We loved this article so much we just had to share…
Have you ever wondered who those people in yellow are, cleaning up the streets of Southside Bethlehem? They’re called the Bethlehem Ambassadors and they are here to stay…
Via Carole Gorney:
If you want to find people who really love their jobs, then talk to the Ambassadors – a team of eight workers dedicated to protecting the beauty, safety and commercial viability of Southside Bethlehem.
You can’t miss them. They are the ones wearing the bright yellow jackets and walking around the downtown area from 7 a.m. until 11:30 at night. You may see them greeting pedestrians, helping an elderly person cross the street, giving directions or sweeping and picking up trash. If you stop and talk to them, you can’t help but be impressed.
One of the Ambassadors you are likely to meet is Matt Jester, a Bethlehem Catholic HS graduate who joined the program a few months after it started in September 2014. He works full time on the safety team, but he makes sure you know that this is “definitely not just a job.” He explains that being an Ambassador gives him “a feeling of accomplishment by actually making a difference somewhere, somehow.”
The job, which has a strong emphasis on hospitality, has also made a difference in him, Jester says. “At first it was hard to go up to people you don’t know. I’m now more open.” He will also tell you that this job has taught him how to approach different situations and to make sure they don’t escalate. “You have to watch your body language and verbal language, as well, being careful what you say.”
Another safety team member you may run into on any given afternoon is Matt Madochick, who has been with the program since it started. The Salisbury HS graduate studied criminal justice at Northampton Community College, and worked for a time in law enforcement.
Madochick says he became an Ambassador because it helped keep him on his feet while he found a way to further his career in nursing and working with children. He is leaving soon to take a full-time job at KidsPeace. “This was definitely a bridge. You help people here every day. It is hitting me hard that I am leaving”
Both he and Jester will proudly give you specific examples of ways that they and the other Ambassadors provide help and make a difference, like the time the two Matts saved a man’s life.
“We found an unresponsive man on a park bench,” Jester recalls. “We took his vitals and called for EMS.”
Amazing stories. We really appreciate all that they do.