The Transformative Effects of Giving Back

Two Tips to Help Guide Your Own Charitable Program

How would you like to go to the Academy Awards? It’s a night to get dressed up, leave the kids with the babysitter, eat fancy food, maybe even receive long overdue recognition for work well done, even a career’s worth of work well done. It would be a night to remember as it was for the more than 600 attendees of the March of Dimes’ Nurses of the Year Awards, “the Academy Awards for nurses” as described by one fan of the event.

March of Dimes said the purpose of the event is to honor nurses, these unsung heroes and the amazing work they do while raising funds toward the March of Dimes’ mission to make sure every baby is born healthy. Attendees say it is a wonderful night, very emotional, an evening of shared joy that the nurses love and are effusive in their appreciation for it.

2019 March of Dimes Nurses of the Year Awards
  Left to right, Tim Higdon, Faultless Healthcare Linen; Jodi Myers, winner, surgical services category; Eva Carp, Cerner Corporation and chair of the 2019 March of Dimes Nurses of the Year Awards.

There is something beautiful in the circularity of this event – the March of Dimes celebrating the nursing profession and in so doing raising awareness among the nursing community and its fans, friends and family about the March of Dimes and its mission.

Faultless Healthcare Linen has long been in the fan and supporter cohort of both nurses and the March of Dimes. We have had individual employees commit their time to the charity. As a company we have served as sponsor of this gala event. Our involvement is in part an extension of the role we play in providing to hospitals and other health-related facilities quality, comfortable linens that are hygienically clean and safe for a patient community that both nurses and the March of Dimes care for daily.

This is just one of many thousands of good causes in any community. Every need has its merits and it can be challenging knowing when to say yes, or no, when the opportunity to give support comes your way. Even a few guidelines can serve to help you, your employees and community know when a partnership is right. Here are a couple of ours.

Support what matters to your people and your brand.

What are the causes about which many, if not most, of the team is passionate?
Does your product or service naturally lend itself to a particular need?
Compare these two and see how it guides you.

At ImageFIRST and Faultless, we support charities all around the country selected by our associates, to which we contribute money and support our associates’ donation of time so that our efforts may bring lasting change to those in need. The March of Dimes Nurses of the Year Awards gala blends perfectly the individual interests of our employees and, as a company, to celebrate the awesome professionals who literally come in contact with our product every day.

Consider a need that has low awareness and may be underserved.

What is the connection between an industry leading healthcare linen rental and laundry service provider and kids in the foster care system?
The enormity of the challenges faced by foster care kids boggles the mind and the touchpoint we found with them will break your heart.

Some facts:

  • On any given day, there are nearly 443,000 children in foster care in the U.S.
  • On average, children remain in state care for nearly two years.
  • The average age of kids entering into foster care is 8.
  • More than 10 percent of children in foster care live outside of family settings, in institutions or group homes.
  • In 2017, more than 17,000 young people aged out of foster care without permanent families.
    childrensrights.org
  • One quarter to one half of children experience three or more placement changes during their first year of foster care.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4204626/

We have the great good fortune to work with Children’s Mercy Kansas City, the best place for children’s medical care in the greater Kansas City region. According to the hospital, each year its Division of Child Adversity and Resilience team works with nearly 3,000 children by identifying, preventing and treating all forms of child abuse. The team collaborates with social workers and governmental agencies throughout Kansas and Missouri to develop appropriate state responses to child maltreatment.

Faultless Healthcare Linen’s (left to right) Jesse Geisel, Mark Spence and Jack Jester with one of Children’s Mercy comfort care bags the company sponsored, given to children in foster care filled with comfort items and to carry their personal belongings.
  Faultless Healthcare Linen’s (left to right) Jesse Geisel, Mark Spence and Jack Jester with one of Children’s Mercy comfort care bags the company sponsored, given to children in foster care filled with comfort items and to carry their personal belongings.

Faultless has come alongside Children’s Mercy to sponsor its SCAN (Safety, Care & Nurturing) clinic comfort bags. These are provided to patients who may have been removed from their home and put into foster care. The clinic often sees children within 24 hours of placement in a shelter or new home. These children frequently do not have any belongings, including clothes, comforting items or toiletries.

We learned that the comfort bag itself is a sacred thing as children often move homes in the first few months in foster care. Having their own bag to carry their limited belongings can make a huge difference. Comfort bags include items like a blanket, stuffed animal, coloring book and crayons, an infant/toddler board book, journal, ear buds and a stress ball (items vary depending on the age of the child). Each year, around 500 bags are given to children in need.

This small example of giving back resonates deeply with us. It reminds us that our standards for safety, quality and comfort for the healthcare rental and linen services we provide hospitals and related facilities ultimately, and literally, touch people, often young people like those in the foster care system. We have learned a lot about this hard issue and are eager to grow awareness of and support for children’s needs in foster care.

Giving back can be transformative for the associate experience; essential for the growth and wellbeing of the people, businesses and non-profit service organizations around you; and the building blocks of the quality of life you want for you, your family and community.

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