May 8, 2018
Over the weekend of April 14-15, the Twin Cities area was hit with a significant snow storm. I am sure this is not news to anybody, since it was so widespread and it affected everybody. Many of us, while waiting for the snow to stop, hunkered down in our homes. Of course, our staff dedication was exceptional during the entire storm. As the worst part of the storm hit, we had staff who commuted in to work their shifts, knowing the individuals were depending on them; despite the icy roads, impassable streets, and visibility issues.
I want to take the opportunity to let everybody know how great our staff are. There were many reports of GREAT DEEDS by staff. James David and Victor Collins, who commuted between locations to help out other houses. Even Victor got stuck and had to wait for a tow. George Omoyo, while commuting between locations, got stuck and after getting unstuck, parked his car at a nearby business and walked in the snow to get to his shift.
There were also staff trading off sleeping hours with awake staff or staying for parts of a 3rd shift, to ensure that the house was covered. Here are just a few: Sarah Kendema, Theresa Doe, J. Sackor Marwolo, Juah Harris, and Augustine Jappah. Rebecca Knuckles found a ride to get to her location to help cover for a staff who could not get in, only to have that staff be able to show for their shift. Rob Ahonen, who came in on Sunday to help get snow removal done, only to get stuck himself.
In times like this, we really see the dedication and skill of our staff. Together they make sure things are done, worrying not only about themselves, but about the individuals and their co-workers. They pitched in together to dig out cars and shoveled more then they probably were expecting to.
Homeward Bound wanted staff to know how much we appreciate them coming to work, or trying to get to work with no success. Although we have an attendance system to ensure that staff are accountable for coming to work, we did a variance so staff did not lose points for missing work. We knew that many tried to get in, but roads were just too challenging in some areas. We were also able to give those staff who came in during the worst parts of the storm, a small incentive bonus as a token of our appreciation.
I also thought it important to scream from the roof-tops about our shining stars. Without them, the weekend could have been disastrous. Every day they show their skill—but this time was above and beyond! Thank you to all of you who helped make the weekend a success! The full list of Blizzard Heroes!
~ Gerri Dukart – Gbor, Director of Program and Services