Posted by Judy Engibous
Although I deal with spreadsheets rather than clients, working at JF&CS has made me a valuable resource to family and friends. I’ve been to a seminar on Alzheimer’s that gave me information on dealing with one of my family members. When a friend mentioned that her mother “falls a lot” and seemed to take this too casually, I told her how serious falls can be for the elderly and sent her an article I received from the director of JF&CS Senior Services. When another friend in her 60s fell and broke her ankle on the staircase in her duplex, I forwarded a Boston Globe article from the director of our Geriatric Institute. Fortunately, my friend was already implementing some of what she learned from the article.
I’ve educated people about the challenges facing Holocaust survivors as they age; explained the term “food insecurity”; stressed to a domestic violence survivor that the abuse was not her fault; connected someone at my church with our Parkinson’s program, for which he’s been thanking me ever since; told someone I met at a bus stop about our Center for Family Assistance, which provided emergency funds to help her move; and referred someone to our Disabilities program for her son. I appreciate both my dedicated coworkers and being able to integrate various parts of my life.
I made my most rewarding referral to a married couple in my Bible study who were having difficulties with the adoption agency they were using. I told them that JF&CS has an adoption program they could research. The next thing I knew, they were JF&CS clients and then parents of a beautiful baby girl. Although I don’t deal directly with Adoption Resources in my job, I’ve gotten to know the director and this couple better as a result
I wish I could return the favor to my coworkers. (Does anybody want a spreadsheet?) The one time someone asked me a question, it was about a good interest rate on a credit card, and I didn’t know, which surprised her. I explained that the best interest rate is zero, because you should pay your credit card balance in full every month. And if you don’t want to take my advice, I have this great coworker who is our financial literacy specialist….
Judy Engibous serves on the after-service prayer team at her church and in the nursery, where she has taken care of the baby girl mentioned above. Before joining JF&CS in 2004, she worked at several technology companies. She finds it interesting that when she worked with engineers, she felt like a social worker, but now that she works with actual social workers, she feels more like an engineer.