EMR Well-being Committee completes large-scale community involvement initiative, with gifts that keep on giving
Each year in Maryland, 50,000+ individuals experience homelessness*. And that’s just in Maryland. Because of this shocking number + in an effort to get involved on a hyper-local level, EMR’s Well-being Committee, alongside partner SparkVision, spent this past December and January collecting items for homelessness care kits. Sarah Kauffman, EMR billing clerk + the youngest of the Kauffman clan, was a lead on the project stating, “As we were coming up on winter, we thought this would be the perfect time to start planning. We researched the best items to collect – what people need most, what NOT to give, etc. When we reached out to staff we received incredible feedback from all 6 branches!”
So much in fact, that after the 8-week drive there were supplies to assemble 100 complete kits to put in the hands of 100 human beings. EMR matched the collections from the drive to produce the care kits full of functional, comforting items — hats, gloves, scarves, blankets, hand warmers, water bottles, snacks, hand sanitizer, chap stick — all in a reusable tote bag.
Cooking technician turned sales team member, Greg O’Keefe, also a lead on the project, stated, “We are privileged at EMR to not only have a good, secure job but to have a community/family culture to lean on. The opportunity to share those values and compassion with people in need is very rewarding. This program, spearheaded by our president Caroline Kaufman-Kirschnick, is in fulfillment of who we are as a company and who she aspires to be as our president.
To distribute the kits, EMR staff were given the opportunity to volunteer. 50 employees raised their hands to help distribute the kits – technicians, accounting, management, parts department, installation, and beyond. Techs are in the field all day driving from customer to customer, to the branch and back, seeing many people experiencing homelessness. Sometimes the same people every day; sometimes new. It’s widespread. “You never know what someone is going through. One little thing could change their day”, Sarah concluded.
A HUGE(!!!) thank you to all EMR staff who volunteered time, money, donations, and to distribute these essential items.
More on EMR’s Well-being Committee
Volunteer-based group of EMR staff formed in 2018 to make a positive impact across all EMR service territories. An inclusive approach to employee engagement that spans multiple areas of interest – Community, Finance and Physical Health. Lead by a team of 12 EMR staffers, initiatives like Homelessness Care Kits, mindfulness days, financial seminars, and 5k race fundraisers make up the types of wellness efforts we’re charged by. Want more? Head here to learn more about this program, and other EMR employee engagement efforts.
*2019 Healthcare for the Homeless, https://www.hchmd.org/homelessness-maryland