It was the night before Christmas, and all through the hospital, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…now that is not exactly true! First of all there are no mice and second there is a lot of stirring. There are nurses and doctors, lab and radiology techs, housekeepers and dietary staff…the list goes on and on. Although it is a little quieter than the average Wednesday, there are plenty of us here on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Disease and injury know no special dates or times. We are here 24/7 and ready for whatever may come. We will even be ready at the Fly High Fitness Studio and the Paul W. Ahrens Fitness and Rehab Center for exercise after all the eating that seems to come with the holidays!
This year Suzanne Cooner (vice president of operations) and her husband Russ decided to help with a special Christmas Day lunch and dinner at the hospital. With financial help from many others, and the support of our nutrition services department, a festive holiday meal is planned. Now this is nothing new for our employees working on the holiday, we often have special meals for them and their families. However, this year we invited any of our employees that may be alone for Christmas or may be struggling a bit financially and would appreciate an opportunity to break bread with other members of our team. Last I heard we are expecting around 75 to a 100 people!
Then there is the story of the family of six headed out to Washington State and involved in an accident. They wrecked their car, fortunately no major injuries, but now stranded in Grinnell. This family is having a tough Christmas…lost both their jobs and home in Indiana and so decided to sell everything and take a small U-Haul with what was left of their belongings out to stay with family all the way up near Spokane. Then the car gets totaled…now what? They found themselves in a place where good ol’ Iowa hospitality is alive and well. Iowans rally to their cause of course. They help with food, hotel bills, and ultimately a bank kicks in to fly them out to their relatives. I heard one of our staff members talking about the fact that the family sold the Christmas gifts to help pay for the long car trip out west. Next thing you know, folks around here start raising some funds and Brenda Peck and Lisa Cowan (two of our employees) headed out to buy some gifts! They said the kids jumping up and down would bring a tear to the eye!
People making a difference in the lives of others…whether it’s life saving medical treatment or in this case just good neighborly care and compassion for a family of strangers in need of a big Iowa hug.
For me it is pure joy to be associated with so many caring and dedicated people. If that doesn’t get you in the Christmas spirit, I don’t know what will. I would like to wish a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to your family - from ours.
The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent GRMC’s positions, strategies, or opinions.