“I’ve always had two or three jobs,” says hard-working, fun-loving Danielle Shine, our August Aide of the Month. “It goes back to growing up with my dad. He instilled in us good work ethics: ‘Always do your best. Don’t try to cut corners. Do your job to the best of your ability.’” Danielle’s father Juan DeCruz taught his children both by his words and by his example as a compassionate social worker with the Department of Social Services. He did everything he could to ensure his children would learn to be self-sufficient, and Danielle certainly took his advice to heart.
Danielle not only learned the value of hard work from him, she learned home care and companionship as well. When Juan became sick, Danielle spent every day taking care of him. "He had Lupus and all kinds of different health problems,” she explains. “He had to have a triple bypass surgery. He had two hip replacements, both of them at the same time. During his recovery time, I was there to help him out. I used to wake up at four o’clock in the morning, walk to the bus stop, go to work, after work go to my dad’s house, help him out, go home about 9 or 10 p.m., and go to bed. For four months, I did that.” Juan DeCruz died in August of 1997, but the ideals he lived by live on in Danielle.
Her two current jobs consist of working as a teacher’s assistant for the Rochester City School District and as a home care aide for CCOR, where she picks up extra hours in the summertime. “I love the clients that I get to work with,” she says. “Even if I just go there once, they always say ‘Are you coming back?’”
Danielle has a deep appreciation for the one-on-one interactions that are integral to working for CCOR. “Some people want to talk, some want to watch tv, and some want to play games,” she says. Remembering one recent interaction, she laughed, “I was playing checkers with a client, and I beat him at the game! I didn’t mean to, but we had fun.”
Danielle knows that hard work deserves a reward, and she rewards herself by going to festivals, spending time with friends, and traveling. Her favorite way to travel? “Cruises,” Danielle says with a big grin. “I love cruises.” She’s been to the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Key West, Jamaica, and Cozumel, Mexico, just to name a few.
Juan would be happy to know that his daughter followed his leadand is a hard-working compassionate caregiver, beloved by her clients and an inspiration to other. She has encouraged friends to consider working for CCOR. Her advice is, “Be confident, do your best, and give that one person all your attention.” Like her father, Danielle leads by her words and by her shining example as a part of our CCOR family.