I never knew of a place like Emmaus in my home country,” explains Asuncion “Suzy” Hellebusch, a member of the Direct Care staff at Emmaus Homes. “I think this community is cared for differently in the Philippines,” Suzy immigrated to California from Quezon City, a suburb of Manila, in 1985 where she later met and married the late Steven Hellebusch. Suzy started working at Emmaus Homes when she moved to Marthasville, MO with her husband Steven in 1991. “Steven’s mother (Mary Rose Hellebusch) used to work at Emmaus and encouraged me to apply,” recalls Suzy, who was a nurses’ aid in a maternity hospital in the Philippines. “I was hired two days after my interview,” Suzy has worked with the women at our “Bethany” house at Emmaus ever since.

When I started, I really didn’t know what to expect from the people we work with,” notes Suzy. “I admit I brought stereotypes about them with me fro the Philippines.” Suzy’s stereotypes were quickly dismissed once she began working with the women at Bethany, which was a home of eight women with varied developmental and physical disabilities. “I look forward to coming back to work everyday because of the women and staff at Bethany; I really love it here!

The feelings Suzy has for Emmaus were strengthened in 1995 when her husband Steven was killed in an automobile accident. “My family and I received an incredible amount of support from the Emmaus and Marthasville communities,” recalls Suzy. “I considered returning to California where much of my family is, but everyone here was so wonderful.” Suzy had many examples of how Emmaus supported her during this crisis but some of the most important help came when the Bethany staff volunteered to adjust their schedules so Suzy’s would coincide with her four children’s school schedules. “They all knew how important it would be for me to be with my children as much as possible now,” smiles Suzy, “How could I leave after all that’s been done for us.

Today, Suzy is a Home Manager at Emmaus and she continues to pursue her passion by supporting her team and advocating for our clients. “I really like my job, working at Emmaus has helped me raise my children to become successful, go to college and pursue their dreams.” comments Suzy. “The biggest difference with Emmaus from back then to now is the training,” recalls Suzy. “We come a long way. I have seen the training improve through my time here and it is shown through our new hires. I see new staff pick up on things that would otherwise take months/years to grasp.

When asked what is the best thing about working at Emmaus Suzy replied, “The people of course, both the clients and the staff. My Supervisor has always been really good to me and it helps me reflect that same level of care and commitment back to my team. I sometimes have trouble on the technical side of things because it is often changing but my team is always there to help me understand everything when I need it.

Thanks for ALL that you did and continue to do at Emmaus.

We greatly appreciate you, Suzy!

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