CAMP/Mautner Cares has a wonderful problem. It needs more people who need help!
CAMP/Mautner Cares (CMC) is the Rehoboth Beach branch of the bellwether Mautner Project in Washington, DC, the National LGBT Health Organization that was established in 1990 to provide support, education and advocacy to any individual in need. Our local branch launched in October, 2012, and hit the ground running. A collaborative effort between CAMP Rehoboth and The Mautner Project, CMC has provided help to seven clients facing a variety of medical and physical challenges.
Sal Seeley, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Health Services Program Director at CAMP Rehoboth, believes CMC is off to a “really good start. There are already 38 trained and enthusiastic volunteers. When I post a request for help on the Client Services calendar, it takes only one or two hours to be filled. All we want is more clients!”
Jacquetta Brooks, the Director of Client Services at the Mautner Project in DC, echoed Sal’s sentiment and even admitted to “being a little jealous of the everlasting interest and energy” for the project within the Rehoboth Beach community. She has conducted two volunteer training classes, and stresses the importance of continuing to get the word out so we can “expand access to more clients and make sure everyone is getting the help they need.” Help comes in many forms, from offering rides to doctor’s appointments to house-cleaning and grocery shopping. Sometimes it is just giving the primary caretaker a break. It may be a daily, weekly, or even monthly need.
Mary Lenney serves as the CMC Intake Coordinator, which meshes perfectly with her previous life as an LCSW in private practice. Her job is to assess the situation and needs of potential clients. “I look at what their support system is—friends and neighbors—then meet with Sal and Jacquetta to see how we can most effectively help the person. I get back to them with what we can and cannot do. Either way, I let them know. Then we put the requests on the Client Services calendar, and away we go!”
It seems odd to be in the position of looking for people to assist, but it also allows time for the inevitable initial kinks to be worked out. Word of mouth about the great deeds of CMC coupled with the natural migration of LGBT retirees and baby-boomers to the beach will put its services in higher demand as time goes on. The message from the dedicated and expert staff is “bring it on!”