How did you first learn about HelpLine?
I was hired by the City of Delaware Police Department (DPD) as a police officer 17 years ago and became aware of HelpLine then. We (DPD) routinely referred a variety of individuals in need to HelpLine and we also worked closely with the staff in crisis situations where a client was in danger of harming themselves and needed immediate mental health treatment.
There are many great causes that are in need of support. Why is supporting HelpLine important to you?
The Delaware and Morrow communities are fortunate to have a variety of services/supports available. But, to be successful it is imperative those in need are connected to the appropriate resource. I’ve personally seen struggling individuals that needed a helping hand, but were completely unaware of what help was available to them. I think this is the importance of HelpLine; no matter your issue, someone at HelpLine can point you in the right direction.
Is there someone in your life that has inspired you?
I always found inspiration, and still do, in the lives of my grandparents. They were members of the greatest generation; grew up in the depression, became adults, confronted evil in WWII, and came home to build the foundation of our family. With everything they experienced in their lives, I never heard them complain. Instead they taught me the value of hard work, determination, the importance of family, and community.
When did giving back as a lifestyle start to matter for you?
It might sound cliché, but I knew at an early age I wanted to be a police officer and be a helper in my community. But, I think giving back really started for me when I got involved in the scouting program. The scouting slogan is “do a good turn daily” and service projects were an important part of my troop’s activity. Growing up, I also saw the impact my parents had as avid volunteers for school organizations like the band boosters.
What is the one thing you wish people knew about HelpLine?
I’m not sure people are aware that HelpLine isn’t a one issue service provider. I know I wasn’t completely aware until I joined the board. Housing, mental health, hunger, suicide prevention, school programming, members of the community can assist across the spectrum of resources; by simply supporting HelpLine
How would you describe the impact of HelpLine to someone?
It would be easy to point out that when it comes to HelpLine suicide prevention line; the impact is life or death. However, I think overall HelpLine is very impactful in the sense they always “answer the phone” If you are in need and you don’t know who to call; someone that cares and will do their best to help you is one call away.
What’s your personal philosophy on what should be done about violence and suicide prevention?
Violence and suicide are community problems. I think we often times see these as events that impact individuals, but do not realize the ripple effect they have. For instance, think of the impact an incident of violence has to a child witness or the lasting effects a suicide has to a surviving family member. We must all work together to hold those who are violent accountable, educate each other about the impact violence and suicide has not only on individuals, but the community has a whole, and provide options to those who feel cornered and violence or suicide seems like it’s the only way out.
Is there a quote or mantra that you live by?
“The sun will come up tomorrow whether we want it to or not.” I think this illustrates the point that whatever is happening in our lives, good or bad, tomorrow is a new day and we can always move forward.
When you last (volunteered, made a donation, etc.), how did that make you feel?
I recently got the opportunity to be at the “Supplies for Scholars” event held at the United Way’s Strengthening Family Center at the Willis Building in Delaware. School children from all over were able to get brand new school supplies, haircuts, clothing, and more at this event. The smiles on faces where everywhere and I can only say “Terrific” is how it felt to be around all that giving.
Click here to see more stores from the HelpLine Helping Hand E-Newsletter – 3rd Quarter 2019