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March 16: A Day for Our Social Work Team and the Bills

March 16 is commemorated as World Social Work Day, when the social work profession is honored for the invaluable contributions social workers make in our society, notably now in helping us cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here in Buffalo, March 16 is significant in another way: it’s the day that – in 2020, as the world as we knew it was about to change – the Buffalo Bills signed Stefon Diggs.

Weird analogy? Well, let’s think it through.

At Spectrum Health, our social workers are indefatigable. They are the heart and soul of our community team. Mental health social workers are fierce protectors of people in need: they see past a person’s physical and emotional struggles to focus helping and service. They are the bridges between barriers and success.

When wide receiver Stefon Diggs tweeted “it’s time for a new beginning” on March 16, 2020, he was ready to change his life. The Bills leadership was paying attention to his social media and within hours, Diggs was ready to bring his inside shuffle to Buffalo. The rest, as they say, is football history.

During a time that was shadowed with sadness and fear, anxiety and frustration, the Bills team delivered its best season in decades. Teamwork, practice, leadership, and motivation prevailed: Diggs’ dogged determination – like the work of any good social worker – helped deliver positive change for his team, which in turn, uplifted the spirits of the community during a very sad time.

So on March 16, we tip our hats (and our helmets) to social work professionals (especially our colleagues at Spectrum Health), and say thanks to Stefon Diggs and the Buffalo Bills: together we are humble and hungry and ready to serve.

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