On May 14, Lighthouse held a Zoom meeting for all its staff. The next day our CEO, Kirt Barden, received this email from Jackie Baskett, one of our Employment Specialists. Kirt was very blessed by her words and with her permission, we share it here as a witness to how God is working at Lighthouse. We thank Jackie for taking the time to express these words of great encouragement.
I just wanted to share some thoughts I had after the meeting yesterday. I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to have found Lighthouse when I did. From the first time I walked through the doors for my interview, it was obvious how much the organization cared about their people. I believed that before Covid, and it has only been confirmed since. I can’t imagine how difficult this has been on the senior staff, but despite their own problems I have received nothing but genuine care and concern from people top to bottom.
I have experienced support from other Lighthouse staff in so many ways. My coworkers checking up on me, showing me how to use our online system and giving me much needed hours while I waited to be approved for unemployment. My supervisor, Pam always being available and keeping me in the loop, making sure I was ok money wise too. Jeff from HR trying to fax over an unemployment document several times over the course of a day because the line was always busy but it needed to get in ASAP. Brian, Paul and Sandy being there to help coordinate logistics for new jobs I felt anxious and unsure about. Kaitlyn emailing me to set up my online class. Coming from where I did before, I can’t begin to tell you how blessed I feel to be shown the kindness I have, especially being such a new member of the organization.
Perhaps not everyone will understand, but the emotion you showed yesterday when you talked about supporting participants no matter what their level, advocating for your employees, and working to fight to keep true to the mission of Lighthouse really moved me. When I came to Lighthouse, I was beginning to lose faith in this field; in other organizations I had noticed that the nature and complexity of this work wore people down so much that their “best” they could provide for employees and consumers was well intentioned, but ultimately half-hearted.
My brother has Autism, my mom fought tooth and nail for him. She eventually got her degree and now works for OVR. Her effort has seen my brother go from low-functioning to a point where he has more college credits to his name than his older sister. I am so proud of him, but as a family member, I feel proud to serve participants under the Lighthouse name. You and the senior staff have spoken and acted with immense integrity and courage, regardless of anything else; what I’ve witnessed is humbling and truly inspiring to me as a person who hopes to be in your shoes one day.
I have been praying/sending positive energy to all of you. Thank you for everything you and the staff have done. I feel honored to be a member of this ship’s crew.