For Christmas this year, Life Care Center of Elyria, Ohio, residents received gifts from someone other than just their families and the employees at the nursing and rehab center.
RIDGID® in Elyria formed a committee of employees called Professional Tools Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This group’s goal is to create a community of colleagues that foster and encourage a culture of togetherness across the organization.
In 2020, and again in 2021, the committee chose to have an angel tree gift drive for 30 of the residents at Life Care Center of Elyria.
“I think this is such a nice group of younger, culturally diverse individuals doing this because they want to give to the seniors in our community,” said Terri Hodgeman, senior director of business development at the facility.
Although in 2020, the volunteers were unable to come inside the building due to COVID restrictions, they were able to do so this year on Dec. 17 in their masks. Not only did they drop off gifts for the seniors, but they also brought a personalized stocking for each of the residents, filled with personal care items.
“They bought such nice gifts and found a lot of joy in giving,” said Terri.
“The DE&I Committee was formed in October 2020, and we wanted to start off strong by doing something meaningful for the community,” said committee member Michelle Athanas. “While brainstorming, it naturally came up to do a holiday gift drive for children. However, it was mentioned that a group often forgotten about during the holidays are our senior citizens. This is especially true during COVID, when visitations are limited. Thus began our annual tradition of the angel tree. The committee and all the employees that participate love this event. There’s a certain joy when you know you made someone’s holiday that much brighter just by thinking about them. Employees were even asking about the angel tree weeks before the Christmas tree was up and, once up, ornaments were gone faster than expected! We all have fun shopping, crafting, wrapping, and finally delivering the gifts and cards. Overall, it feels amazing to make a difference in someone’s life!”
Associates at Life Care Center of Elyria delivered the gifts room to room to the residents on Christmas Eve.