One year ago today was one of the best nights of my life. I knew the anniversary was coming, but didn't really remember the day, but this morning my trusty Timehop app reminded me with photos and more -- what day was it?
Our CPS Picnic!
Last year, Community Partners of Dallas -- with HUGE thanks to our CPS Picnic sponsors -- hosted a picnic for all Dallas County CPS employees to attend and to bring their families. We have a Caseworker Appreciation Program at CPD, so this event was part of that program, but because we celebrated our 25th Anniversary last year, we made this event the biggest and best ever.
Normally, our Caseworker Appreciation large events happen 4 times a year and only staff attend -- not their family members. A normal year is 3 events (such as lunch or ice cream), plus a holiday gift for all.
Now, believe me, the CPS staff truly appreciate a normal year and we get lots of smiles and thank you notes after handing out cupcakes or a coffee mug tied with a holiday ribbon. You see, CPS caseworkers are on the front lines EVERY DAY doing God's work -- saving innocent victims of abuse and neglect -- and they receive very little in the way of thanks. In fact, if you are good at your job, you typically just get more cases assigned to you.
But last year we wanted to really step up the thanks and a picnic at the Dallas Arboretum seemed the perfect way to do it. Lots of work went into the event and it was a perfect night during Dallas Blooms with hundreds of volunteers all wearing big white T-Shirts with the words "Thank You!!!" emblazoned across the front in red.
NOTE: The inspiration for the T-Shirt was WHAM's early video -- if you want to get even happier today, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIgZ7gMze7A
Anyway, the night was fantastic and we all had a blast, but the thing that made it one of the best nights of my life was that the hard-working Dallas County caseworkers of CPS heard that they were heroes from the most important people in their lives: their very own children.
Thanks to the great people at Tenet Health (and most especially to my friend Maria) each caseworker received an Olympic-style medal around their neck when they arrived. We had volunteers lining the pathway to the amphitheater for dinner and live music and the volunteers were cheering as the caseworkers walked down the path. Yelling Thank You and You're My Hero, etc.
Children -- even teenagers -- turned to their mom and said they were proud of them.
Isn't that what any parent wants to hear? Thanks for walking down memory lane with me.
Hug a caseworker today if you can.
Tell your mom or dad they're your hero if you can.
I get to do both. Today's a great day too.
P.S. Love you, Jen!