Working Hard To Keep Spirits Up
From her crazy socks to her brightly colored hair, Carie Arheart, Direct Support Professional for TECH, is all about having fun! While COVID-19 has at times been a struggle for her, she says, she has worked hard to keep the spirits of the people served by TECH and herself up during the last year. “I clearly remember that we shut down on Saint Patrick’s Day because I wore one of my crazy outfits for the holiday and I was sad because only 12th Street got to see it,” says Arheart. For the DSP team and clients, it was hard to go from seeing each other around town, at other houses and in the community to being confined at one location during the pandemic. Arheart and the other staff had to work hard to keep the spirits up.
She would frequently find ways to get everyone out of the house, safely, taking van rides around town and stopping at the park to feed the ducks. While everyone enjoyed this, their favorite activity was driving by the fire station that her husband worked at. “He is a driver for the fire department and if he was on duty, we would drive by and he would flash the lights on the truck. My son is also a firefighter and would always come out and wave if we were making rounds by his station,” said Arheart.
“What job lets you have wild crazy hair, nails and outfits, and instead of being judged – loving you?”
Fire trucks are hard to beat but Carrie would keep it fun with her ‘Crazy Carie Outfits’ and ‘Crazy Carie Actions.’ She would make paper towel hats, let clients scare her throughout the day and crack jokes to keep people laughing. Many days were spent playing board games and talking. Carie said that she saw the communication and listening skills grow immensely within the house during their time together.
Carie and the rest of the TECH team had to work diligently to keep everyone safe during the pandemic. “They (TECH) took drastic measures before ordered by the governor. We shut down about two weeks prior to the state ordered shut down and I think that helped nip it right away,” says Carie. Even in challenging times, TECH staff and those served rose to the occasion. Carie said she is proud of how the clients handled the situation. There were times they were upset and frustrated, but she simply reassured them that everyone was working hard to keep them safe.
As she looks back on the last year, Carie said she is ready to move past COVID but is thankful for her job at TECH during that time, especially when many others were out of work. She said, “What job lets you have wild crazy hair, nails, and outfits and instead of being judged – loving you?”