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Caring Force honors champions at Fifth Annual State House Rally

The Caring Force and the Providers’ Council recognized three legislative champions Monday, April 11 at the State House during the Fifth Annual Caring Force State House Rally for human services.

A Caring Bear Award was presented to Sen. Jennifer Flanagan of Leominster, Rep. Jeffrey Roy of Franklin and Rep. Gloria Fox of Boston for their tireless work on behalf of the human services sector in the Commonwealth.

“Thank you for the work you do and the work you WANT to do every day on behalf of the people of the Commonwealth,” said Flanagan, a former social worker. She urged attendees to meet with the legislators and remind them that “the work you do saves us dollars later. It keeps people out of hospitals, out of jails, out of the homeless populations.”

Roy, who is the sponsor of the Council’s student loan repayment legislation, House Bill 124, likened the 20,000 member Caring Force to a musical ensemble working together to make something harmonious.

“You set the soundtrack for your clients each day. Please keep doing what you’re doing,” he said to the 600 members of The Caring Force that filled the Great Hall. “When I look out (at you) I see hopes; I see dreams; I see a better world.”

Rep. Fox, who has announced her retirement at the end of this, her 16th term, said her work in human services wouldn’t end when she leaves the State House at the end of the year. She gave the attendees their marching orders, telling them to “talk to each and every one of the 160 legislators here, including myself, and tell them what it is you need.

“Let them know they need to support (House Bill) 124 and raise any dollars in the budget going to social work, social services and social programs.”