Why I Open Doors & Change Lives

As the CEO of Cares of Washington, every day I see our tagline, “Opening Doors and Changing Lives.” It is very  important to me personally that all our participants here at Cares get the help to open a door and change their life to achieve economic stability . I know from experience how hard finding a job can be. Coming to the US as an immigrant, I had to navigate the experiences of finding employment in the U.S. - no easy feat with a “foreign” education and experience.

I had to start over in a new country with a culture I did not know. So I found two entry level jobs; one, a day job working in a nursing home helping senior citizens with activities and another, a night job as a server in a local Swedish restaurant. While these jobs helped me pay the bills, I knew the key self sufficiency for me was an American education. Through the help of my social network including my wife, a couple of mentors, professors and an employer, I was able to take small steps over time to finish my degree and start my career leading me to working at Cares of Washington.

The key point of my story is that I didn’t do it alone, I dependent on people that supported me!

Here at Cares, we are here to be that support system for anyone to find employment and self-sufficiency. We live every day to open doors and change lives for each person that we support.

One of those doors we helped open was for John. His prospects of employment turned upside down when one day a  truck hit him and he lost his left arm, his job as an auto mechanic, his house, his wife and most importantly his self-worth. Since his accident, he has been working with Cares employee, Sue. With her support, he has had a helping hand and guide to figuring our resources for a prosthetic arm, going back to school to achieve an AA degree, moving into a transitional apartment, and regaining much of his self-worth. But, not all stories have a clear happy ending - he continues to struggle with accident-related pain and mobility issues, poverty and hunger - however, he now has a support system he can lean on.

All money that you donate will help people like  John change his life for the better. Here at Cares, we believe everyone deserves the opportunity to be self-sufficient. With your support, Cares will work with people with disabilities and low income to find a job, save money for housing, and gain greater independence.

Lars Nowack