PFI is proud to be not only one of the largest employers on the Mendocino coast, but we are also appreciative of our diverse and talented staff of direct service providers, supervisors, and administrators. It is the individuals we serve who benefit most, of course, from the talents of our staff of over 160 well trained, CPR and Pro-Act certified employees. It is not just every once in a while that I witness something extra special going on, that is above and beyond what is expected and required.
This week I happened to be over at The Community Connection day program, where a myriad of activities are going on at any given time. Each activity that occurs is based on goals and choices made on an individual basis. At the east end of the Chestnut Street building, where our learning kitchen is located, several folks were pitching in as meals were being prepared; groceries were brought in from a morning shopping spree, mindful of individual dietary needs and preferences; in the middle area, folks were washing hands and brushing their teeth; others were laundering their swim and shower towels that they used at CV Starr earlier in the day. In the entrance area, coats were hung and bags were stowed as people were coming and going on about their busy day. Some arrived and left on foot, and others with the assistance of a mobility aid such as a motorized wheelchair, cane, or walker; the MTA, Dial-A-Ride, a PFI wheelchair lift van, or an employee vehicle also take us where we want to be. At the west end of the building, one person had made a decision to take a moment to themselves in the quiet room to exercise good self-care. Program Manager Ann Jovich was at the end of the hall, in her office, meeting with a new hire in between conversations with staff and clients - as well as fielding the many phone calls she does each day. I saved the middle room for last, because it is a very rich and diverse environment! Lily was drawing, Mike was clapping with his friends, Sergio was singing, Hannah was doing her exercises, Kymberlee was being interviewed by Buddy for the employee newsletter, Antony was explaining to Dale what he did over the weekend, Jared was laughing and listening to some of his favorite music, and, I also heard a faint guitar track. It was a quiet song, very soulful and calm. It wasn’t coming from Jared's speaker. I turned around to see that it was Tim, playing his heart out on his acoustic guitar, as Priscilla looked on in delight. It was a special moment, shared in this photo. You may also view the brief video on our Facebook page. Thanks for sharing your gifts, Tim!