Soon Community will be celebrating 44 years since founder Lorraine Berndt incorporated “Community Home Health.” Linda Erickson, MSW, has been here for 30 of them.
Linda discovered Community when she interviewed for a hospice volunteer position. She felt she had an ability to understand what people were going through and support them in their grief while facilitating groups in the bereavement program. Volunteering was the first step in her long career. Eventually she graduated college, became a full-time social worker at Community, and later completed her masters in social work.
“When I first started I was like a friendly helper,” she explained. “Over time I learned how to walk beside people, be supportive of them, and help them go through what they’re going through. I went from a helper to a therapeutic person.”
Thousands of families have had the pleasure of Linda’s support through some of the most difficult periods in their life. She’s been honored through at least five Grateful Hearts gifts and received the 2007 Social Worker of the Year Award from the Home Care Association of Washington.
Linda and her husband’s roots were in this community. It was a large part of why she was with Community for so long.
“I liked the ‘community practice,’” she said. “We all went to school together, we coached their kids — it’s a wonderful service to the community on a deeper level.”
Sadly, Linda’s husband passed away last year, prompting her retirement in November 2020. It was time for her to focus on her personal grief after three decades of helping others do the same.
“I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with Lorraine and some of the early supervisors at Community,” she said. “I miss the daily routine of interacting with coworkers, serving people and doing work that’s meaningful every day. I support the leadership hospice has had from beginning to now and I still believe in the mission.”
If you are grateful for the service of a Community staff member — someone who has shown dedication, love and care to your loved one like Linda Erickson has to countless families —contact 360.597.0717 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make a Grateful Hearts gift.