Christmas is a time of year when our thoughts and actions focus on family and friends. Whether we spend an evening for a sit-down meal with people we care about, bake cookies for a friend, help to decorate or give a gift, we tend to take time to share and express gratitude.
During Christmas, there is also a heightened awareness and a natural tendency to shift our thoughts to those who may need a little extra help. And that’s exactly where our thoughts and actions went!
The Rural Avalon community health nursing team (Home and Community Care and Public Health), in recognition of our coworkers’ contribution to exceptional teamwork, has long carried out a special Christmas ornament exchange – until this year.
This year marks the first of our new initiative: to donate to charity instead.
Building upon the existing respect we have of each other and inherent leadership, we decided that every year each worksite representing the Rural Avalon community health nursing team would work together to select a charity.
“This team demonstrates the true meaning of Christmas on a daily basis, but as each holiday season draws near, there seems to be an even greater level of empathy for all people ,” says Renee Dobbin, nurse manager for Public Health, Rural Avalon.
“It was not surprising to hear that nurses chose to change their long standing Christmas tradition to an expression of hospitality, through giving from the heart.”
On December 4, 2014, the team gathered at a staff meeting and collected this year’s donation – approximately $300.
As community health nurses, we know the importance of vaccination and its positive impact on health. That’s why we chose to use our donation to help enhance vaccination programs for people around the world who are less fortunate, particularly children.
Though relatively small in terms of corporate donations, I believe it has significant potential for positive, long-term impact – on both its recipients and within our workplace.
This ‘new’ Christmas tradition will continue to cement teamwork, cohesiveness, commitment, leadership and a desire to make a difference – a perfect mix in the spirit of employee engagement and a healthy workplace. Our team is already looking forward to next year’s charitable donation!
As Renee says: “I feel blessed to work in an environment where good will is embedded in our core.”
On behalf of the Rural Avalon community health nursing team, we extend our wishes of a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. ■
This story was written by Natalie Morgan, clinical nurse coordinator with Public Health, Rural Avalon, with support from the community health nurses in Bay Roberts.