The Power of Testimonies
Part of my responsibilities with Catholic Charities is to share our success stories with others. It’s one of the more enjoyable parts of my job because there are numerous examples that illustrate how our agency provides help and creates hope for those in need. It’s easy to tell people what you do well. But no matter how many times I share these positive stories, I learned some time ago that having a client share his or her experience is even more powerful.
Recently our office received a testimonial from a mother whose son is a student in our Lancaster Day Treatment Program. This program serves at-risk youth who possess significant emotional and behavioral needs. It is a therapeutic environment – one in which personal growth and change take place through positive relations between the youth and the staff as a result of individual, group and family therapy programming.
The letter we received told us about a special-needs child who was struggling in elementary school. The student was failing academically, was having verbal altercations with his teacher, and was dealing with anger, stress and anxiety. The school had recommended that the student enroll in our Day Treatment Program in order to receive both the therapy and the education that he needed.
During his time there, the student had to deal with the death of a close family member and also had some legal issues. However, as part of the Day Treatment Program, he received the help he needed in an environment that catered to his individual needs. Over time, he was able to develop better anger management skills, improve his social skills, and improve his academic performance. None of this was easy by any means, but the program staff was there throughout the entire experience.
Today, this young man is about to graduate from the Day Treatment Program. His mother’s letter mentioned that her son has “matured in such a way that the impossible has become the possible.” The proud mom told us that “my son is such a good kid overall. He has sprouted, and I finally see another side of him that I was helplessly trying to find.” She indicated, “Your program is working, and the people you have working there are exceptional.”
I could not have said it any better myself.
This is just one example (of many) of the good work our dedicated staff does each day at Catholic Charities. Our agency is there to help a troubled student, to provide refuge for a homeless family, to offer counseling to a person who is struggling, to help an addict who is dealing with addiction, to support a pregnant mother who doesn’t know where to turn, etc, etc.
But don’t take my word for it. Listen to those who have benefitted from our work. They can tell the story better than I ever could.
Thank you for your support of Catholic Charities. For more information, visit our website at www.cchbg.org.
(Christopher Meehan is the Director of Development for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Harrisburg.)