UNION COUNTY — A chance meeting with a former co-worker nearly two years ago placed Minnie Lindsey on a path that not only led to her getting a job after three years of unemployment but has now resulted in her receiving statewide recognition for her work with the Union County Disabilities & Special Needs Board.
Lindsey, who works as a caregiver at the one of the nine houses operated by the UCDSN, said that she’d been out of work for three years and was begining to despair at ever finding a job. Her fortunes began to change nearly two years ago, however, when she agreed one day to her son’s request that they go to Foster Park.
“I had been looking for a job for three years and I hadn’t been able to find one,” Lipsey said. “My son had kept asking if we could go to the park so we went there and this lady I know named Connie came by. I used to work with her at Disney and she walked up to me and asked me why I looked so stressed.”
Lipsey said she told her former colleague about her lack of success at finding a job and her friend then made a suggestion that would change her life.
“She told me about Special Needs and said I should put in an application,” Lipsey said.
Lipsey did just that and a short time later got a call from UCDSN Resident Manager Quatinna Tucker to come in for an interview. That interview lead to Lipsey being hired, first as call-in caregiver who would be called in to work on an as-needed basis. Her work impressed UCDSN Qualified Intellectual Development Professional Mary Susan Gregory who she said urged her to apply for a weekend caregiver’s position. She applied for and got the position and three months later was hired to work full-time as a caregiver working 40 hours a week on the 2-9 p.m. shift at the UCDSN house on West Main Street, Union, a position she continues to hold.
Employed with UCDSN since June 14, Lipsey said she loves her work which requires she tend to the needs of the organization’s developmentally challenged clients. UCDSN caregivers like Lipsey assist the clients at the homes with any of the things they need except giving them medicine, a task handled by the on-duty nurse.
“I enjoy it, I love it,” Lipsey said of her job.
Someone else who loves Lipsey’s job is her son, who she said has told her that he wants to work as a caregiver when he becomes an adult.
Also impressed with Lipsey’s work is Tucker — whom Lipsey calls “Queen Quatinna” — who nominated her for the South Carolina Human Service Providers, Inc.’s “Direct Support Professional of the Year” award. In listing the qualities and skills Lipsey displays, Tucker wrote that Lipsey is an outstanding staff member who “goes far and beyond to help the consumers we serve. She is an excellent leader, motivator and inspiration to all consumers as well as staff. Minnie can be described as being the backbone of the facility due to her eagerness, consistency and willingness to learn and flexibility. Minnie makes sure that every consumer is comfortable within their home and that each one feels loved. She brings outside support for the consumers that don’t have family to come see them nor celebrate on special occasions. Minnie demonstrates good interpersonal skills and respect not to mention compassion for others. Last, but not least, Minnie makes recommendations for improving service quality for our consumers.”
The nomination was submitted and UCDSN was notified by South Carolina Human Service Providers, Inc. that Lipsey had won. The presentation of the award was to take place at Myrtle Beach, but the UCDSN staff couldn’t tell Lipsey that, so to get her to the presentation they told her she and other staff members would be going to a computer training course. The ruse succeeded and Lipsey remained in the dark about the true nature of the event until her name was announced and the award presented her.
One of those who assisted in the deception was Gregory whom Lipsey calls “Queen Mary Susan.” Gregory said that Lipsey more than earned and more than deserved the award.
“She is someone that really comes in eager to work, comes in with a smile on her face and ready to meet the day,” Gregory said. “She comes in at 2, gets the house ready for the guys picked up from the workshop at 2:30. She wears many hats and she’s very good with indiviuduals and everyone likes her. She spends individual quality time with each person. She’ve very calm and handles all situations in the proper manner. She just knows how to handle situations.”
While she said she was speechless when she was presented with the award, Lipsey is not speechless when it comes to naming the name and singing the praises of the one who made it all possible. She said that her job with UCDSN is a blessing from God and that she feels she is doing what He wants her to.
“It’s a blessing and He ain’t through blessing me yet,” Lipsey said. “This is where He wants me at.”
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or email@example.com.