A little bit of love goes a very long way…

My experience over the years as the town’s youth services coordinator has led me to form my own set of best practices that help me in my role in coordinating and connecting agencies and families to services. Many of them even apply as I work to synchronize my own family’s active program schedule. I have learned that’s not an easy task. I want to share with you some of my practices, as we leap into the summer season.

First I always strive to be patient but persistent. Ever heard the expression the squeaky wheel gets greased? I have found this to be true. However, if the wheel is too squeaky or squeaks over every bump, it will not be seen as urgent as other squeaks. That might lead to one’s call for attention appearing as a lesser priority.

Another simple best practice that I find can make a big difference is to have all your paperwork ready before beginning any process. For instance, having your child’s medical records updated before camp registration, getting copies of tax returns together before submitting a request for financial aid, and even having your own schedule accessible so you can determine which classes are going to work best for your child. The more “backup” paperwork you have organized prior to setting up a service, the quicker and more efficient the task will be.

Here’s another tip: I have also found getting to know who you are working with is a big help. What’s the person’s name, when is the most convenient time to reach them. If you find the time that works best for the service provider, most likely they will be able to give you time and assistance.

Never underestimate the influence of office mangers, secretaries and administrative assistants. They often are the master controls of the appointment calendar and flow of communications. Be friendly and be appreciative so they will remember you on a positive note and will look forward to calling you back and helping you on your mission.

Lastly, a motto I like to live by is “a little bit of love goes a very long way.” If you’re appreciative of someone’s hard work or help or kindness, make time to let them know. When I find a thank-you note on my desk, it makes my day! In a small way I feel like I was helpful, and this inspires me to go the extra mile.

As you make summer family plans, don’t forget the Town Wiffle Ball Tourney, set for July 21, and visits to Bruce Park’s fabulous Boundless Playground.

I would love to hear from you about community youth concerns that may impact you and your family. It has been truly a heart-felt pleasure serving Greenwich, getting to know so many of our young people. Please feel free to reach me at [email protected] or directly at the United Way at 203-869-2221.


Jenny Byxbee is the Greenwich youth services coordinator of the United Way.

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