As we set course for state expansion I find myself looking back at the process of building the QCFE Program with a definitive feeling of pride. I will admit, I often feel pride, although not always consciously or for noble reasons. But the pride I feel for the QCFE is work is different. It is a pride that comes from conscious intimacy with work and a practical knowledge of how it helps.
Ultimately, it is a good feeling based on the firm belief that we have done something good.
And, I add importantly, that this good has been created together, for the community, by the community. From our NYCPG team in Albany, to our local network of mental health agencies, to our team of clinical professionals who provide support and treatment to problem gamblers and their families is the partnership of likeminded people has been invaluable to the creation of our program’s success.
Certainly there was plenty of human error, imperfections and shortcomings present as we proceeded to build the program which would perform this good. But there was also learning, progress and growth, both personal and professional, not just for myself as Program Manager, but for everyone who was involved as well as the community itself. But more importantly then whether the program ran perfectly or imperfectly, it is knowledge that that the program is meaningfully helping those it was created for.
I can remember when we began, that we all quietly wondered if anyone would actually call. If so when? And/or how many calls would we get? I can recall a blur of yesterdays spent promoting the program through marketing, outreach and continuous relationship-building. Since then hundreds of people have called and we can clearly and happily see the outcome of our groundbreaking efforts.
We have locations in a wide variety of neighborhoods within Queens, provide services in multiple languages, perform outreach within the community, partner with agencies to promote awareness, assist the local casino with their responsible gambling efforts and much more. We have helped moms and dads, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends, business partners, coworkers and even in-laws. Put simply, the QCFE is visibly and significantly helping problem gamblers and the world that surrounds them.
In a sense I think we that the QCFE is well-represented by the classic story of the Little Engine That Could. Like that little locomotive, we have gone from wondering if we could get over the hill to knowing we can and enjoying the power of that momentum.
As always, if you or someone you know needs help don’t hesitate to contact us. And if you want to know more about problem gambling, follow the links below.