By Chigozie Onwubalili, Clover Hills Residence Manager
On August 21, 2021 the individuals supported and the entire team at Clover Hills (Clover Crew) had a Family and Friends BBQ. It was a wonderful opportunity to live the agency’s core value of camaraderie. Both the individuals and their families, together with the entire staff and their families met, socialized and established rapport.
The day was colorful and bright. Although everyone was treading with caution as we all made safety a priority by social-distancing and mask wearing as much as possible, the event/day was filled with a sense of relief and freedom as expressed by some of the individuals and some family members. We are especially happy because COVID-19 restrictions denied us the opportunity to celebrate one another in the previous year – 2020 – in a usual way, but we adapted and today we are able to celebrate one another in a way that seems normal again. According to a staff member, “Everyone had a great time. Life is too short and we all missed out on so much this past year.” Everyone was excited to see each other – some haven’t seen each other since the pandemic. Expressing excitement, another staff member stated “One thing for sure, just for a moment, we were able to forget about what is going on in the world, and have a slice of what used to be, if only just for a moment.”
The climax of the event was that 2 individuals supported met their different family member after many years. It was a beautiful sight to see. Also worthy of note was that a family member who was filled with joy and gladness for the way things were being done, became so much interested in us, offered to identify with the agency and requested to know how he can make a donation to the agency. We can’t say it all, stories and laughter can be heard for blocks, as well as children running, playing and just being children. Good music was on and in the background throughout the event. Most importantly, much was on the table to eat and drink. There was never a dull moment.
Many thanks to the individuals at Clover for opening up their home, spending time to prepare and participating in this event. More-so to the families that attended and those who for distance and other commitments weren’t able to make it, but sent in their good wishes. Above all the staff members – Clover Crew who supported these individuals in preparing, organizing and executing this wonderful event. You all are wonderful people. You rock. You are a proud team one will always want to identify with. Even the new hires among us felt at home, as though they have been with the team for years. I have enjoyed working with you all.
I look forward to a greater and more colorful outing next year when we can get all neighbors included in this event.
Chigozie Onwubalili is the Residence Manager at Clover Hills.