Acts of Kindness – NSC’s TJ Cain
Acts of Kindness ~ Big and Small ~ Every Day ~ All Year Long
Exemplifying the Mission – NSC’s TJ Cain
“TJ (Terry Jean) Cain is the embodiment of Northland Shepherd’s Center’s (NSC’s) mission and purpose. Her vast experience and relatability have significant impact on our audience, organization, and community,” says Rayetta Hutchison, NSC Transportation Coordinator.
About five years ago when TJ was retired but still needing to work, she explored various resources to find a good job for a skilled senior. Through an AARP program, TJ was introduced to NSC and was initially hired for the busy position of Receptionist.
Since then, all those who call or come into NSC, hear and feel the smile’s in TJ’s voice. Before she answers a call or speaks to a guest, she reminds herself that each person deserves to be treated with dignity.
TJ says, I do think about how I answer the phone. I may be the only contact callers have; I want it to be the best contact ever. I do think about how I greet people coming into the office. I want to be welcoming and helpful.
Because of her skills and ability to relate so well with others, TJ’s job responsibilities grew, or flourished, through the years to include a Resource Desk’s responsibilities.
TJ believes that everyone who calls or comes through the door has a good reason for doing do. She tries to get them talking. Most do and then she listens intently. When she finds out more about them, she tells them about the wonderful services, the resources that NSC can offer them. She does her best to give them valid information and send them to the right person or the right resource area the first time. Everyone at NSC says that “TJ is the best salesperson for NSC’s services and programs!“
TJ takes immense pride in her work. She feels that so many of the services available through NSC are critical to seniors, the transportation program, the call center program, the food distributions, the tech center (learning how to use that SmartPhone that everyone has!), the exercise classes, and many others.
“I get up excited every single morning I work. I am excited about the day’s activities. I tell myself to get to work, to get started!“
“Several years ago, I called the person who I worked for when I was just starting my career years ago, Kansas City’s premier florist Bob Trapp, and told him that I had found the perfect place, the perfect niche, for me!“
Working in NSC’s Programs and Clients Services area under Terry Tipton has given TJ so many opportunities to gain experience and develop. TJ says that “Terry gives us the freedom to do what we are capable of doing. We get to be involved. We are encouraged to give our ideas and thoughts on things. It is an environment where we all help each other whenever we can; we are a team!”
If her work permits, TJ loves helping with the life enrichment programs; she believes that it is through these programs that clients learn about new things and get involved!
Helping with the programs, TJ might be the one contacting someone or some business in the community to put on a new program for NSC. She might be the one making follow up calls to NSC clients who have signed up for programs. She might be in the room where a program is being held and to help with the presentation.
To repeat a cherished saying, “TJ has never met a stranger!“
Working from home during the COVID lockdown, TJ knew how hard it was to be separated from other people and activities. She had an idea and talked to Terry about it. And thus “A Jazzy Little Book Club” was born with TJ being its leader! Twice a month, book club members get together on a zoom call to talk about the book they have all just read; the 12-member club is “thriving” a bit more due to their involvement in the book club!
Exemplifying the mission and “thriving” in her job at NSC, TJ Cain helps other seniors “thrive” by helping them get their basic needs met and by helping them find opportunities to flourish and grow.