Submitted by Michael Sokoloski, Manager, Grassroots Advocacy (GAO)
On March 23, at the North Carolina Learning Center, Hearts for Home Care ambassadors gathered for their annual advocacy training, with the focus on story-telling. While it is extremely important for lawmakers to understand the policies behind the laws, one must capture their interest first. A client story is the perfect way. We invited a former BAYADA family advocate, Lynn Wright from Shelby, to share her story. She described what she went through with both of her parents living with Alzheimer’s and how she advocated for them. Paraphrasing Lynn’s words on the value of home health care…I can tell you how much it cost, but that is not value. I measure value in smiles, independence, safety and security, and peace of mind for knowing everything will be ok. That is why I advocate. Her words were powerful, striking a chord in many.
During an exercise, our new ambassadors put together a six-word story of their own to convey why they advocate (see below). “I’m always impressed by the commitment of our ambassadors,” said Lee Dobson, Area Director Government Affairs. “They speak from the heart…and that is what a legislator will remember.” In addition to story-telling, attendees learned how to garner support on our rate increase and the grueling process by which a bill will become a law.
Below are some of the six-word stories from our ambassadors on why they advocate:
- The love and compassion for others.
- Keeping people home where they belong.
- Making a difference in children’s lives.
- Everyone deserves care at home always.
- Relying on others; caring for clients.
- Helping those who can’t help themselves.
- Always making a difference for families.