News and Events

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HeartShare Storytelling Celebration Highlights Frontline Workers

October 7, 2016

In The Media

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
St. Nicholas Tolentine Church Auditorium
150-75 Goethals Avenue
Jamaica, Queens 11432

(Queens, NY)–HeartShare Human Services will host a storytelling celebration for its exemplary frontline workers on Wednesday, October 19 at St. Nicholas Tolentine Church.

HeartShare’s Everyday Heroes program recognizes the contributions that Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) make in the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities. The bi-annual storytelling celebration and luncheon recognizes 10 to 15 frontline staff for exemplifying leadership, resourcefulness and respect in their work.

During the event, Everyday Heroes share their stories and best practices with other HeartShare Direct Support Professionals. “This program recognizes people thriving in high-turnover positions requiring a great deal of patience, compassion and perseverance,” said Bill Guarinello, HeartShare’s President and CEO, who started at the agency as a social worker over 45 years ago.

Everyday Heroes also offer inspiration to those working in an overall challenging field. One Direct Support Professional saved the life of an individual with intellectual and developmental disabilities with a quick implementation of CPR. Another DSP strived to find ways of communicating with a man who is non-verbal, while another helped an individual lose 20 pounds and achieve healthy living.

HeartShare's frontline workers often exceed expectations in helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities lead fulfilling, independent lives.

HeartShare’s frontline workers often exceed expectations in helping people with intellectual and developmental disabilities lead fulfilling, independent lives.

From helping people with disabilities invest in a hobby and nurture their spirituality to securing employment, DSPs go above and beyond in helping individuals live personally fulfilling and independent lives. “The stories are edifying and motivating for HeartShare employees at all levels of the organization,” said Linda Tempel, Executive Director of HeartShare’s Developmental Disabilities Services. “I’m very much looking forward to hearing a new cohort of stories on October 19th.”

Over the past 9 years, Everyday Heroes has become a HeartShare tradition. In addition to the storytelling celebration and luncheon, HeartShare recognizes June as Everyday Heroes Month. Employees compete in a poster contest illustrating how they exemplify the qualities of an Everyday Hero and to win funds for their program. HeartShare’s Everyday Heroes quilt is on permanent display at its MetroTech main office.

Everyday Heroes originated as a New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) initiative “to recognize and honor the wellsprings of engagement, compassion and caring that flow through the hands, hearts and heads of direct support workers.”

HeartShare has over 2,500 employees throughout Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. Everyday Heroes is just one of several programs that foster an organizational culture of community, mutual understanding and professional growth. Those who are nominated as Everyday Heroes often transition to managerial roles at HeartShare programs.

To learn more about HeartShare’s Developmental Disabilities Services, visit