Touchstone Update

Hello all and welcome to our new and improved website! Every two weeks one of us at Touchstone, and the other IJC programs, will post a story or insight that highlights the joy (and the struggles!) we experience as we walk alongside our participants. It is our hope that this website creates a platform for us to connect with the community by providing up to date information on our programs and to offer a window into the work that we do.

As coordinator of the Visions and Voices program and outreach worker of the Touchstone program, I am honored to work alongside many wonderful people but there is one story that sticks out to me and I want to share…

Skating hand in hand (to keep from falling) down the frozen Red river (it’s much more beautiful this way), on a windy, but sunny day, I’m not sure which of us is happier. Moments like this seem to erase, however briefly, the barrier created by our “participant” “staff” labels and allow us both the freedom to be happy simply spending time with one another. For someone who has had to deal with far too much in her short life, it is amazing for me to witness this carefree side of her. The stress and frustration she faces daily seems to melt away one limb at a time as she closes her eyes and feels the wind in her face and the strength in her legs, powering her forward. The image of her smile and rosy cheeks make me so happy to share in this moment, and honored to be in her life. I am reminded that having a reprieve from feeling like a “worker” must be nothing compared to the reprieve from feeling like a “participant.” Being able to have a job that creates space to enjoy those moments is truly a gift that I cherish.