Category: staff

Dee’s Birthday Party 2018

Dee’s Birthday Party 2018

On Wednesday, March 14, 2018, I had the pleasure of watching Five Star Aides celebrate Dee’s birthday.  That is “Five Star Home Health,” but they were easily 5-Star Aides in my eyes.

I told the Aides last week that we would have a small party today for Dee, but I haven’t mentioned it since.  Three of them came out of the kitchen carrying the birthday cake that Dee’s Mom brought to Merica House for her.  One set her cell phone to some music & they began singing a jazzy Happy Birthday, clapping & swaying.  Dee had the biggest grin on her face as she was surrounded by the Aides. When I realized I had not taken any pictures, I ran to my phone (camera) & they assembled quickly to start another happy rendition of Happy Birthday!

Cake was cut & served while Dee opened a couple of gifts.  One of the Aides disappeared and suddenly returned with one of the maintenance men who is always very kind to Dee and thus has a special place in her heart.  He stood smiling at Dee while the Aides went into another singing of Happy Birthday.  Jose the maintenance man even joined in.  He wished Dee a Happy Birthday & Dee looked like she was about to explode with happiness.

We have spent a lot of time being frustrated with Aides in the past but this group – Loretta, Patience, Zewdwa, Awo, & Victoria, have been a joy to work – and sing with.

Names:  Lady in green-Loretta, Burgundy outfit-Victoria, Royal blue-Patience, Lady in black top-Awo, Lady in background in royal blue top-Zewdwa, Lady in gray top-Aida, Gentleman-Jose

Resident Services Coordinator

Resident Services Coordinator

Roxane Burkhart

Roxane-smMy name is Roxane.  I took over as Resident Services Coordinator at Merica House right after Memorial Day.

I grew up in Dallas, Texas.  My husband and I met in church and have been married for 30 years.

I have a Bachelor’s Degree from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, a beautiful little town in East Texas.  My degree is in Criminal Justice, with a second major in English and a minor in Psychology.

I began my Criminal Justice career as a Parole Officer in Dallas.  While it is a fascinating field, I wasn’t cut out for it.  Life intervened and I resigned to begin our family.

My husband, a computer programmer, was offered a transfer to Washington, D.C. in 1995.  We set out for Virginia with visions of snow in our heads!

We lived in Fredericksburg, Virginia, for 14 years, raising our sons in an atmosphere of family and faith.  I was a stay-at-home Mom until my youngest son was in high school.  Both my sons graduated from VCU in Richmond.  One is still in Richmond, working as Tech Support for the State Corporation Commission.  My eldest lives in Philadelphia as a Service Coordinator with Pathways to Housing.  Neither are married yet.

Eleven years ago I began mentoring developmentally delayed teens.  A year later I took a part-time job in a day program, spending my day with 25 developmentally delayed Senior Citizens.  This was a joy.  After 3 years I moved into Group Home supervisory jobs.

Once our children were gone for good, my husband and I moved to our current home in Ashburn, Virginia.

After only a few days at Merica House, I realized this would be a completely different experience from my other jobs.  The residents, their families, and the Board have welcomed and encouraged me.

The residents specifically are a delight.  I love spending my days with them.  They are always quick to laugh (with me – not at me).  Their appreciation for even the slightest little contribution to their lives has inspired myself AND my husband (Merica House’s newest volunteer) with a passion to make Merica House as warm and “homey” as possible.