2024 Caring Force

The 12th Annual State House Rally for the Caring Force was held on May 22. Senate President Karen Spilka was the first recipient, and brought her Care Bear to this year’s event!

The Caring Force has two main goals for 2024. First, they are advocating for a livable wage because one jobshould be enough, especially when it is this complex and this important. And second, they advocated for the student loan repayment program – institutionalizing this as an annual program would help recruit and retain staff.

In addition to Bill Yelenak (President/CEO of the Provider’s Council), Lydia Todd (The Caring Force Chair) and Stephanie Steed (The Caring Force Co-Chair), the other speakers gave compelling reasons for ensuring that the caregiving workforce is treated with respect.

  • Kingsley Brown, Assistant Director of Community Connections for Toward Independent Living and Learning Inc. (TILL) discussed the need for a livable wage and a student loan repayment program for the sector.
  • Heather O’Connor, Case Manager at Advocates, Inc. shared the critical role human services workers play in improving the lives of individuals with disabilities and to speak about the need for a livable wage for the human services sector.
  • Scott and Nancy McCollough, parents of a program participant at BAMSI, advocated for more funding for the human services workers that do so much to support their son Patrick.

Care Bear recipients:

  • Senator Joan Lovely: She has been a steadfast champion of the work that we do and has been keynote speaker at our legislative breakfasts in the Northeast Region and our recent Caring Force Rally. Accessible and compassionate, Senator Lovely supports legislation that is good for our workforce, because she understands that the work you do is invaluable to creating a healthy Commonwealth and to improving lives for our residents
  • Representative Mindy Domb: Through her exemplary dedication, Representative Mindy Domb continues to inspire hope and catalyze change, embodying the essence of the Caring Bear Award and leaving an enduring legacy of compassion and service.

Disclaimer: Only the speakers at the event are labeled, or given alt text in the 3 pages of photos below. The majority of the photos are people in yellow Caring Force tee shirts, smiling at the camera.