Saturday, December 01, 2007

Supporting the Troops

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.


Dayna said...

Paul, I'm a Daisy Troop Leader, and we just made cards for the soliders at Walter Reed Medical Center - the kids made Santas and Reindeers with their hand prints.

If you don't get specific people to send them to - I can forward along the address to Walter Reed.

By the way, GREAT idea, and a wonderful way to support the troops!

As a side note, thanks for linking to my blog!

Christine G. said...

paul, can you contact me? our webelo's den is looking to do this but we're not sure how to get the letters TO the troops. i asked a marine friend to give me a list of names and addresses but he has yet to get back to me. and i don't want to go through some 'agency' that i'm not familiar with.

you can count our 14 boys in as participants. we've got the cards -- we just would love to know where to send them.

thank you

Anonymous said...

According to my dictionary, the word you are searching for is "troops."

Outraged Liberal said...

You misspelled your headline!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, OL and anon! Fixed.

Amusings_bnl, our employees are providing the mailing addresses to their friend and relatives, and they will be posted on our company's intranet. I'll figure out a way to get the list to you.

Dayna, tahnks, but we are already getting submittals, so I don't think that will be a problem.

Christine G. said...

dayna -- please be aware that we researched the Walter Reed angle with our cub scouts. if the envelopes are not addressed to a soldier by name, they do not distribute the cards AT ALL. they are discarded. No lie.

for details. i went as far as to call the hospital myself because my heart of hearts wanted to think that there was no way on earth a hospital would deny our messages to people... messages of healing and encouragement. their policy is clear -- anything could be in the cards. anything. anthrax, whatever... and there is no way to sit and open them all... one by one... to ensure the safety of the hospital and staff.

your daisies may not get their messages through if you go that route. which is why i was looking for a list of actual names from a marine friend.

i hate being a debby downer. but i don't want your girls to have their time and effort land in the trash.