NANNY NAMED "2009 CARE.COM CARE HERO"
Long-time child care provider recognized for her service and dedication.
This year, Care.com honors Linnette Sewell of northern New Jersey as the 2009 Care.com Care Hero in recognition of her dedication to providing loving, quality child care. For the past eight years, Sewell has worked tirelessly as a nanny, devoting herself in the role of caregiver to two children-one of whom has faced severe challenges since birth.
Ellen Seidman, Sewell's long-time employer, nominated the nanny for the award in recognition of her exemplary work with both of her children, but specifically with her son, Max, 7. Max had a stroke at birth that resulted in brain damage; his parents were told he might never walk or talk.
Despite the complications surrounding Max's birth, "Linnette did not waiver," said Seidman. "She was prepared to put in whatever it would take to help him come along and give him a chance. I'm a working mom, and Linnette was the one who was mostly there for therapy sessions."
"It's been seven years now, and Linnette has done everything within her power to help Max," continued Seidman. "She is his biggest cheerleader. When Max finally crawled at age two, when he took his first steps at age three, when he spoke his first few words, Linnette was just as proud as my husband and I were."
Throughout the month of November, Care.com collected the stories of real-life care heroes-men and women who have devoted their lives to caring for others. From across the nation, families like the Seidmans shared how caregivers helped make life possible through sharing their love, dedication and service.
"Every day, working families rely on caregivers like Linnette Sewell to look after their children and loved ones," said Sheila Lirio Marcelo, Founder and CEO of Care.com. "Often, the efforts of these men and women go overlooked. Care.com held the Care Heroes contest to bring attention to the great work that babysitters, nannies and senior caregivers perform on a daily basis for the ones they love."
Today, in large part to the love and dedication Sewell has shown as a nanny, Max walks and runs, despite the fact that he has mild cerebral palsy. He communicates and has a "great sense of humor and a special talent for bugging his sister," according to Seidman. "Max has done better than any of the doom-saying doctors could have imagined. I believe a large part of that has to do with Linnette, who has gone above and beyond the role of nanny to help Max thrive. Linnette is not just his caregiver-she is his patron saint."
When informed that she was the winner of the Care HeroesTM contest, Sewell (a mother herself) expressed her gratitude, saying that her true reward was the opportunity to work with children and shape the future of the next generation. She is the only nanny either of the Seidman children has known.
"It's really a very good experience, especially because I've been with [Max] since birth," said Sewell. "I've watched him grow and seen him overcome challenges and beat the odds. It feels great to be there for him. He's part of me after all these years of bonding."
As the winning Care Hero, Sewell will receive a $500 self-designed "Care Package" including hotel stay, tickets to a show and dinner in the city of her choice courtesy of Care.com.
Care HeroesTM is an annual contest held by Care.com to celebrate and honor care providers. Sewell was chosen after a month-long nationwide search, hosted on the Care.com Facebook Fan Page.
National Family Caregiver Month is organized each November by the National Family Caregivers Association (http://www.thefamilycaregiver.org/) and is a designated time every year to thank, support, educate and empower family caregivers.
Founded in 2006, Care.com is the largest and fastest growing service used by families to find high-quality caregivers, providing a trusted place to easily connect, share caregiving experiences and get advice. The company addresses the unique lifecycle of care needs that each family goes through: child care, special needs care, tutoring and lessons, senior care, pet care, housekeeping and more. The service helps families find and select the best care possible based on detailed profiles, background checks and references for hundreds of thousands of mom-reviewed providers who seek to share their services. Through its Care.com for Recruiters service, Care.com also enables companies to find high-quality caregiving employees.
For more information, visit www.care.com.