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Dec 29

Staff News: Staff Communication & Coping During COVID-19

Posted to Community Services News on December 29, 2020 at 10:20 AM by Janet Lo

Staff Communication & Coping During COVID-19

The Division cares about each member of our Division family and has created some ways to better communicate with each other and cope with our new normal. 

Upcoming Facebook Page for Division of Community Services Employees

To help us stay connected, we are creating a Facebook page for Division employees.  This closed group page will be used to share information while we work through this crisis and thereafter.  Stay tuned. 

Tips for Coping During COVID-19

·     Take in news strategically.  Get enough information to keep you informed; too much information can cause undue stress and anxiety. 
·     Use this time for professional development.  Learn something new, or brush up on a skill or area that could be refreshing. See the list of SCG offerings below.
·     If you are working from home, include physical and mental breaks in your day.  Working from  home, in many ways, is harder than working in the office.  Take a break, get some sunshine, do some stretches or otherwise get some exercise
·     Keep in touch with the outside world.  SCG has a GoToMeeting account which you can use to videochat with clients and coworkers. Contact IT to get your GoToMeeting capability set up.  Sometimes seeing a friendly face helps to eliminate the feeling of isolation during this period. 
·     Use all resources available to help you cope.  The Employee Assistance Program is available to all employees who may need assistance during this time.   Red Table Talk also has a wonderful show about how to cope during this pandemic.  You can access it by clicking this link.

 Volunteer Opportunities

(This is not a Division of Community Services event.  The following is provided for informational purposes only.)

Although our Alternative Spring Break was cancelled, there are still opportunities to help those facing challenges related to COVID-19.

On April 1st, the Mid-South Food Bank needs 10 volunteers to assist with a mobile pantry distribution.   It will be held in the parking lot of Paradise Entertainment Center located at 645 E Georgia Ave. Memphis, TN 38126.  Volunteers will be responsible for distributing diapers and period supplies, directing traffic, assisting intake process, cleaning work area, as well as helping to set up and break down. Volunteers must arrive between 9:30A and 10:00A. The mobile pantry will operate from 10:30A to approximately 1:30P. Please contact the Mid-South Food Pantry at for details.  There will be nitrile and latex gloves available for all volunteers. You will need to complete the release form below. 

Online Shelby County Government Training Opportunities                  

The following is a list of online training opportunities offering by the Shelby County Government Training Center (which can be accessed via GoToMeeting,) and New Horizons.


4/7 Empowering Collaboration: A Guide to Engaging Across Generations
4/23 Plan. Execute. Achieve. Building a Career Framework
5/13 Are You A Catalyst for Change? Lead with Confidence so Your Team Can Follow

Professional Development:

4/14 Preventing Bullying & Promoting Civility in the Workplace
4/15 Workplace Safety
4/17 Exploring our Differences: Exercises in Diversity & Inclusion
4/23 Treat Everyone Like It’s Their Birthday: The Key to Customer Service
4/24 Creating a Respectful Workplace
4/27 Are People Difficult or Just Different
5/5 Workplace Safety
5/12 Communicating for Success
5/12 Necessary Skills for Workplace Success
5/14 Preparing for Leadership: Making the Transition from Staff to Supervisor
5/15 Creating a Respectful Workplace
5/20 Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
5/20 Conflict Resolution Skills
5/27 Perception is Reality

New Horizons Free Webinars

3/30 @ 11 am: Managing Remote and Virtual Teams
3/31 @ 11 am: Communicating Across Your Organization
4/1 @ 11 am: Leading Change in a Complex World
4/2 @ 11 am: Collaborating with Microsoft Teams
4/3 @ 11 am: Working Together in Microsoft Office 365
4/14 @ 11 am: Leadership & Development: The Art of Influence – An Essential Workplace Competency

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Dec 23

Staff News - December 2019

Posted to Community Services News on December 23, 2019 at 11:26 AM by Janet Lo

Working Towards Wellness - A Lifelong Season of Self-Care

The Division of Community Services cares.  It cares about the community it serves and its dedicated employees who provide those services.  Just as the airlines say “put on your mask before you help others,” we recognize the need to care for ourselves to be effective in caring for our community.  We want to support all employees as we continue to provide the best service possible to better the lives of residents in our community. Accordingly, please take part in the new self-care program for Division Staff:

The goal of our self-care program is to reduce stress and enhance our short and long term health and well-being. It is a preventative measure. Such a goal not only benefits our work lives, making us better and more productive and engaged employees, but it will boost our personal lives too.  While it may be challenging to add self-care to the already long list of things we have to do, we will find that engaging in self-care makes us better able to accomplish the tasks and face our challenges both at work and at home.

  Our self-care program rests on four cornerstones:


Activities and advice to help you make balanced and nourishing food choices to fuel your body, increase your well-being and ability to function at high levels. 

•   Nutritional Coaching

•   Recipe Shares

•   Cooking Classes


Activities and advice to help you stay fit and healthy, with the energy and strength to get through your daily activities at peak performance.  Aerobic exercises also help you to relieve stress and you might just get a little weight loss too!

•  Yoga

•   Self-Care At Your Chair activities

•   Ambassador Directed Workout Activities

•   Healthy Shelby Activities

•   Active and Fit benefits

Mindset/Motivation/Emotional Well-Being

Activities and advice to help you manage stress, promote resiliency, build new attitudes and see beyond the day to day. 

•   Meditation

•   EAP - Lunch and Learn

•   Volunteer Opportunities

•   Motivational Moments


Activities and advice to provide a mental break from your day to day routine so that you can return refreshed and renewed. 

•   Massage Services

•   Tea Party

There are other components of self-care, like spiritual well-bring, emotional support and healthy relationships. You will be encouraged to consider all of the components to create a self-care that works best for you.  

Throughout the year, we will encourage you to care for yourself and we will provide tools to help you do so, whether it be an organized activity, a motivational moment, or a reminder of services that are available to you.  You are encouraged to take from the program what works in your life and add to it where you see fit.  They key is to find what works for you and to be consistent.  Our program is designed to keep you on the path to wellness, giving you gentle nudges and reminders to care for yourself, BECAUSE WE CARE ABOUT YOU!!!!

EAP CURRENT WELLNESS SEMINARS: “Thriving through the Holidays” and “Work Life Balance” 

2019-12 STAFF tea party

2019-12 STAFF Rolanda EatmonRolanda Eatmon
is the new Finance Administrator for the Division of Community Services. She holds an MBA with Honors from Webster University. She is also a proud alumni from our local HBCU LeMoyne-Owen College. Along with 15 years of working experience, Rolanda’s previous experience includes Fiscal & Contracts Manager with Workforce Investment Network and Senior Investment Analyst with the City of Memphis Finance Department. Rolanda is a believer of having a strong work ethic and enjoying time with her family. Rolanda is married to James Eatmon, owner of King of King’s Bar-b-que. She is also the proud mother of Jonah, Vivian, and James.

2019-12 STAFF Dec bdays

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Nov 22

Director's Message - Honoring Those That Serve

Posted to Community Services News on November 22, 2019 at 10:25 AM by Janet Lo

Director's Messageyoung headshot 1-101-2

Honoring Those That Serve

Activating the Benefits of Gratitude

This month, Shelby County and the entire nation focused attention on honoring men and women who have served our Country through military service. During our own Annual Veteran’s Day Luncheon, Celebration Breakfast, and daily e-stories this month of employees who have served, we have had the privilege of honoring those who have chosen to serve millions of us that they will never even meet. To every individual who has ever served our country reading this message, the Division of Community Services says THANK YOU!

Honoring veterans and others who dedicate themselves to service is indeed a privilege for us because it allows us to activate our gratitude. This link between honor and gratitude is what makes November one the most special on the calendar. The more trips around the sun I go, I realize how critical being grateful is, not only to survive each day, but to thrive and live our best lives. Research also supports my realization. According to a recent article in Psychology Today, there are several scientifically proven ways that gratitude benefits our lives:

  1.        Gratitude opens the door to more (and better) relationships. If there is one thing that I have learned within my career and life in general, relationships matter. Good relationships are built on trust among people. The more you can focus on the good within your co-workers, clients, supervisors, and even family and friends, the easier it is to be vocal about what you appreciate about them. Who doesn’t welcome being appreciated?

2.        Gratitude improves physical health. Grateful people have less aches and pains and self report feeling healthier than others. Apparently, gratitude also helps to better endure the 5:30am workouts that someone (me) committed to because of the Division’s plan for self-care (See September’s message).   

3.        Gratitude improves psychological health.  An intentional moment of gratitude increases the release of several hormones and neurotransmitters, including dopamine and serotonin. Serotonin increases feelings of satisfaction, happiness, and optimism. Having a rough day? Break for some gratitude.

4.        Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression.  During this year’s annual staff meeting, I challenged us all to have grace for ourselves and others as we work through the complexities of human services daily. It is inevitable that we will all make a mistake in action or word at some point. If you adopt an attitude of gratitude, it is far more likely that you will react in a way that heals and moves the team (and yourself) forward in a positive, productive way.

5.        Grateful people sleep better. Thanksgiving > Insomnia. Is there any debate here?

6.        Gratitude improves self-esteem. One of the greatest superpowers of gratitude is how it can make you feel better about yourself. When we feel good about our own abilities and potential, we maximize our performance at work and home. Gratitude also reduces the likelihood of comparing yourself to others and minimizing your awesome unique skill set and contribution to the team. Gratitude helps you to remember that you are indeed a rock star!                    

7.        Gratitude increases resilience. As a Vietnam Veteran, my father has told countless stories about the horrors of war and conflict. Even as he struggled through those years and the years after returning home, the one thing that kept him was his being focused on gratitude for his family, friends, and faith. No one is immune to challenges and difficulties, whether here at work or in your personal life. Building up a reserve of gratitude can help you to face those inevitable moments with resilience and hope.

I am hopeful that moving forward, each of us will commit to activating our gratitude individually and collectively every day. As we move towards a culture of gratitude, the better positioned we will be to best serve Shelby County and her families, children, and individuals.

Dorcas Young Griffin
Director of the Division of Community Services
Shelby County Government

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