SHS Continues a Tradition of Giving This Holiday Season

Adopt A Family

In 2015, members of the SHS administrative team provided a holiday feast and gifts for a member of the community. Every year, the accounting department “adopts” two families and provides food and gifts for the holiday.

Upstairs in the Administrative area at Swope Health Services, you’ll usually find the accounting staff busy with the general ledger entries and accounts payable and similar tasks.

Except at this time of year.

Every December, for the last 26 years, Greg Adams turns his attention to taking care of others. Greg becomes an organizer and ringleader for SHS staff to provide clothing, toys and food for at least two families in need.

The recipient families are identified by the SHS Outreach Department. The case workers provide Greg with a list of items that would be helpful for the families.

Then Greg – Director of Accounting – creates a spreadsheet to track each item. He also rallies his co-workers who sign up to either purchase an item or contribute cash toward buying the necessary items, which always includes a holiday dinner of turkey with all the trimmings.

The spreadsheet tracks commitments and makes it easy to verify that this team effort fulfills the request list to help these families have a better holiday.

“It’s been a family tradition of ours since 1981,” Greg said, noting it began with his father, Paul, delivering gift baskets and care packages through City Union Mission. When Greg joined SHS in 1991, he brought the tradition to his office.

At SHS, the families who receive the gifts are always invited to come to the Administrative offices to meet with the SHS donors, usually members of the administrative, IT and finance teams. Greg welcomes donations from any associates and hopes to see the program expand to more departments across SHS.

“It’s just part of my history,” Greg said. “I grew up in public housing. I’ve been in their shoes and I want to help out.”

Would you like to help SHS support those in need? Consider a donation to SHS to help feed the homeless. See our donation page for ways to give online, via mail or with in-kind contributions.

How You Can Help Us Feed the Homeless This Holiday Season

In this holiday season, Swope Health Services invites you to help us feed the homeless.

SHS has launched a new program to provide prepackaged Heater Meals to the homeless community. Your donation helps us acquire the meals, which are distributed through the SHS Mobile Medical Unit and outreach programs.

Heater Meals are nutritious, pre-cooked entrees packaged with a self-heating pad, which is activated with water. The pad generates enough heat to warm up the meal in about 10 minutes. Each meal is balanced and nutritious, containing meats and vegetables, in a variety of combinations.

To join in, visit our Giving Page. A donation of $10 provides two meals. Any amount is welcome.

tenille-crawford

Tennille Crawford

This program was the brainchild of Tennille Crawford, SHS Adult Medicine Referral Coordinator.

“My Mom brought a package home from a church event and she gave it to me,” Tennille said. “I had never seen this before but I thought it might have promise for our homeless community.”

The package contains everything needed for a meal – cutlery, napkin, a wet nap, salt and pepper, plus the heating pad and water to activate it. The self-contained package has a two-year shelf life and features instructions in easy-to-use illustrations making it useful for those who lack fluency in English.

Tennille said she tried the meal and found it proved to be everything it said it was. “I thought, ‘Who can I tell about this?’” she said.

She researched the product, Heater Meals by Luxfer Magtech, a company based in Cincinnati, Ohio, and pitched the idea to SHS Vice President of Patient Services Michelle Keller.

Tennille’s timing was great, as SHS received sample Heater Meals and began promoting them at the SHS 2nd Annual Socks and Hops, an event to raise funds for the homeless.

Now Tennille is all smiles, high energy and full of excitement for the possibilities of making a difference in the lives of the homeless community. Tennille, who has worked at SHS for 10 years, previously supported the Mobile Medical Unit where she saw firsthand the needs of the community.

heater-meals“It was such a humbling experience,” she said. “The reason I am so passionate about the homeless is because any one of us can be in that situation.”

In her daily job, Tennille coordinates medical care for patients who are referred to specialists outside the SHS health system. She also assists with anything her clients might need – a place to shower or do laundry, transportation, clothing, employment opportunities and housing.

“It breaks my heart to have to turn anyone away,” she said. “I want to take care of as many people as I can.”

We welcome your tax-deductible support. Donations of any size are welcome, and a $10 donation covers two meals. Visit www.swopehealth.org/giving to contribute in any way – online donations, volunteering, with in-kind support, or food and clothing.