Employees Come Together to Benefit Others

One non-profit was founded in 1981. The other started two years later.

The first one supplies food to needy residents in seven mid-Michigan counties and the second provides emergency housing and support services for local families.

Children benefit from both charities and that was a big reason why employees of the Laboratory department at McLaren Greater Lansing chose the Greater Lansing Food Bank and Haven House as their designated beneficiaries during the 9thannual Simple Gift Holiday Tree Program.

This is not the first time the Lab participated in the Foundation program designed to support charitable organizations, as well as families and individuals in need, during the holiday season. But Lori Wood, laboratory outreach supervisor, said she and her colleagues chose to sponsor two trees so they could help as many children as possible.

“When the parents are struggling making ends meet, their children feel the effects,” she said. “Economic hardship, although sometimes temporary, brings a great amount of stress to the family unit. The families appreciate the assistance.”

A record-high 41 trees were entered in the program as 45 departments across McLaren Greater Lansing, McLaren Orthopedic Hospital, and Mid-Michigan Physicians decorated artificial three-foot trees in a theme of their choosing and also donated gifts that were delivered to their designated beneficiaries by December 20.

“We were placed on this earth to serve,” Wood added. “Being able to provide for a family in need is such a great feeling.”

Christina DeBoer, a third-year resident in the Family Medicine Residency Clinic at McLaren Orthopedic Hospital, expressed sentiments similar to Wood.

“It’s just a nice thing to do for kids in the community whose parents might not be able to get them presents for Christmas,” she said. “I really enjoy interacting with kids at our clinic and if we can do something to help them and their families during the holidays, I’m all for it.”

Superheroes was the theme of the Family Medicine Residency Clinic’s tree, and its decorations included handmade craft paper ornaments that included Captain America shields, Superman logos, and the face of The Incredible Hulk.

The Residency Clinic chose Tots for Tots as its beneficiary, as did a group comprised of employees from Environmental Services, Compliance, Finance, Marketing, and Physician Liaisons.

Environmental Services has a well-deserved reputation for being very generous when it comes to supporting programs involving employees, but it outdid itself as it donated 15 bicycles of various types, sizes, and colors.

Tony Yeo, manager of Environmental Services, said the department set a goal in January to donate eight bikes. But that number was surpassed not long after the department starting raising funds in September.

“We have a handful of employees who are really good at getting people behind things like this,” he said “We have four or five employees who have worked here for more than 40 years and they are very proud of what they do. They are just very generous.”

In addition to the bicycles, the tree with a theme of Bikes for Tikes also included bicycle accessories such as key cable locks.

The WeCare Committee’s theme of A Whitey Tighty Christmas may have sounded a little unusual to some, but it made sense based on the needs of its designated beneficiary, City Rescue Mission of Lansing.

Sarah Ferguson, a compliance specialist, figured warm clothing and food products might top the Rescue Mission’s list of needs. But she was surprised to learn that underwear for women and children, as well as cough drops and tissues, were in great demand.

“We take it for granted,” Ferguson said about the request for underwear. “It seems like such a basic thing, but there is a real need out there.”

With that in mind, the WeCare Committee donated 120 pairs of underwear, 50 boxes of Kleenex, and nearly 30 bags of cough drops to the Rescue Mission.

Ferguson said she enjoys supporting the Simple Gift Holiday Tree Program because sometimes people get so focused on their own lives that “we don’t think outside of ourselves.”

She then added, “It’s not always about us. It’s about McLaren and the community or however you want to think about it. It’s about doing something good for others.”

Photos of most of the trees from the Simple Gift Holiday Tree Program are posted on the Foundation’s Facebook page: facebook.com/mglhf.