Erwin’s Story – Purpose and Responsibility

Erwin Garcia loves working at Valley Village. “My clients give me a greater sense of purpose and responsibility.” Erwin started his work at Valley Village over seven years ago when a friend introduced him to the organization.  “I didn’t know about the program before working at Valley Village, and I came to love the organization and what it does for people.”

The first two years of his career with Valley Village were in the residential program as a program aid. “I helped clients to take their medications, to shower, get dressed, get on the bus for day program… their daily routines.” Since then, he’s worked at the Sunland Day Program and the Winnetka ADHC (Adult Developmental Health Center), where he currently works as a program aid. Erwin remains active in the residential program’s Saturday and community events for clients.

In his time at Valley Village, he’s learned a lot from his clients and he’s grown a lot as an individual. “Some clients had behaviors, which could be challenging. I learned how to redirect their behaviors to more appropriate ones.” His work helped Erwin to be more engaged with his own family. His experiences gave him a stronger appreciation for staying active, organized, prepared and taking better care of himself.

Erwin spends most of his time working with clients in the physical therapy room at the Winnetka ADHC. He works “hand over hand” with clients to help them maintain range of motion through walking, standing and stretching. Stretching is especially important for clients in wheel chairs to relieve pressure points. “They like my sense of humor. They see me as a comedian.”  He and his clients connect through his humor, and they are happy in his care. He enjoys that he helps them to be happy. It makes their days – and his – better.