January 2018
1000 Tamales
Marcus Engel
Ya know, there are a lot of companies that say, "We treat you like family."
When I hear this, it gives me pause, especially since the majority of families have, to some degree, levels of dysfunction. But, it's a nice goal to strive for.
In healthcare, where I spend the majority of professional time, that notion of family is even more prevalent. Lots of hospitals talk about how the employees of a facility are a family. Good stuff, too, because wouldn't every sick person like to have a family member taking care of them instead of a stranger?
The reality is, though, that this idea of family is challenged the larger an organization gets. I mean, very few of us have families of hundreds.
Earlier this month, I had the privilege to work with Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits, California. Howard Memorial is one of those facilities that puts their money where there mouth is when it comes to taking care of one another.   
We've seen horrible mudslides and way too much Natural Disaster in Cali over the last couple weeks, but do you remember back in September and October when the fires were out of control? Howard Memorial was in the path of those fires. Due to the planning and preparation, the hospital was safe... but not so much the homes of some employees. Specifically, the home of Regina.
Regina is a long time employee at Howard and has worked in Materials Management. Keeping those supply closets filled is super important in hospitals, so I always tip my hat to those who work in the supply chain.
Unfortunately, Regina's home was not spared in the fires. It was a complete loss. When one member of a family loses something, everyone feels that emptiness. This loss was also felt by the housekeeping staff.
What did these housekeepers do? They created a fundraiser to help Regina and her family.  

The housekeepers cooked 1000 tamales and sat up a stand in the hospital lobby.  In under an hour, they sold out.
One employee of Howard said, "Checks and cash were just being thrown at them despite how many tamales were received."
This story does my heart good! It's a perfect example of self empowerment and generosity. And it is the life's breath of one of my favorite quotes:
"Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, 
In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, 
At all the times you can, To all the people you can, 
As long as ever you can."
John Wesley
Faithful reader, what can you do today, right now, with what you already have, that can change a life?
Whether it's time or tamales, collecting pennies or compassionate presence, who around you is hurting and who needs what you can provide? This, dear friend, is one way we help make the world a better place for each of us. 

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