Child Welfare League of America

Bob Danzig spent his entire childhood in foster care. Inspired by a social worker at age 11 who told him, “Never forget, you are worthwhile” he grew from office boy to CEO of Hearst Newspapers. He has authored 10 books and is in the Professional Speakers' Hall of Fame. Bob was the first recipient of our CWLA “Champion For Children” award and the first recipient of the National Speakers Association, “Philanthropist of the Year” award. Bob says, “I never have stopped hearing that Social Worker's words—they are a tattoo on my spirit.”

Bob recently re-connected with Mae Morse, the social worker who was an inspirational asset to him. With help from the Albany NY Times Union, he found her in a nursing home in Scotia, NY. Bob made an appointment to visit her and recounts their meeting,

“Waiting in the lobby on a love seat with embroidered flowers, I heard the automatic door “woosh” open. An aid pushed a wheelchair occupied by a pure white-haired lady—hair done up immaculately and a bit of rouge on her cheeks. The aid left. I kneeled down next to the wheelchair and said, “Miss Morse…”

She interrupted me, saying, “Call me Mae!”

I then said, “Mae, you were my social worker, moving me to yet another foster home when I met you. That day and every single time you met with me, you always said to me, ‘Never forget you are worthwhile.’ Your words became a tattoo on my spirit. I am here to tell you I never forgot your words.”

Mae leaned close to my cheek and said, “I told every foster child that.”

In that moment I realized I was not special. It was Mae Morse who was special. When I went to leave the nursing home, standing at the doorway I turned to wave goodbye. Mae waved back and said, “Never forget, you are worthwhile.

I have never forgotten.”



to comment