In this January 2024 AWARE Ink, we’d like to introduce you to long-time team member, Lu Kennedy. Lu began working at AWARE in 1999. Lu said that she continues her 24 plus years of service at AWARE because, “I love working with clients, helping and teaching them.”
During her time at AWARE, Lu has worked the full gamut when it comes to the residential setting. She was a manager at an adult group home for nine years. She also provided care in the youth homes and is proud to have helped them transition from the Galen homes to the new Pennsylvania Avenue homes about 10 years ago.
Currently, she works night shift from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. at the Sage mental health group home for adults. Lu’s there to support the residents during the night hours, which also includes keeping logs that provide a body and sleep check.
“I don’t get as much interaction with the clients during night watch but still need to stay busy during the early morning hours,” she said. “It’s easy to sit down and do the sleepy head bob.”
So, she’s often found cleaning the home, creating weekly meal plans, meal prepping for lunches or cooking breakfast for the clients.
“The residents appreciate and love a clean home and food,” Lu said. One client even called her cooking “magic.”
Because Lu likes interacting with the clients, she takes time beyond her night shift to bring them grocery shopping a couple days a week. Her supervisor says that Lu is extremely organized and has shared her grocery shopping system with other AWARE homes.
In addition, Lu likes to create crafts and is an avid rockhound.
Recently, she made bouquets for a New Year’s Eve wedding. She often adjusts her schedule to bring her talent to the Sage home making different arts and crafts projects with the residents. She shares her love of rock hounding by bringing the residents tumbled rocks that she finds while on excursions in areas surrounding Anaconda as well as Absarokee, Montana.
Moving to Anaconda in 1986, the native Montanan (originally from Kalispell) says it was an easy choice to stay in the small town to raise her daughters after moving extensively throughout the United States over the years.
It was just as easy for Lu to remain at AWARE for more than 24 years. “I love seeing the clients smile at the end of the day,” she said.
Thank you so much for your service to AWARE, Lu. Your dedication and wonderful work is appreciated. We are grateful for you!