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Going the Extra Mile: A Journey of Empathy

Helping others has always been at the core of my work as a Family Service Coordinator at St. Louise Resource Services (StLRS), but what began as a routine assistance call for a CalFresh renewal turned into a profound experience of compassion and connection. When I received a call from an elderly couple seeking help with their CalFresh renewal, I didn't anticipate the impact it would have on me. Guiding them through the process, I could sense their anxiety and uncertainty. Yet, with patience and reassurance, we completed the paperwork, and I felt a sense of satisfaction in being able to assist them.

A month later, when they visited our office with a denial letter in hand, I was puzzled. I couldn't understand why they had been denied, especially after our thorough renewal process. Delving deeper into their case, I realized they had traveled all the way from downtown LA to our office in Downey, a journey that involved multiple bus rides. Their determination to seek help touched me deeply. I knew I had to do everything in my power to assist them. Immediately, I informed our office manager, who arranged for an Uber ride to take them back home. But I didn't stop there; I wanted to ensure they had the means to sustain themselves until their benefits were sorted out. We provided them with gift cards for groceries from the StLRS Families in Need (FIN) fund. The next step was tackling the administrative hurdles. Waiting in line for two hours to speak to a representative from DPSS was challenging, but I persisted. Finally, upon getting through, I explained the situation and discovered that the county office had made a mistake resulting in the denial. Rectifying it was a relief, knowing it would bring immense relief to the couple.

After informing them of the positive outcome, their gratitude was overwhelming. Their voices trembled with emotion as they expressed their heartfelt thanks. It was a humbling moment, reminding me of the impact even small acts of kindness can have on someone's life. Reflecting on the experience, I realized that empathy knows no bounds. From assisting with paperwork to arranging transportation and providing support, every action was driven by a desire to help those in need. These moments reaffirm my commitment to serving others and remind me of the power of compassion to make a difference in the world. As I end the call, I know that I'll continue to be there for them, ready to offer support and assistance whenever they need it.

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