I began working for Chai Lifeline as an administrative assistant when I was 19. One day, a girl receiving dialysis was all alone in the hospital and the regular volunteers who usually spent time with her were not available. I volunteered to go and spent my first two hours with a Chai Lifeline client. I realized then how special Chai Lifeline was and how wonderful it is to be able to give. After getting married, moving, going to school, and moving again, here I am today, working as a case manager for Chai Lifeline Southeast.
Every day is really packed as a case manager. From speaking to families in crisis and in happier moments, hospital visits, seeing clients at their homes and planning special gifts to speaking at schools and classes, my day-to-day job changes all the time. However, the one constant is the connections we make with our families.
My favorite part of my job is knowing that these connections we have made truly matter. When a mom sends me a video of her son walking for the first time, or a picture of her newborn baby from the hospital room, or a video of their daughter ringing that coveted bell signaling the end of their cancer treatment, I feel honored to be a part of their lives. I once brought a birthday gift to a Chai Lifeline sibling but because of traffic delays, I gave it to him at night. When the birthday boy opened his door and saw me he said, “I knew you would come!” He trusted Chai Lifeline and our commitment to bringing joy to every moment.