Community Blog

Congratulations to Craig Burt, Our Exceptional Caregiver of the Year!

By Vicki Crow and Brian Day

Pictured (l-r) are Home Helpers CEO Emma DickisonMisty BurtCraig Burt; Home Helpers of Jacksonville (AL) owner Kim McCutcheon; and Home Helpers Sr. Vice President Cheryl Hammons.

When going through the hundreds of nominations we receive for the Exceptional Caregiver Award, I’m always struck by the amount of good that is out there in the world. While there is plenty of negativity and despair in the news every day, there’s also an endless amount of good taking place in the world that no one ever hears about.

This is why I appreciate these nominations so much and take the time to review all of them. If someone is going to take the time to tell us about a person doing exceptional work, then it’s our pleasure to take the time to read what they’ve written.

And after reading the nomination for someone extraordinary like Craig Burt, I’m so thankful that this family member of a Home Helpers client took the time to share this story—which is why I’m going to let the nomination speak for itself:

Craig has only been in our lives for a few short months, but he’s already been a tremendous help to my husband . . . and has established himself as a vital part of my husband’s continuing therapy. (We were brought to Home Helpers) by the Wounded Warriors Project and Neuro Community Care because of the very specific needs of a wounded veteran that others have not been able to fulfill.

. . . As our time began with Craig, we had already been through four Caregivers within a year who simply could not relate to my husband or his disabilities. Within the first month, Craig had my husband out of the house more in a single week that he would have previously attempted in as many as six months. My husband had given up on the prospect of people accepting him or even understanding the complexity of his injuries, both visible and invisible.

This is where Craig stepped in. He showed my husband that he can do things he’s desired to do with the right motivation and assistance. They move at my husband’s pace and health, not the other way around . . . Craig has become a welcome addition to our family who our kids have grown to know, our dogs have allowed in the house and extended family know by name and appointments—all while maintaining the structure of professionalism that my husband still needs from his days in the Army.

That is some powerful testimony. But there’s more.

A few months ago, my husband and I were victims of a robbery. It was something that could’ve been a major setback for my husband with regard to his anxiety, PTSD and mental health state.

This thief stole everything, including children’s possessions, household items and even her husband’s Army uniforms—just about everything that this family had and used to identify who they were.

Craig reminded my husband that he cannot be stripped of who he is because of someone else’s disrespect. He would check on my husband daily, whether it was a scheduled time or not, and helped him process the loss of not just possessions but the sense of security he once had . . . this series of events solidified my husband’s trust in his Caregiver that had been vacant in every other previous attempt. This was a defining moment for my husband and his continuing therapy, which has only increased in its success since then.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that there are people who are living very different lives than ours. Just as regrettable is that we don’t recognize the angels in our midst who are making a real difference every day.

“Craig is proof that excellent care comes in many different forms,” said Kim McCutcheon, owner of Home Helpers of Jacksonville (Alabama). “He is an example of how important ‘matching’ is to our clients, and his law enforcement background fit perfectly in the Wounded Warrior Program. I’m so glad to have him on our team.”

 

If you’ve taken the time to read this, thank you for doing so and remembering that people like Craig do exist. As Kim indicated, it’s an honor for me to know that he, and all of our Exceptional Caregivers, represent Home Helpers.

Although each was deserving in his or her own way, I believe the committee got the choice right in selecting Craig Burt as our Home Helpers Exceptional Caregiver of the Year!