Monday, August 4, 2008

Emory Crawford Long Hospital Celebrates History Through Service

Most people don't equate celebrating a birthday or important milestone by making hard work an actual part of that celebration. But Emory Crawford Long Hospital, which this year marks its 100th anniversary, is celebrating its history in a unique way.

Employees will volunteer their time and efforts as part of the hospital's "100 Days of Service" campaign - a summer long commitment to serving the communities who have supported Emory for a century.

"Our goal in this process is to encourage staff to donate time in the community in whatever capacity possible," says Tracy Russell-Gonzalez, director of guest and volunteer services. "As part of this program, we hope to give back to our communities in a way that is meaningful, fun and also builds community spirit among our own employees."

The process began with a volunteer fair at Emory Crawford Long Hospital in April where 16 local organizations set up tables. This allowed employees to talk to the organizations one-on-one and find an avenue that piqued their interest.

As soon as Roxann Arnold, director of patient accounts, saw the Ronald McDonald House volunteer table, she was sold. "I am partial to any volunteer work that has to do with children," says Arnold. Inspired by her time at the Ronald McDonald House, Arnold now collects beverage tabs for the organization and has encouraged her friends to do the same.

The volunteer process continues through August 30. Upon conclusion, volunteer hours will be totaled, and awards handed out for involvement. Staff volunteers are encouraged to bring their families to volunteer, as there are many family-oriented volunteer opportunities.

"I hope folks will bring their youngsters and start a generational process," says Russell-Gonzalez.

Megaan Lorenzen, endoscopy nurse manager, did just that by taking her two children to the Atlanta Food Bank to volunteer. "The kids were excited to be allowed to do something to help people and they thought it was 'cool` that kids could actually make such a huge impact," says Lorenzen.

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