Without relationships Saint Benedict Education Center staff would not be able to offer the many services and program enhancements for the clients that we do.  We could not exhibit the dedication and care for which we are known.  Various types of relationships, within and outside the agency, are needed to be able to offer nurture and challenge.

Preparing for an impending change with the website has most recently given proof to this reality.  Within the next couple of months, a new website will be constructed.   Not only will it look different, but it will also enable SBEC staff to adjust its content in a more timely way.  

This change has certainly called forth the creation of new partnerships, to enable a new learning process.  It will also call forth the involvement of current volunteers and staff in different ways.

Making connections – building a sense of communal responsibility – is how we operate to achieve our purpose.

Reviewing the past few months at SBEC offers further evidence.  Case Manager Ebony Linderman, who has been at the center of many activities, comments:  "The work we do at SBEC takes time, patience, consideration, motivation, and team work.  Situations may not always turn out perfectly but with these building blocks we always work as a team to make the needed corrections!"
Recognizing that we see ourselves as a team rather than a collection of individuals may help explain the energy and commitment that is often palpable here.  We work together – support each other.  The nurturing of these workplace relationships offers an environment in which the participants are enriched.  They experience positive, healthy ways of interacting with others. 

All of this is enhanced by the many volunteers who have consistently been part of the SBEC community.  They assist in numerous ways.  In Erie volunteers may be found in the incentive store, Treasures & Such, in the front office, in a classroom, or helping our budding gardeners.  

In Clarion you might find some helping County Case Manager Diana Weaver wrap gifts.  Diana emailed:  "Volunteers Sue and Pat helped shop and wrap gifts for Clarion and Warren counties.  Approximately fifty gifts were wrapped and tagged for SBEC clients.  Many thanks to both ladies for their willingness to give their time and allow SBEC to fulfill its mission."  

The interactions that take place among the volunteers and between the volunteers and staff are enriching.  Their work is welcome; their insights and ideas are valuable.

The need to build partnerships goes beyond the staff and volunteers.  SBEC continually reaches out to other agencies and businesses for assistance.  Within the past few months two new connections have been made:  One with Shoe Carnival; another with At Home Store.

Ebony continues:  "When partnering with any entity we always hope that we receive care, patience and help to complete our project.  This is what Shoe Carnival did!  They understood our mission and provided great customer service to complete our winter boot orders.  They even stopped by the office to see our set up.  They were very helpful.  We will be working with them in the future." 

Bookkeeper Shari Riley offers high praise for the work relationship she had with the store director and staff at the At Home Store.  They carefully selected requested items, choosing all clearance priced items available, and organized them for purchase and pick up.    The morning of the pick-up found both store and SBEC staff working together to load the vehicles for transport.

Building partnerships – creating relationships – will continue to happen as we move into Spring and Summer.  Clients’ needs will be identified and activities to address them will be planned.  Work on the new website will continue.  Opportunities for additional assistance will emerge.  

We will turn to our partners for help.  Isn’t that what it means to hold a sense of communal responsibility?