During its 63-year history, ACA has been physically located at just four addresses. The most recent building at 5999 Stevenson Ave. in Alexandria, Virginia, was home to the association for more than 30 years. So, you can imagine what moving to our new location might have been like. Sixty-two employees and six decades of books, photos, files and other memorabilia were part of what I have called “the great migration.” Though the move was just a half block away (6101 Stevenson Ave.), this undertaking could not have happened on time and on budget without the amazing group of people that make up your national headquarters staff. I want to publicly acknowledge the efforts of all those who truly went that extra mile, pitched in where needed and worked many long hours.
In addition to the fact that our former building was scheduled to be demolished at some point in the near future, the physical move was necessitated by other factors, including our need to have staff in an open work environment that allows them to collaborate in teams and to have the space to create the products and services that our members require. In essence, our move is symbolic of doing business and providing services in a new way.
As the counseling profession evolves, it finds itself in a pivotal role given the challenges, issues and obstacles that prevent individuals from reaching their full potential. We welcome increased recognition of the counseling profession thanks to our collective advocacy to communities and public policy officials and our work with organizations with which we share common concerns.
Your national headquarters staff and I are recommitting to what we will do for you. As we begin the new year, I also encourage you to recommit to the profession and to those for whom you advocate each and every day. Your work in communities throughout the nation and the world makes our society more understanding, more compassionate and, hopefully, more tolerant.
With all that is going on in society, I see recommitting as a way to generate even more energy, ideas, support and collaboration among the helping professions. A few months ago, I asked “What do you find most meaningful as a professional counselor or counselor educator?” The response was overwhelming, touching, poignant and real.
This month, I ask you to recommit to the counseling profession. Think of the power and positive goodwill it would generate if each of our 55,000-plus members did something to demonstrate that recommitment in 2015. How to recommit? Here are a few examples:
- Contact an elected official at the local, state or federal level and let that person know about the good work being done by you and your colleagues in the counseling profession.
- Let your local media know that you are available to talk about how counseling can benefit the community.
- Volunteer one hour per month to a local nonprofit organization.
- Participate in a community dialogue to help bring together diverse groups.
- Become more active in ACA by letting me know you are available for a volunteer role (we will be respectful of your valuable time, so please indicate how much time you want to give per month).
If you are recommitting to the profession in 2015, please send me an email or give me a call to let me know what action you are taking. Or you can go to the ACA Facebook page and post what you are doing to recommit. As we begin a new year, please know how grateful I am for your work and your dedication.