Happy Retirement - Denny Hoyt
For 20 years Denny Hoyt has brought enrichment and empowerment to the members served at Mainstream Living. We are thankful for his service. Denny has taught members to be more independent in their lives, helping them to make decisions for themselves and learn life skills in order to be successful adults.
Denny enjoys writing and we are thrilled that he was willing to share his personal experience of his time with the organization.
Appreciating Those Who Made My Years With Mainstream So Good
Denny Hoyt, Direct Support Professional (Retired)
Being part of the Mainstream team was a remarkable twenty-year experience. Remarkable for what I learned and how I matured, remarkable even for how long I stayed on! Prior to coming here, I was in short-term appointments, soft money positions, contractual work, and a few start-up projects that went well but grew beyond my abilities.
The example and grace of Jesus, who made time for adults and children with disabilities and illnesses and helped them with their concerns, was the heart-shaping influence that sustained me as the father of a son with severe disabilities and health condition for many years. Chris put a torch to bad weeds—my over-concern with intelligence and achievement and looking good, to say only a few—and planted better seeds.
With Chris, I discovered the challenge and joy of bonding with a unique, even mysterious, person. My respect for the worth and dignity of individuals, regardless of ability, deepened. I regarded Chris as an image-bearer and member of my family and community, and as such had a claim upon my time and affection. My regard and his claim, and the curiosity he sparked for understanding others, all factored in my openness to knowing and supporting the men and women we serve. Those give-and-take relationships filled my cup and taught me to listen and be kind and patient and many good things.
I had the privilege of teaming up with wise and caring parents who were my coaches and cheerleaders. Balancing the duty to provide oversight with the obligation to respect and support independence and privacy is no easy thing. Parents who’ve learned that balance are valuable resources not to be overlooked.
I enjoyed my frontline co-workers who were rarely anything but engaging, energetic and reliable. My supervisors consistently gave the support I needed but allowed the independence I wanted. To those with office doors where I might appear suddenly at any moment, thank you allowing the interruptions and making time to listen to my updates and occasional concerns.
I like to brag about Mainstream. An excellent place to shed bias, learn to care for others, be on a team with people doing worthwhile things, and even gain practical skills like cooking, grocery shopping, and cleaning. Oh, how much my wife has loved my new skills! Flexibility of hours is high on my list of favorite things. Being able to get lots of hours in a short time and to change up my schedule from full-time to part-time, and to have a say in where I worked kept things from getting routine and afforded me time and energy to pursue my other interests.
Mainstream always seemed to me, I don’t know the right term, a humble organization? By humble, I mean a flat organization with few levels, where hierarchy and advancement up the food chain aren’t all-important; where the “suits” wear jeans and think like frontline staff because that’s where they began; where anyone can go to senior staff with their questions and issues, where loyalty is shown both to staff and those served over a very long time; and where, if there’s any thought of changing the world, it’s pursued one person at a time with small acts of kindness.