VICTORIA, Texas - The staff at Affectionate Arms wear many hats, but while they may all have different jobs, they have one thing in common, their love for the clients they serve.
Affection Arms has a small staff, but their love for the people they serve is huge. Norma Ramirez is the office manager and is more on the business side of things, but still has daily interactions with their clients.
“I make sure that everything goes on schedule. I help with the clients upfront. We do bingo, exercises, prayer,” said Ramirez.
Those activities that Norma coordinates are part of Affectionate Arm's mission to keep their clients stimulated. Each morning they have a segment where they discuss and talk about what’s going on in the Crossroads and beyond, and even simpler things like reciting what the day and month is, just to ground them, and overall to keep their minds sharp.
Norma also makes sure the center is up to code.
“I also work with the CPA dietitian to make sure is going on plan to make sure everything is going on plan to stay in business here in Victoria,” said Ramirez.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the center has lost clients and that means less money. Norma says the operation is month to month.
“The cliental has gone down, with that yes, every month its just ‘are we going to be able to pay, are we going to be able to pay our bills or even our salaried employees?’ so yes the need is great here we do not want to close our clients love it here, the clients that we do have,” said Ramirez.
The center also has an on-site RN and LVN, medical staff to assist the clients to make sure they’re in a safe environment and looking out for their medical needs. Margaret Coleman has been with the center for 30 years and can help clients if they’re unwell, or even help answer questions they may have about their prescription medication.
“Pretty much I’ve been the only RN that’s been here, since the beginning,” said Coleman.
Coleman sees just how valuable the center is to the people they serve.
“They make friends with one another, they confide in one another, they support one another, and end up being a family away from their family in lots of ways,” said Coleman.
So, while it’s a small staff, the center’s director Mary Garcia says she believes it’s God's will, that they have all been put there for a reason, to enrich the lives of those who need some help.
Affection Arms needs volunteers, whether it be spending time with the clients or even more hands-on help with creating a garden in their back patio area, Mary Garcia says whatever your skills are, they can help to make the center, and community, a better place.
Watch several other stories on Affectionate Arms below:
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