As Hedy prepares for retirement after two decades of work at Communitas, she reflects on how the roles she filled in the organization suited her perfectly. She worked both in human resources and also in payroll/benefits, roles that satisfied two things: human connection and attention to detail.
“I really enjoy working with people and I like working with numbers,” she says with a smile.
The part time work came at a perfect time in Hedy’s life. She had spent the previous 14 years at home, raising their two daughters as well as teaching piano. Before starting her family, Hedy had worked in a credit union and while she enjoyed that work, she was looking for something different. It was her husband who spotted an ad for Communitas (at that time called MCC Supportive Care) in a Mennonite magazine. She applied and was eventually hired to work in two areas.
Her main role was to help staff complete their benefits paperwork. At that time, everything had to be completed manually and it gave her the opportunity to meet most of the staff in person.
“Nowadays everything is done over email, which is convenient and efficient, but you lose the human touch. You don’t even know what a person’s voice sounds like,” she reflects. “Don’t get me wrong, I like efficiency, but I think that’s a loss.”
Over time, as the organization grew, the demands of the departments also grew. Hedy didn’t want to work full time and so she was grateful when a new HR position was posted that only required two days a week, something that suited her lifestyle perfectly. She feels blessed and privileged to have worked in both departments.
Just as impactful for Hedy was the opportunity to interact with the people served by the organization. When she began, her first floor office had a window, which gave her the advantage of seeing people come in with their support staff or hear the friendly interactions that took place during drop-in times. Often people would stop by her office and say hello.
I have lots of great memories of these times. It was such a rich experience. – Hedy, newly retired
Throughout her years at Communitas she has developed a great admiration for support staff.
“They care for the people we serve with so much dedication, understanding, and love,” she says.”
As she looks ahead to the next chapter in her life, she has a list of things she wants to accomplish. She’s looking forward to helping her niece with child-care this spring. She’s also taken on the task of scanning her family’s slide-photos, converting them to digital, and organizing them into digital folders. It’s the kind of task that suits her skill-set well. Eventually, she and her husband would love to travel within Canada and see more of the world.
Reflecting on her long career with Communitas, Hedy is filled with gratitude.
“I am immensely grateful for the opportunity and privilege that I have been given to serve at Communitas,” she says. “It was much more than a job for me. The people I have met through Communitas have greatly enriched my life!”
When Adria reflects on her journey towards mental wellness, she recognizes that the journey began with a reconnection to her indigenous roots.
John and his daughter, Himali both work for Communitas. Though their work is in different settings, they’ve had the same meaningful career experience.