by Adrienne Aiken
I became a part of the Easterseals family in 1999. In 2000, I wanted to find a way to celebrate the Bucks County Division staff and let them know that they are appreciated. I reached out to our families that we service in the community and in our Approved Private School, to see if they would be willing to write a letter to say “thank you” as part of Staff Appreciation Week. We provided a colorful piece of stationary to families and they responded by sharing their love an appreciation on paper. The letters were hung in the hallway for staff to read and the response was better than I could have imagined. There were smiles, tears of joy and laughter in the hallway as staff read through the letters. Some parents shared with me that this project was the first time they wrote anything about their child’s special needs and that it was cathartic for them. Since then, I have continued the tradition and kept every letter given to us.
The pandemic has been quite a challenge for all of us and I struggled with how I could provide some sunshine to staff this summer. I decided to pull out the binder with all of the testimonials from our Easterseals’ families that were collected since 2000, and hang as many up in the hallway as I could. The hallway is currently labeled as “The Hall of Thanks,” for the rest of the summer.
Hopefully seeing the old pictures of the little faces, artwork and hand prints that families added to the letters, will bring smiles to all everyone that reads them.