Champions Moment - September 2013
Erin Bruce lives in West Chesterfield and became a Champion in May 2013 when she made the pledge to live, share, model and inspire the Healthy Monadnock 2020 initiative. Erin works for Organizational Champion, Comfort Keepers in Keene where she is the Client Care Coordinator. Comfort Keepers is a premier provider of in-home care, and provides assistance to anyone above the age of 18 needing support to stay safely in their own homes and to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible.
Erin became a Champion because she wants to have a positive impact on the community and be an active participant in supporting everyone to be as healthy as possible. “I hope to inspire others to be healthier the way I was inspired”, says Erin. “When people are physically and emotionally healthy, it appears to free up space to increase compassion, kindness and consideration to others and increases overall altruism towards our family, friends, neighbors, and even strangers. I believe overall health is of broad spectrum importance in the way that people can view the world and this can have universal impacts. Starting and participating locally can have worldwide effects.”
Erin energetically tries to improve the health of her community. Some of the ways she is involved include participating in and organizing the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, organizing a 5K Recognition Run/Walk to support and increase awareness about Veteran’s needs and support services as well as increasing recognition of those who have fought for our freedom. “Whether you believe in war or are adamantly opposed, it is important to remember that many veterans had no choice but to go to war. It was not so long ago that people were drafted and faced little to no choice but to risk their lives”, Erin says. All proceeds from the race will go to fellow Organizational Champion, Southwestern Community Services (SCS) and their newly funded program Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. This program will serve approximately 55 Veteran households annually on the Western side of NH. The primary function is housing stabilization. With intensive case management, SCS will also be able to provide financial supports to include rental assistance, utility assistance, moving costs, child care cost, transportation costs, and emergency housing costs. This is intended to be a temporary (3-month) intensive program to stabilize Veterans in their homes or in new homes.
Erin feels that through working with Comfort Keepers, she has a chance “to make a difference in their lives and in the lives of everyone we support and assist”. “Comfort Keepers is small and family run, giving us a range of flexibility to meet needs, whatever they may be. It is a chance to do the right thing at the right time when someone needs it most and to honor and respect people’s lives no matter what background they come from. I try everyday to make someone’s day better, and encourage and help them eat healthier foods and engage in some sort of physical exercise as well as assisting them to get to any medical care they need to be and stay healthy.”
She sees the Champions program not only helping to make Cheshire County the healthiest community in the nation by 2020, but crucial to the overall health of our community. “What is it they always say; “think globally, act locally”. Although nowadays that seems somewhat cliché, Erin feels that the conceptual base “holds true and gives everyone a starting point to go from instead of being so overwhelmed by all the possibilities”. Erin feels that good health affects so many aspects of life: physical, mental and spiritual. “Supporting others to actively engage in a healthier lifestyle benefits the individual, the community, and even the economy and environment. It becomes so much bigger than one person and I like the idea of being a part of something bigger than myself!”
Erin would like to continue to invite all community members and employees to become Champions and “pledge to make a difference, no matter the size of the contribution”.