Name: Ashley Lind
Title: Vice President of Meals on Wheels & Population Health
Organization: Visiting Nurse Association of Texas
How did you become interested in this work?
I have had a passion for social serves since I was very young. I participated in a peer support program in my school which introduced me to the importance of being a change agent for those who are struggling. Like most people early in their careers, I started out with the intention to change to world with a hope to make it a better place. I’m happy to say that nearly 30 years later, I am still as passionate about changing the world as I was back then. Each person and every effort makes a difference.
What drives your passion?
My career started at the Covenant House in New Orleans and I knew immediately I was committed to helping those in need. My desire to do more… know more… and to help more propelled me to pursue a Masters and a Ph.D. in Counseling. I have enjoyed every step of this journey. Working at VNA Meals on Wheels is like the icing on the cake. I can see the great work being done and the impact to our community on a grand scale. It is so rewarding to work amongst such talented and diverse individuals. Each person brings a unique element necessary for successful client outcomes. I am very proud to be part of this organization as well as this cause.
Does your organization offer any programs other than home meal delivery? If so, what are they?
In addition to Meals on Wheels, we are fortunate enough to offer the full spectrum of care to our home bound clients.
VNA Hospice Care is there when traditional medical treatments no longer offer the hope of a cure. Highly qualified and experienced doctors, nurses, hospice aides, social workers, chaplains, bereavement coordinators, and volunteers work as a team with the patient’s current doctor to provide care that meets the medical, psychological, social, spiritual, and practical needs of patients and families.
As an affordable alternative to nursing homes and extended hospital stays, VNA Palliative and Private Care empowers individuals to age, or recover from an injury or illness, where they are most comfortable – at home.
What’s the biggest challenge in your work?
As with anything that is worthwhile there are inherent challenges in navigating the nonprofit environment. The important part of each challenge is to learn from the struggle and strategize a better outcome. On the days that you think that you’d like to give up, all you have to do is spend a moment with the clients and you know that you can be strong enough to improve and impact the community with wisdom and strategy…just like the clients improve in the face of great adversity. It’s been an amazing journey over all with more beautiful and prideful moments than setbacks for sure. I have been very fortunate to have had great mentors, supervisors and employees.
What’s the best advice that you have ever received?
The greatest advice that I have received is to acknowledge how fortunate I am to be among those who care about the DFW community. It is with great reverence and gratitude that I have come to learn of the amazingly generous and philanthropic climate present in the DFW Metroplex. There are so many individuals, corporations and foundations that believe that social services are the backbone of a strong and thriving community. VNA Meals on Wheels has been surrounded by supporters from every walk of life. The community plays an enormous role in advocating for our seniors and engaging on numerous levels. Other nonprofits that provide supportive services to our clients are collaborative and engage in team work to achieve a greater benefit. It is truly a gift to be included in an environment that is truly conducive to making the world a better place and I try not to take that for granted.
Was there a client, volunteer, or poignant moment in your work that has had a great impact on you?
I am touched by clients every day!! It is hard to choose between the touching conversations about how meaningful our visits are to a lonely client or calls from a family member that let us know how grateful they are that we support their loved one- since they live so far away. I guess, the most meaningful moments are those that help you to recognize that you’ve made someone’s day better or that you have been part of a larger system that has made the final years in a life manageable. Isn’t that why we are all here?