How do you recover from Mental illness?
You do it with new friends and a smile on your face.
The GOC had a Friend-Raising event at Culver’s, the site where some GOC Members work in Transitional Employment. The Rotary Club of Downtown Gainesville was there in full support, as we honored Megan Olson for employing our Members. Lots of other community folk attended as well to show support for our organization. We raised some money, and better yet, we raised awareness. And it was fun. If you don’t associate a mental illness event with the word fun, you don’t know the GOC. Just look at the smiling faces of our Members as they reconnect with the community.
GOC and Rotary are both serving to change lives. It is no wonder we are working together. We awarded Rotarian Megan Olson for employing GOC Members. She has faith in us. Susan is working for the first time since 1995. Megan says she is a GREAT employee. GOC’s Brett Buell met Megan Olson in Rotary. Together they helped pave the way for the employment agreement for GOC Members. Connecting people to each other is one of many ways Rotary is making a difference. One of GOC’s Founder’s Tara Mitchell looks on with a smile as Brett presents Megan with an award. With her sister and niece in town from Germany, Dr. Regina Bussing of UF Shands Psychiatry stopped by for an ice cream treat. GOC Members ate early, before the crowd arrived.
We had so many Members helping. Gainesville Police Department, The Co-Responder Team, and Meridian Behavioral Health were well represented. With Ofc. Sarah Reeves, Cpl. Bill Gough, and Clinician Victoria Blass. When you see the Co-responder teams from GPD and meridian interact with our Members, you can tell how much they care. What they do is much more than just a job to them.
Board member Manny Quiroga and staff member Cristina Quiroga ran orders to customers and thanked every single one for supporting the GOC. Pam Demers stopped by for support and is visiting with Deidra Simon. Pam won a door prize… a pint of Culvers Custard ever month for a year. Manny Quiroga, Cristina Quiroga, and Rob Ellis ran orders for three hours straight. It never slowed down. Every order at Culver’s is made fresh. Rotarians Diane Robar, Jennifer Watson-Reddish, Billy Brame, and Bob Robar talk to GOC Member Susan call. Susan works at Culver’s now after 27 years of unemployment. Rotarian Cheryl Poe brought friends. The GOC isn’t all that Megan supports. She has three beautiful daughters, two of which are pictured here.
Cristina and Rob know how to run the orders the Culver’s way. They support GOC Members on the job site and actually work the job at Culver’s with our Members. It is part of our unique support.
Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. City of Gainesville, FL – Government Gainesville Police Department Clubhouse International – ICCD Rotary International Rotary Club of Gainesville Rotary District 6970 Lutheran Services Florida UF College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry