from the majority of the population. We do what we do because that world is not the reality for a very large and under-represented segment in our communities.
For many, this is reality:
Individuals living under these conditions are largely ignored. Their needs go unmet, and when they attempt to obtain the very basic necessities of life, they are often turned away or placed in a position where they have to negotiate bureaucratic obstacle courses to get the resources they need. We do what we do to give a voice to the voiceless and to stand side by side with those attempting to improve their own reality.
As to the ability to effect change, there was a very popular show in the 80’s with a wonderful and very true tagline. I won’t mention the name of the show, but let’s just say, I still want a jet black Trans Am that can talk, drive itself and jump over (or through) walls. In any event, the tagline was a simple one, “One man can make a difference". For our purposes, for our times, that tagline is still true.
It just needs a slight adjustment.
Throughout ECS, throughout our programs, and throughout the city, change is being made for the better on a daily basis. It may start with one man, one woman, or even a child…but it starts, and then it grows. It starts as a kind act, perhaps bringing sandwiches to the homeless or passing out water on a hot day. It then grows into a cause when we recognize the need to provide those services along with a few others that can assist individuals in learning new and better ways to effect change in their own lives. Then finally, hopefully, that cause matures into a movement that has a nationwide or even a global reach.
All because someone…one man, one woman, or one child, took the time to care.
WE can make a difference.
It is key to remember that change will not happen overnight. It is a slow, gradual, yet steady process that can have long lasting and positive outcomes. Change will also not happen without dedicated people engaged and invested in a positive future. This is a responsibility which every ECS employee shares, and we show it by providing hope, love, and understanding...and by living up to our mission statement:
"...by serving those in need through programs that foster hope, dignity and independence, ECS empowers vulnerable and struggling individuals and families by providing vital, high-quality social services that encourage healthy interdependence”.
WE can make a difference!
We CAN make a difference!
We DO make a difference!
This is why we do what we do.