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Highlighting employee’s positive impact

Charles Blakely has been a driver with our Transportation Department for four years. He is being recognized for his compassion, dedication and the wonderful service he provides each day.

After retiring from the Department of Veteran Affairs, Charles wanted something to do with his time, so he began working at Community Services. Prior to that, Charles served in the Navy and he worked at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center and Bethlehem Steel. He said he continues to work at our agency because he truly enjoys it. He likes his coworkers and the individuals he sees every day.

Transportation Manager Jonathan Brant said, “Charles has a unique character, personality and class that I wish I could replicate. He is the kind of person that makes the world a better place.”

Jonathan said Charles displays good manners, respect, compassion, a code of ethics, and a dedication to serve others every minute of every day, and he does it all with humility. Charles has a positive attitude, even when he finds himself in sticky situations. He manages to brighten even the worst days. He treats everyone with dignity and respect.

Charles would say that he is just doing his job, but in reality he provides exemplary service every day. Charles engages the people he serves and their families and support groups. He ensures that the individuals on his bus and their loved ones are confident that they are in good hands when placed in his care.

Charles does a million little things that have monumental impacts. When he sees that the floor is dirty, he sweeps it. He cleans a mess when he finds one, helps push out a car stuck in the snow, shovels snow when the plow doesn’t quite get everything, and helps brush off the snow of others’ cars. Charles reminds his coworkers that everything will be okay when they feel overwhelmed and so much more.

He goes above and beyond by reaching out to families of the people he transports and communicates if he will be early or late. During the cold weather, Charles made sure that no one had to wait in the cold for him. He works with programs to let them know if there are any issues or concerns with the people he transports, and he keeps everyone safe.

Executive Assistant Colleen Sullivan said, “My daughter, Reilly, was getting on the van and somehow she wrapped the seat belt around one of her tires of her wheelchair. Charles was very calm, did not blame her or make her feel bad, and talked to her as he fixed it to keep her calm.”

Charles’ charm will win you over instantly. His kindness and warm personality will improve your day in just one short conversation. Charles is an absolute gentleman and a role model for everyone. Thank you, Charles, for all that you do to support the people we serve and your coworkers. We are so lucky to have you as a part of the Community Services Team!

Charles Blakely headshot