I came across two yellow half sheets in my professional journal. Reading them, I knew they were two of many opportunities in my life time, but they made me smile.
Opportunity Email : “_Counseling Center is a center for uninsured and underinsured located at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in _. At present we are looking for one or two more LICSW’s or counselors with associate license who would be interested in volunteering a few hours each week. We work with a diverse population, both short term and long term. We would want at least a one year commitment and therapists must have their own malpractice insurance. Supervision is available at a reduced rate.”
My Reply: “Hello my name is _. I currently hold an associate licensure in social work. This sounds like a wonderful opportunity. Unfortunately I do not live in _ county. I am also not Episcopalian, I believe in a higher power, but I don’t believe it needs to be verbalized. My faith should shine through in my actions and my work as a clinical social worker. Can you please tell me if other Episcopal churches in _ county are looking for such services?”
I never heard anything back from this organization, but it did set me out to research if other churches were seeking this service.
Opportunity Email : I have a social work friend who is looking for someone to help a veteran in your area. He is a male rape survivor from his time in the military. He can’t seem to get anyone at the VA to call him back. Can you help direct him or my friend on his behalf, or give me ideas to pass along?” – Do you have any suggestions
My Reply: “Hello my name is _. I currently hold an associate licensure in social work. May I ask if this individual is covered by VA benefits, if so he could call _. They provide low income counseling for men. He may also wish to contact _ clinic. They offer free and reduced services to individuals, but please be advised this is a teachable clinic (graduate students provide therapy and they change every six months).”
Opportunity Email : “Thank you for the leads I have heard great things about _. I was, however, not aware they took veterans. I will suggest that to my friend.”
I share these opportunities and my replies as I believe they start to answer the question “How did I get here?” I am also often asked “How do I find an opportunity?” I tell my students this is life and opportunities are around us all the time. Once one finds these opportunities; write powerful, open, professional letters as I have done in this post. I also suggest if something peaks your interest, follow it. The church counseling peaked my interest, and led me to led a woman support group at a shelter of a different domination in my own county.