“Our goal was to have spaces created where families feel welcomed in, and can enter a room and enjoy the space and their time with each other–and hopefully shut off the distractions of the outside world and the fact that they’re at DHS… Achieved!” – Andrea H.
In an interview with Benton County’s Every Child Director, Andrea Holmquist, she was overflowing with joy and gratitude at the mention of all the people who came together to support and accomplish the DHS Office makeover completed in late June. In the span of eight weeks, churches, businesses, individuals, and even the DHS employees showed up after work or on their days off to pull off the fundraising and remodeling project for the office’s seven visitation rooms. Over 60 people contributed! Walmart donated $5000, Home Furniture in Albany discounted furniture and delivered it to the offices to help put the offices together, the SSA team dedicated their time and energy outside of their caseloads, churches and businesses gathered funds and volunteers to design visitation rooms, and individuals showed up with willing hands to get the work done well.
Every Child organizes ways to partner with the people who work on the front lines with Oregon’s most vulnerable children and families. This remodel allowed people to deeply connect with caseworkers, thus providing a great opportunity to learn what it’s like to work at DHS. One of the case workers helping with the remodel mentioned that the work that they do “tends to be invisible to the community–until it impacts someone’s family directly, or its on the media in a negative way.” By the end of the project, members of the remodel team came to realize that “these are really hard working people.”
Find out ways you can rally or join a makeover in the nearby DHS office in your county by signing up to volunteer with other people who want to appreciate our DHS Staff!