canoe

‘Snow’ many opportunities to help others

My 14-year-old daughter randomly shared this thought with me while we were driving last night….

Mom, isn’t it amazing how one tiny snowflake that falls from the sky joins with all the others and creates these huge piles of snow? It’s just amazing.

I agreed with her and then jokingly said, “I’ll bet there’s a life lesson in there somewhere, but I’m too tired of all this snow to think what it might be.”

Later that evening, the lesson dawned on me. Throughout the last few days I’ve heard stories of people joining forces to help others during and after the massive snowstorm that hit our region. Many of those people are my coworkers. Alone they could do only so much, but like those snowflakes, they combined their efforts and the results multiplied into something amazing. Just a few examples:

Diakon Youth Services‘ Weekend Alternative Program still operated successfully, providing therapy to our youth clients. In addition to the usual strengths-based mentorship and social-competency lessons, program participants were exposed to snow-based team-building activities! (Who would have thought of canoeing in the snow?)

Although some parents expressed concern over travel bans, we assured them that their children would arrive home safely Sunday afternoon—which they did!

Diakon Senior Living – Hagerstown staff stayed on campus Friday night in anticipation of poor road conditions Saturday and worked through Sunday.

During the snowfall on Saturday, even though the roads on campus were being plowed continually, the volume of snow was accumulating so quickly that the van used to transport food from the main kitchen on campus to the assisted living residence became stuck.  It was nearly mealtime and the food was needed, so staff members from another building braved wind and snow to carry the pans of food across campus so there wouldn’t be a significant mealtime delay. The dietary, nursing and housekeeping departments worked together to serve the residents.

The team at Cumberland Crossings pulled together for the blizzard of 2016—staff went above and beyond what they typically do on a daily basis, whether they were responding to emergency calls, shoveling sidewalks, preparing and helping serve meals, calming residents, or delivering meals to cottage residents. Most staff members came to work Friday with bags packed, knowing they would be riding out the storm away from their own homes.

At The Lutheran Home at Topton, a team of overnight shift supervisors stayed the entire weekend and, as their supervisor described, “were the glue that held everything together.”

These are just a few examples; Diakon staff members at all senior living campuses and in community programs went above and beyond for those they serve. That dedication is typical of our staff!

Throughout Diakon this past weekend, staff members demonstrated purpose, teamwork and dedication.

Our mission—“In response to God’s love in Jesus Christ, Diakon will demonstrate God’s command to love the neighbor through acts of service”—is demonstrated over and over by our employees working together to make a difference….even on snow days!

They also proved that, as effective team members, they not only share that mission but also, in the midst of unique challenges, consistently apply the principles that mission entails.

And just as that one snowflake can, combined with all the others, accumulate into something amazing, our combined efforts create something incredible when we join forces to serve people in need.

By Melissa Kindall
Social Media and Special Communications Project Manager
Diakon Corporate Communications & Public Relations

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