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Life-changing and Meaningful Work

We hear it over and over from our interns and staff: “I feel like I’m making a difference when I work here.”

When you regularly interact with our clients, sharing their joys and helping them overcome their challenges, you come away with a sense of warmth and community that can’t always be achieved in other lines of work. Our interns continually experience the pride and self-confidence that comes from knowing they’re contributing to a better world by helping our clients live their best possible lives.

“It’s bound to be one of the most meaningful work experiences of your life. It isn’t easy. But when you look back and see what you accomplished, how you made it, whose life you touched along the way, you know without a doubt your hard work paid off and you made a difference.” -ACR Homes RS, Woodbury

It’s a win-win situation. As our interns fulfill academic requirements and gain valuable career skills, they’re also learning how to connect with clients on a meaningful level. For example:

  • One ACR residential supervisor describes how ACR staff Dan was able to ease the anxiety of a long-term client as his friend with disabilities faced a health crisis. “Dan’s voice soothes and comforts the man he’s known for decades. I tear up at the trust Dan has earned, rightfully so, from this person who has come to matter so deeply to me. In this moment of comfort to a sick man who desperately needs it, I see all their time spent together; Dan’s investment of energy, humor, and kindness. I see holidays spent together and parties participated in; I see long afternoons of going on drives.”
  • ACR direct care staff Jon Hess writes about how he considers a houseful of clients he knows as “The Guys” to be his second and third families. “I don’t know where I would be right now if I didn’t work for ACR. I don’t know if I’d be as happy as I am. Here I can be myself — it’s almost required. It’s nice to be accepted that way — to know you’re making other people feel good and getting paid for it. The residents and my work at ACR have helped me define who I am. It’s taught me so much patience, and how to roll with the punches. It’s definitely helped me grow as a person.”
  • ACR’s Direct Care Staff of the Year 2016 Tim Harriger has this to say about his more than 20 years working with ACR clients: “The residents have become a huge part of my life. When I build relationships and friendships over years, I can feel on a daily basis what I mean to them and their families. I know them so well and I know their histories. I feel how important I am to them and their well-being, and I smile every time they refer to me as a friend.” He goes on to describe his relationship with a client who had ALS. “He was expected to live just six months when he moved in, and ended up being with us for over two years. It was both a hard experience yet extremely life changing. I was able to be a huge part in the end of his life, and give him the opportunity to do many things he wanted to do.”

View more ways our staff have found life-changing and meaningful work through the following stories:

“Turning a meaningful part-time job into a full-time career”

“Becoming a confident advocate for people with disabilities”

“Working with ACR residents changed my RN career”

“Between philosophical conversations about the streets of heaven to giggling while wearing matching Halloween costumes to bringing a resident to my home in Iowa for the holidays to attending the funeral of not only a resident, but a friend, my time at ACR does not fit into words. Rather, it is comprised of these moments; raw emotions. Joy, frustration, admiration, sorrow, trust and love.” -former ACR direct care professional Jordan Crosser Buckellew