Saying goodbye to not one, but two longtime employees.
Sandy Stewart says she has a peace about retirement. “I wouldn’t call it excitement. I’d say it’s a peace knowing that this is the right thing for me at this time in my life.”
For 23 years Sandy has done what she was called to do at the Mission, including Director of Women & Children’s Ministries, Residential Supervisor, and even Building Maintenance. “That’s what I was asked to do, so I did it,” she says.
When asked what she feels most proud of regarding the changes she’s witnessed at the Mission, she answered “Everything. Early on, there were no life skills or computer classes, or childcare, or Jobs for Life. We’ve come a long way.” She prayed for many years to have an on-site advocate for children. Just last month, the Mission added a Director of Children’s Advocacy (read more about Kathryn Brooks in this newsletter).
Sandy plans to share all the journals and notes she’s been keeping for more than two decades about her work, and as she put it “her experience with the Lord” with her children and grandchildren.
She’s also going fishing with her husband.
Rick Fitzgerald was hired in 1988. For 30 years, he’s served as Evening Supervisor, Assistant Farm Manager, Chaplain, Purchasing Agent, Programs Director, Director of Fundraising and Agency Relations, and Director of Philanthropy. He’s been an integral part of developing many of the programs and services that are in place today. Rick built invaluable relationships with the community, including government, private, and faith-based organizations.
Rick has helped the Mission remain committed to Christ-centered values while growing programs and services. “I gave my life to what I believe was a call from God to marry the best practices of social work with the best of Christian social ministry,” he says.
He’ll continue with some of the special projects he began while here, and is thrilled to have more time to spend with his wife of 43 years, children and grandchildren.
“I look forward to the next chapter of my life, following God as the adventure continues.”