Glenwood Salvation Army’s new unit manager has history of human services work
While common wisdom says that the gap between the poor and wealthy is widening in this country, Stacie Durrett, 50, refuses to focus on the negative. When discussing her new job as the unit manager and case worker for the Salvation Army, she didn’t mention national trends, statistics or stereotypes. She spoke, instead, about people in need locally, and how she hopes to help.”I don’t see them as victims,” she said. “I just see them as people who need the human touch. We’re all there at one time.”Though she didn’t want to dwell on the incident, that moment came for her three years ago when a fire took her home. No one was hurt, but she and her husband, Ashton, lost possessions and pets. They had the support of the community, but they still had to start over without warning. She now she sees that reality daily.Yet, she stressed, that’s not why she joined the organization three months ago. A resident of the area for 34 years, she said she’s always tried to balance her life of raising children and running a restaurant (The Italian Underground) with a career in human services. Through the years, she’s worked with the Family Visitor Programs, Even Start program and Youth Recovery program and has taught English as a second language in the schools.
When asked why she’s drawn to positions labeled “thankless” by some, she laughed. “I guess I just have that caretaker gene.”For her, the Salvation Army represents a place for people to receive help without judgment. She sees it all, from the chronically homeless to single-parent families, unable to pay their next utility bill. She feels that her organization simply helps where it can, in emergencies and everyday issues. Any of us, she explained, could lose a job or get sick. We’re all close to the edge in some way, she said. “I understand that when people are needing help, a lot of times they’re in a vulnerable place,” she said. “I just try to give them encouragement and let them know that things can get better.”
As the temperatures drop and the holidays approach, she hopes to spread this word as much as possible. Luckily, starting the day after Thanksgiving, the Salvation Army will enter its most publicized time of year: its annual “kettle drive.” In 17 locations, from Parachute to Aspen, volunteers will ring bells next to those familiar red pots, heavy with donations. Last year alone, the fundraiser brought in about $60,000.She said she knows that probably 1,000 people will benefit from the money. She also recognizes that for every person who asks for a helping a hand, there are several who might need one, but won’t admit it. And though she is trying her best to change that, she sees that it’s all just part of the job of giving.
Contact Stina Sieg: email@example.comPost Independent Glenwood Springs CO Colorado
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