Submitted by Brad Saathoff, CEO, Black Hills Works
Direct Support Professional Appreciation Week, celebrated last month, was a great time to pause and reflect on what you and your work really mean. It’s no secret that our society is in a period of great disruption as we work to come out of the two-and-a-half-year public health emergency. In our community, we see so much struggle with getting enough people who are willing and able to do needed work in almost every sector that relies on an in-person workforce who meet very specific needs at very specific times. I am grateful for you and your dedication to the very important work Direct Support Professionals are relied upon to do.
Not only now, but certainly over these last two and half years, you have done so much work that is selfless and helped 600 people with developmental disabilities that we serve to not be left behind and to not be forgotten. I want to express appreciation for the work that you have done while also navigating your and your family’s unique needs during this time. That has taken a lot of resiliency.
Because of you, people with developmental disabilities are living a life that is not in an institution. Because of you, people with developmental disabilities are working jobs that are good for them and good for others that need the fruits of their labor. Because of you people with developmental disabilities are keeping up with their physical and mental health care. Because of you people with developmental disabilities are participating in activities throughout the community. Because of you people with developmental disabilities are learning new skills to do more for themselves. Because of you people with developmental disabilities have a good reason to get up each day and experience the joys and fulfillment of life and the accomplishments we all want to achieve.
When I look at that, it is easy to recognize that all jobs are not equal. There is no question that the work you do is among the very most needed and purposeful work in our community. I know I speak for the family members of those you support also because I hear it from them so often.
I hope you have enjoyed the things that our PartyWorks team has helped us plan to celebrate you this week. Without you, our community has a big hole in it. Thank you!
Black Hills Works