Friday, December 12, 2014
As we mark our the 5th Birthday of SPPRAK! It is hard to believe that we are where we are today. The lessons we have learned from all of you, our fellow SPPRAKers, are amazing. As we reflect on how we started, as a “fun” raiser for the local Light House Mission to collect personal items for the residence there, to our latest completed project (the Kindness Mural on Brown Ave in Terre Haute), we at SPPRAK realize how blessed we are to have embarked on the kindness journey with all of you!
So, on our birthday we celebrate all of our friends and co harts in the kindness journey. We encourage each of you to continue performing random acts of kindness, and the not so random acts. As always, and especially today, SPPRAK is grateful for each of you and all that you have done! Here’s to many more years for SPPRAK’s mission of kindness!
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Thanksgiving. Just saying that word gives you a good feeling, doesn't it? This is the time of year when people show their generous side. We also are shown the needs of people. As long as there are people, there will be problems. The saying, "you never know what battle someone else is fighting", rings a little more personal around the holidays. The battle is not important; it is how we all fight the war that matters. Orange Friday just ended, a successful campaign to feed the hungry on the Friday prior to Black Friday. It is vital to take care of those organizations that help feed the hungry in each of our communities. But what about the people we interact with everyday? Two agencies; VNA and Hospice of the Wabash Valley and Signature HealthCARE, in Terre Haute have decided this Thanksgiving to take care of the people that can’t really do that for themselves. Let’s talk to Jody Pomfort and Hailee Lauritzen from VNA and Hospice of the Wabash Valley. These two, both social workers at the agency, took it upon themselves to collect food baskets for patients that they knew needed them. “People who are sick don’t necessarily know about community resources. They miss deadlines due to being ill and family members are preoccupied or unable to help,” stated Jody. Just because those available resources are out there does not mean that everyone knows about them. “When we have a chance to help our patients, or anyone really, we should take that opportunity, don’t judge, just give.” Both agreed that the staff at VNA and Hospice are very helpful in getting in touch with people and letting them know about these resources. While our community has great initiatives, taking care of patients by going that extra mile is something both enjoy and feel are important in healing and making people feel more secure.
Marsia Lorick, HR Director and Sheryl Robinson, ADON at Signature HealthCARE, spearheaded collections for their employees that needed a little help this Thanksgiving. When asked why they decided to give to their employees who needed a little assistance, Sheryl stated that the people that they work with are considered family. That is what family does; they take care of each other. This is their second year of doing the Thanksgiving assistance program for their fellow employees and they both hope to carry it on. In addition, during Christmas the pair adds a Christmas Angel Tree to the mix for their employee’s children.
Both agencies are very active in the community. Signature HealthCARE is active with the Alzheimer’s Association as they host a Coffee and Caregiver group for unpaid caregivers. They also recently had a Thanksgiving dinner for residence and family.
Marsia stated she believes, "It's not just important to get involved in your community, but the place you work is considered your community." Sheryl summed up the sentiments of each of these women very well. When she was asked what the experience was like, she stated that it might be for selfless reasons that they continue to do the program, the pair gain far more than they give. It is a pleasure to be able to help others. They plan to continue their efforts.
Sheryl, Marsia, Jody and Hailee: SPPRAK® thanks each of you. All of you out there every day taking care of not only the needs of our community, but the needs of people close to you. You never know the good you have done, the ripple you have started and the lives that these gestures has changed. Well done ladies, well done! Happy Thanksgiving!
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Here are a few stories about companies that have encouraged their employees to give back as part of their working culture. Our hope is that once you read these you will share the amazing stories of your company or those you know of who have made a difference in your community!
First up, VNA and Hospice of the Wabash Valley. This home care and hospice is based in Terre Haute Indiana and, as a not for profit itself, understands the importance of giving to others. One of the ways they give back is by their monthly Blue Jean Fridays. Employees get to wear jeans, but have to pay $5 to do so. This in turn goes to the charity/nonprofit chosen for donation that month. The original Blue Jean Friday was a fundraiser for Orange Friday, an event that SPPRAK President Robin Heng, helped create. From that beginning in November 2009 through today Blue Jean Friday has resulted in $23,890.24 raised for local charities and occasionally the money has gone to employees in need. Many times, employees will give much more than the $5 required donation, resulting in this being a successful and fun fundraiser for the employees. VNA and Hospice has also been a supporter of SPPRAK since the beginning, and was the drop off point when we collected donations for Harrisburg IL tornado victims.
Next up is Regional Hospital, part of HCA group based in Nashville TN. HCA is a large corporation and their giving nature makes them even bigger! Terre Haute Regional Hospital is a supporter of SPPRAK, and their mission of kindness. Regional Hospital has adopted the SPPRAK pack program in their facility. The employees have also donated to our efforts when we traveled to Moore OK and Harrisburg IL. The employees and our friends that work there have risen to the occasion many times, collecting money for Orange Friday, other charities and fellow employees in need.
And last for today, but certainly not least, is Indiana American Water. Apparently this company encourages their employees to give back to the community in which they live and work but letting them have a paid day of service. Now that is putting their money where your heart is! On September 30, they spent time cleaning up a much graffitied fence. Where there was once an eyesore, the employees made an example of helping a property owner reclaim what is his. It is nice to get paid to help out, but the real reward is making a difference paid or not. Check out the pictures and video on our website! Indiana American Water was also instrumental in bringing the SPPRAK pack to the Vigo County Schools.
Now it is your turn! We want to tell your story, or better yet, have you tell your story! Is your company kind hearted? If yes, please share, if not, well now is a good time to start! No one said the president of the company has to start the trend, it can start with you! Share it, live it, because kindness matters!
Saturday, September 13, 2014
This week was the anniversary of a tragic event in America, the repercussions of which reached far beyond our shores. The children who were not even in school when this happened are now seniors in high school and college freshman. As those of us, who can remember clearly, remember and honor those who died in this and other events that are part of who we Americans are, wonder how can we change the world into a kinder and gentler place.
Can an act of kindness really make a difference? We talk about it, we practice kindness every day, and yet is it making a difference? The short answer is of course it is. The long term answer we have to wait and see. Our mission at SPPRAK® is to change the culture for our children, it is the reason for the SPPRAK® pack and why we want people to share acts of kindness with us on our Facebook page.
As a nation America has been a welcoming place, but due to the circumstances that has had to change. Unfortunate but true. This makes our mission more important. Acts of kindness can change people, your volunteering to serve your fellow man is not in vain.
While opening a door for someone, or buying another person coffee may seem like trivial acts in the big scheme of things, they really aren't. Because you don't know the effects that your kind actions have on someone. Like the saying goes, be kind because everyone is fighting some kind of battle themselves. Being kind isn't a Polly Anna activity, it is meant to make other people feel they are important because they are.
Kindness should reach across all barriers and shouldn't really have to diminish your beliefs, unless of course there are issues with those in the first place. Kindness does not require you to lay down, but to rise up and conqueror the unjust. Mother Teresa certainly did not have monetary gains but she was one of the richest women to have ever lived, simply because of her loving and kind spirit. She has effected millions with this message.
Today is a day to be kind, today is the day to change someone's life, to offer a hand up instead of beating someone down. Think about your words, your life will be richer by making someone else's life richer. Then share your story with us and our followers on SPPRAK® Facebook page
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Recently SPPRAK spent a Saturday asking people to write a word that meant kindness to them on the sidewalk with chalk. The goal was to litter the sidewalk with kind words. Another goal? To litter our world with kind words.