15 Nov Service Spotlight: Henrietta Day
Henrietta’s co-workers and friends would probably say she missed her calling and should be in the party planning business. While she does love parties and is very good at planning them, it’s who the parties are for that is her passion: the individuals served by New Hope. In January, Henrietta will be celebrating her 26th year with New Hope and she can certainly confirm that time does fly when you are having fun!
Years ago, prior to relocating to Indiana, Henrietta was working and volunteering for persons with disabilities in California. After Henrietta’s move here, she was encouraged to apply for a job at New Hope by her sister-in-law who was an associate at that time. Over the years Henrietta has worked with many individuals in several different programs. One of her favorite positions involved primarily taking individuals out in the community. While she serves in another position now, helping the individuals do what they enjoy most is still a priority for Henrietta.
Seeing how the individuals change in positive ways warms Henrietta’s heart. She shared that two individuals she worked with years ago, were very different; one more of a home body, while the other liked to go out all the time, especially to movies. She encouraged the other person to try going to a movie and even held his hand for support, which must have put him at ease, because seeing a movie became a weekly activity for both of them. A favorite memory was when she made arrangements for an individual she worked with at the time to volunteer at a monthly family event for foster parents, helping to serve refreshments. When the individual moved to one of the supported living homes, she recruited her housemates to come volunteer too. They all enjoyed volunteering and felt good about by helping others in need.
Something Henrietta does, particularly with new individuals, is to observe them, to find out their support needs and also their gifts. While she has learned so much in her time at NHI, there are two philosophies she has embraced in supporting the clients. When she first started working, Ann Johnson (SLP Manager) told her that it is much easier and quicker to just do for the individuals rather than allowing them to do themselves, such as emptying a trash can, fixing a meal or perhaps taking care of hygiene needs. However, our mission is to help them become more independent even if it takes longer and is harder for the clients to complete tasks. Similarly, Susan Robinson (retired associate and current board member) emphasized in training the need to assist and allow the individuals to be as independent as possible. Henrietta has certainly been committed to encouraging independence and that sense of accomplishment for the people she serves.
Outside of work, Henrietta talks to her daughter who lives in town every day. She loves socks and has quite the collection. Henrietta also is a movie buff. Something she has learned is to see movies at least a second time and even more to fully capture the meaning. She often buys DVDs of movies she likes to do just that. Additionally, Henrietta likes to cook, and many of us at New Hope have enjoyed her food at holiday, birthday and other special parties.
We cannot thank Henrietta enough for her commitment to New Hope’s mission, compassion for the individuals she serves, creativity with meaningful and fun experience, and great party planning skills!