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Education: A Path to Gratitude

As this year begins to wind down and the American Thanksgiving holiday is upon us, I like to pause and think back on the year and see if there is a central theme to what I am most grateful for. Usually it’s a challenge to pick one thing, but this year the answer floated easily to the top. This year I am most thankful for education.

Education rises to the top of my list this year for several reasons.

Firstly, Neil and I have two children of whom we are exceptionally proud. For them right now, it is all about their education- we like to remind them that it’s their job to learn. Even at their young age, they understand how important their education is and are willing to do whatever it takes to succeed at it (ok, ‘willing’ might be too strong a word :-) ). Our children’s education is going to open doors for them their whole lives and help them become well balanced and empathetic contributors to society. It does not escape me that the opportunity for education is not equally available to all.

For my children’s education I am very thankful.

The next impact of education comes right here with the iCarol team. We grew significantly this year; adding new employees, strengthening our infrastructure to propel our growth and adding new initiatives to help educate and support our clients. With this radical pace of evolution, I watched in awe as my team brainstormed, collaborated, and learned new tools and techniques to implement change and manage all of this growth. These are some really clever people! Their education and experience were integral to this year’s successes. We come from varying backgrounds, most of us with helpline experience, some with degrees in Psychology or Social Work, others in Computer Science, Engineering, or Business, and this diversity ultimately helps us as we work to the common goal of growing our company and improving our product for our clients.

For the iCarol team’s education I am very thankful.

And most importantly I am inspired by the role of education within helplines. iCarol supports all manner of help organizations- from crisis and mental health; to information and referral; from addiction to animals; from the very young to the very old. It is astounding to reflect upon what it takes for helpline organizations to become the agents of change and support that they are. Volunteers, staff, directors and board members have all traveled the path from awareness, to self-education to educating their communities to educating their ‘callers’ on their options. I think of the endless hours of training that have been invested in phone and online support counselors, the constant seeking of new information that can help callers, and how driven our clients are to expose themselves to new technologies to improve services.

For how education creates help, I am grateful.

As you celebrate Thanksgiving and prepare for the upcoming holiday season and reflect on the things for which you are thankful, please know that you, and your volunteers and staff, are warmly regarded by all of us here at iCarol. We are thankful for your business and for your trust in us and our software as you provide vital, life-saving services in your communities. I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your families and loved ones


Jacqueline McKechnie
Co-Founder, iCarol

Jackie McKechnie

Jackie co-founded iCarol in 2004 after working as a helpline volunteer at a Distress Center in Canada . With a background in Engineering, Technology and Marketing, Jackie is COO and Director of Marketing for iCarol. iCarol is your help line software company that is here to make your job easier as Executive Director or leader of a non-profit contact center. Whether you have a crisis, help or 211 referral line, we are here to help you help more people in your community. Read more...

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