Susan is our Assistance Ministry manager and the Tomball Benevolence Network (TBN) resource manager. Shortly after she retired from teaching two and half years ago, Susan began volunteering with TEAM as a caseworker in our Assistance Ministry. Although she oversees the Assistance Ministry and caseworkers, she continues to meet with clients who are in need of food and/or financial assistance, and encourages them to seek God’s guidance in their lives.
We hope you'll enjoy learning a bit more about Susan and her vital role in our Assistance Ministry.
How did you first learn about TEAM? And who or what led you to volunteer with us?
I first learned about TEAM when passing the building driving to work each morning. While walking in the neighborhood one morning, post retirement, I encountered Debby Miles, another TEAM volunteer, and began talking with her about retirement activities. TEAM came up in our discussion and she invited me to volunteer.
What do you find most rewarding about casework?
TEAM is a wonderful way to assist Tomball citizens experiencing challenges in their lives. One of the most rewarding things about casework is seeing the look of relief on a client’s face when TEAM is able to provide financial assistance in paying a utility bill to keep the lights from being disconnected or part of the rent to keep the family from being evicted.
What resources are available for caseworkers?
TEAM developed a customized software program named God’s Resources and Community Exchange (GRACE). GRACE has become a most valuable resource for TEAM caseworkers to use for digitally accessing client files plus agencies and organizations available to assist clients. Recently, TEAM has added a job specialist position for caseworkers to refer clients seeking employment.
You handle connecting clients to TBN service providers. Explain how that works.
The Tomball Benevolence Network Resource Manager is the middleman between the volunteer service providers and clients needing their services. For example, a caseworker learns a client needs a leaky faucet repaired because it is causing high water bills. The caseworker submits a service request for a plumbing repair service through GRACE. The TBN resource manager checks the volunteer plumber service providers, selects one, and calls to request a service. The client is then contacted to give them the name and number of the service provider to make arrangements to repair the leaky faucet. A follow up call is made to the service provider several days later to check on the status of the repair.
What has surprised you most about volunteering at TEAM?
It’s been surprising to learn the number of people in Tomball that need help.
What is the biggest change you have seen since you first started as a volunteer?
The biggest change has been TEAM moving into the world of technology by replacing paper files and vouchers with computerized files and vouchers.