I can't fully express how wonderful it is to take a client by the hand and walk them no more than a couple hundred feet from our office to another agency that can help them when they are in crisis.
Employees of nonprofits in the human services sector often wear many hats and work many hours in fulfilling their missions to serve those in need. Self-care is touted as critical, but is seldom realized to the extent that it’s needed. As Executive Director & CEO of The Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center, Dr. Kameron Hodgens realized something had to give last spring.
After a season of attending many meal-heavy fundraisers in support of the nonprofit community and beyond, while simultaneously running a five-acre campus of 20 agencies – and raising a 3-year-old daughter – Hodgens decided to prioritize her health by starting a Weight Watchers group at work and asking her campus colleagues to join in. The group has successfully met once a week for the past year and has collectively dropped over 700 lbs. Providing support, discussing health goals, holding each other accountable, all with lots of laughter, the group has collectively had wonderful results that go beyond losing weight.
“The Center’s reason for existing is largely about bringing people together. As a group, I believe we’ve bonded by sharing a common goal beyond helping others. We share a sense of having each other’s backs. That trust goes a long way in learning how we can work together,” says Dr. Hodgens, “It’s been gratifying to see how self-care and serving those in need go hand-in-hand.”
We are a small and young organization and having the ability to network and partner with other community organizations is key to the quality and impact of our work. In addition to the affordable space that The Glasser/Schoenbaum Human Services Center provides to all of us, it inspires us to use this collaborative model as we work to empower our students and their families.
Beyond the savings we experience, we are so grateful for the truly supportive environment both our clients and staff experience on the campus. The collegial nature of our organizations fosters a spirit of health and wellness.
As a small organization with a staff of two, employee safety was a big consideration when we were looking for office space. We did not want our employees to be in a place where they were alone. Being on the GSHSC campus has been great because there is a whole community of like-minded professionals.