Alexis Kirk
Alexis Kirk

VAN WERT – When Alexis Kirk goes to work each morning, she has a cheerful spring in her steps because she knows that those around her are going to make her day, both those that she works with and the individuals that they work with.

Kirk is an assistant with clients at the Mercer Residential Services, Inc. (MRSI) in the Van Wert branch. She has been working there now for four years.

“They are always so cheerful,” said Kirk, of the clients. “They always make the day interesting. I am very passionate about this. I have a caring heart for them, and they care about us, too. If someone has a rough day, I give them a shoulder and a listening ear. They do the same for us.

“A lot of them don’t have a lot of people in their lives,” continued Kirk. “We are more like an extended family.”

When Kirk graduated from high school, she worked in fast-food restaurants. Then she had the opportunity to work as a house parent in a group home. Eventually, she was recommended for the job at MRSI, and she accepted it.

One thing that Kirk enjoys is interacting with the clients on community service opportunities. She noted that almost every day, the individuals go on some type of field trip. They also do some type of exercise visit such as walking or going to the YWCA. But they also perform community service at places such as the Humane Society or various veteran organizations. They also work at the local food pantry or a thrift store in Fort Wayne.

“This has all made me more patient and tolerable,” said Kirk. “I also enjoy working with them in their crafts and various projects. In fact, it has made me want to take up making crafts as a personal hobby. Whenever help is needed, I am there for them.”

Kirk said that she was originally from Lima, and then her mother moved to Van Wert. She graduated from Van Wert High School in 2010.

“She is very good at perceiving the individual needs,” said Francie Carmain, adult day service coordinator. “She will do anything for the people. They all really appreciate her.”

“I really like this,” said Kirk. “I could do this for the rest of my life. The people pick up sometimes if we are hurting, and they want to be there for us, too.”