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Inspired to Sacrifice


A morning in July, at exactly 8:52am in the morning, and I was driving to Daily Work for my regular Friday internship shift when I got a phone call. It was Julie Hoff, the Executive Director of Daily Work. She said, “Good morning, it’s Julie. I’m calling you because I know you’ll be among the first to get to work,” (A compliment I appreciated by the way). In a calm but pained voice, she told me she is having an emergency and will be a little late. She then told me where to get help to open the office. When the call was over, I worried about how she sounded, as if she was sick or had a cold.

I got to the office, and a few minutes later Julie was there. Other interns arrived also. As soon as she got to the office, I asked about her emergency hoping everything was okay. You could tell everything was not okay. She was putting herself together, trying to be strong and be there. She was holding it up tight, but you could read the pain of losing a friend and family member. Julie had just left the veterinarian, where she had put to sleep her pet dog of more than 17 years. I remember asking her several times if she was okay. Her response was,” I’m okay, I’ll be fine”.

As the day went, other interns and I consulted Julie when we needed help and to answer questions from job seekers. I also remember how she gave up her administrative task on this fateful day to see a job seeker who did a walk-in to the agency. Julie had lost her pet which she considers family, she had not only come to work but held herself together and worked with a job seeker. I was motivated by the fact that she could see a client who just walked in and had no appointment. I was more motivated by how productive, calm, focused and helpful she was to us interns even during her loss.

It is rare to find anyone who gives it their all to a course. It is rarer to find anyone who during their greatest pain and loss, is still willing to help others go through their everyday struggles. After reflecting on how Julie handled this situation, I gave myself the task to be able to exercise that level of self-control, show that level of sacrifice, and exhibit such a love for humanity, especially for disadvantaged populations.

This incident inspired me to come to work every day leaving behind any and everything that may affect my ability to be productive. I was motivated to make sacrifice; to be able to still be there even when I have other pressing problems. Daily Work is an agency that is built on sacrifice by people who feel compelled to help others. Each of us contributes in different ways, ranging from cash, in-kind donations, volunteerism, or some other personal commitment….all to better the lives of job seekers.

I sometimes question if I can really make a difference and I am led back to Sidney Smith, an Anglican cleric and writer who said: “It is the greatest mistake of all to do nothing because you can only do a little.” This reminds me that we can all make a difference, especially if we work together. Alone we can only do little, but together we can do so much.

Daily Work is an organization that demonstrates how working together truly makes a difference. We all do our part, the staff, the interns, the volunteers, the donors, and the job seekers, too; all of our contributions are critical for success.

You too, can be a part of this great experience; it is just a matter of choice on how to do it; volunteerism or donations, gifts in-kind or expertise. These sacrifices, be you a donor, a volunteer, or a staff member is what it takes to give kids and families hope again.

Editor’s Note: I am touched and a little embarrassed to be the subject of Marbel’s blog, but her kind words remind me that we often do not know the impact or importance of our actions on others. Please know, that these blogs, emails, and posts on social media give us the opportunity to say “thank you” and to show you how your sacrifices make a difference at Daily Work. As the end of the year approaches, I hope you will take time to read our stories and remember that your contributions of time, dollars, or knowledge, are making more impact than you will ever know. Thank you Marbel…and thanks to all of you who are reading this blog. You are putting people back to work or into better jobs and better futures every day.  

By Marbel Lih, Case Management Intern

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