One of our staff members had a great idea, which we immediately put in place. Here's the description below in my email to the entire hospital. I post it here (without the actual link) as a suggestion to other organizations, hospital or not, as to something that you might want to consider. (I am also posting some of the first comments back from staff so you can see reactions.)
Subject: Holiday Letter Campaign to Support the Troops
The holidays are a time when families come together. But for active military personnel deployed overseas the holidays can be especially lonely and difficult.
Many of you support the troops on your own, but here’s a chance for BIDMC to help brighten the season for our colleagues and family members serving overseas. Let’s gather the names and addresses of all BIDMC employees and staff, as well as any of our family members, who are deployed on active military duty. We can then make that list available on the portal for anyone interested in sending out a holiday greeting.
We need to act fast to make this happen.
If you know the name and mailing address of a colleague or family member serving in the military, please click this link to fill out a form that includes the full name and mailing address of the service person being honored, as well as what department you work in and your relationship to this person.
This form will also be available in the BIDMC Today news section on the BIDMC Portal where we will post the names, addresses and information (we will start the postings early next week.) The rest is up to you.
Thanks to John Donaher, RN, Deac-4, for suggesting such a great idea.
Here are three replies:
Although I don’t have a loved one serving in the military I think this is a wonderful gesture and I hope many will rise to the occasion. I recently heard a piece on NPR about the recent push to email military holiday greetings and the press officer being interviewed stated that many personnel will never see those emails and the old fashioned letter is warmly received by those on active duty. For me, I will get names from the BIDMC Today next week to ask my 4th grade Girl Scout Troop to write letters at our meeting next Tuesday.
Ideas like this make BIDMC all the more human.
Thank you Paul, this is a wonderful idea. As a former military member this will really mean a lot to anyone who receives a greeting. Thanks!
What a wonderful idea. I am blessed to not be personally impacted with family there but will happily send some cards & get my kids to do some art work. Thanks for the avenue to make it happen.