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August 4th: In a room full of veterans, Donna McCollum was surprised by Susan Stacy director of Helping Our Helpers with the “Helper of the Year Award”. This award is given annually to someone in the helping profession who exhibits outstanding service to others and maintains a balance of self care.
Surrounded by vets, supervisors, directors, co-workers and family Ms. McCollum tearfully accepted the award certificate and a check for $500.00. Ms. McCollum stated that her work at the VA was not only a job but a passion, that being in service to others is the ultimate expression of love.
Ms. McMollum is a social worker at the Dallas VA working with individuals diagnosed with serious mental illness. She has been in service to our nation's heroes for twenty-three years. There are many stories of how Ms. McCollum stepped in and helped a veteran in need. Armintia Alcorn, who nominated Ms. McCollum, told several. Once, when she was working with an elderly veteran with limited social and family support, she was instrumental in obtaining home visits, house cleaning services and food for the veteran. A few years later after several attempted phone calls warning bells seem to go off in McMollum's head. She visited the veteran's apartment and discovered he was severely ill. An ambulance was called and he was transported to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a terminal illness. The veteran was admitted into hospice care and his family was located and informed of his condition. At the end of his life he was surrounded by biological and VA family members. Ms. McMollum's intuitiveness ensured this veteran would not be alone in the final days of his life.
Helping Our Helpers is a non-profit that provides education and prevention of compassion fatigue. They offer free assessments and workshops to direct service helpers such as police officers, fire fighters, nurses and counselors.
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Sue Dockery and Susan Stacy shop at Wall Mart for the West Ridge Nursing Home, Thanks Harris!

Photographs from a recent continuing education program hosted by Helping Our Helpers for providers and board members.

Susan Stacy, Executive Director, addressing the group.

Anne Sadovsky sharing her tips on public speaking to train the people who make presentations for Helping Our Helpers.

Several attendees during a question and answer period.

It was a full house . .

 

Dr. Mary Ellen Bluntzer talking with service providers over lunch about self-care and compassion fatigue.

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