Our mission through the eyes of a nine-year-old
When people find out that we work for the Alzheimer’s Association, they often ask questions about the disease or share their personal stories. Many of our staff give presentations or staff outreach events on evenings or weekends. Often we recruit family and friends to volunteer at events such as the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
Vicki Reinhold is a Family Care Associate in our Fresno office. She recently shared a story in our staff meeting on the impact her efforts have had on her nine-year old daughter. Vicki was kind enough to let us share her story.
My name is Vicki Reinhold. My nine year old daughter Abby has seen me representing the Alzheimer’s Association at multiple community events. She has also visited our Fresno office from time to time.
If Abby hears someone talking about Alzheimer’s when we are out and about, she will pull at my arm and say, “Mom, you can help them.” In those moments, I wish that it were that easy for everyone to get connected to our services.
One day Abby and I were sitting on the couch at home when she handed me a drawing. We talked through the details in the drawing out loud.
I said, “so you are holding someone’s hand who needs our help and you are leading them to the Alzheimer’s Association.” She replied yes.
I read out loud the sentence she had printed at the bottom of the drawing, “Help people who have Alzheimer’s so follow me to the Alzheimer’s Association.” She said, “yes and I wrote, made by a little girl named Abby. She is 9 years old.”
My heart was warmed and I felt re-energized as I looked at the drawing. I realized that Abby had learned the value of our work, not just what I do, but what the entire organization does.
At a time when it is critical to reach more people to raise awareness, provide education and link those impacted by Alzheimer’s to our services, I was encouraged by my daughter’s message in her drawing. I was thinking of a spot to pin this inspiration in my office, when Abby told me that the drawing was for Stella De La PeÃ±a, our Regional Director.
I admit that I was a little surprised that the drawing was not for me. However, I embraced the connection Abby has with the Fresno office and the value she sees in the work that we all do in this organization.