To continue the discussion on the LifeLine Core Values, in this article I will address the Value of SERVICE. Taken form the official LifeLine Statement of Core Values on Service:
“Selflessness and Sacrifice. LifeLine is built on service. We will serve our customers with the highest quality of care we can provide. Through service and sacrifice we teach others self worth and self love – proving to them that they are worth being loved. This spirit of service will show through in all our interactions with co-workers, the youth, and their families.”
If you have ever attended one of my community education workshops, you have likely heard me talk about the research around community connectedness with adolescents (Robert Blum, Heather Libbey, 2004 “Connectedness – Strengthening Health and Educational Outcomes for Teens”). The researchers defined connectedness as the youth’s perception that adults in their world (other than their parents) genuinely care about them and their success beyond just doing their job. High connectedness strongly correlates with high self worth, better school performance, more goal oriented, better social skills, more engaged in school and so forth. Low connectedness correlates strongly with more emotional distress, higher rates of violence, drug use, early age sexual activity, depression, and suicide. With such strong evidence, how do we create connectedness? In a word – SERVICE.
The spirit of true Service is proving to the youth that this is more that just a job to us. Going beyond the basic expectations, and getting to a personal level of interaction that is meaningful and significant. Consistent care and support regardless of how the youth initially respond is an important part of our culture at LifeLine. For me, it is a privilege to work with such an amazing team of people that show up to work each day because they want to be part of something great – something bigger than them that truly makes a difference in the lives of young people and their families. We hire people because of their heart and passion to serve others.
This service is contagious. It is a part of the culture at LifeLine and through role modeling, the youth learn the importance of service in their own lives. As the youth progress in their program, we provide opportunities for them to be youth mentors and give service to their peers. They participate in regular service projects in the community that helps develop connections and self worth. Most importantly, the youth are taught that service should begin in their own home, with their own family, showing gratitude for the service and sacrifice that their family has given to them.