Working in a social service agency has it’s ups and downs. It’s often hard to stay positive when it seems like the world is working against you. Each day a new person walks through the door looking for help, and sometimes there’s little I can do to make things better for them. Understaffed and underfunded service organizations are in a constant push and pull of donor contributions vs. the growing number of people who are in need. So when I can honestly, and with total confidence, say to someone “It’s going to be okay. We can help,” and I hear that deep sigh of relief, it is an instant balm to the growing bitterness that can come from being on the front lines of a war against poverty.
Lately it’s been hard to enjoy my job. I often feel like a bouncer at a night club, ushering people in, issuing numbers for people to use our services, asking people not to push and shove. It can be difficult to feel like I am making a difference when no one seems satisfied. So when those moments happen, when I hear that sigh, I have to hold on tight to that memory so that I don’t forget why I decided to be part of this profession in the first place.