Thomas T

My dad has been working for an agency that cares for a large portion of Long Island's mentally retarded community since 1980. When he started out he worked as a direct care counselor in the one and only group home the agency had. He lived next to the group home, cooked dinners, bathed those who could not bathe themselves, and helped with many other day to day tasks. He also took the people that lived in the home to their doctors' appointments and to fun activities such as the movies. Today the agency has and offers about 47 group homes, in-home care, a nursing home, day programs, and much more. Since his days as a direct care counselor, he has done all he can to make the agency no less than the kind of place that he would want his child to be at.

Currently, my dad is the Director of Programs and no longer works directly with the participants. He does, however, make major decisions that he believes would be in the best interest of all involved. This is not always easy, as it often means making life-changing decisions for another person. My dad has always loved his job, but he has made many sacrifices. He gets calls in the middle of the night when people are sick; he attends more funerals than anyone I know; he does enough paper work to make anyone crazy; travels long distances for meetings; and took many trips to Florida throughout the years to establish homes there.

Most importantly he never complains, even when he is under a lot of stress. I do not know how he does it. When I ask him how he keeps himself together, he says that every job has its rough times, but it is the happiness he creates that keeps him going. My dad is strong, persistent, goal oriented, and patient. He is highly respected for his extreme dedication to what he knows is right. My dad is my hero because he not only does what is best for me, but he also does the best he can to provide outstanding care for those who struggle to care for themselves.

My father's attitude has been nothing but an amazing inspiration to me. I strive to make a difference in the world the way my dad has. His ever positive, happy-go-lucky, hard-working, and logical attitude has helped innumerable families in more ways than he could ever know. Many of the families he serves probably do not fully understand the extreme pressure he endures for the well-being of their loved ones. To my dad that is not a big deal. He does not do any of it for the recognition. He genuinely loves his job, loves and respects the population he works for, and can take all the troubles because he knows those good times will come. He has a special place in the hearts of many families, and one of the most special places in mine. I have learned more from my father than I could ever explain, and I look at him as my motivating force, my friend, my advisor, and my guardian. For these and other innumerable reasons my dad is not only my hero, but a super hero of our very special community here on Long Island and elsewhere.

Submitted by Anonymous


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