It all started when one of my employee contact center representatives, Barnett Williams, was inspired and came up with a dynamic and meaningful team building activity for our HR shared services team. We would later name this new idea the "smiles project," which would have as its primary focus and purpose to give back to the children in our community by making them smile.
Barnett's plan was to have us create greeting cards for young patients. To support our Adventist Health System family, we chose to partner with Florida Hospital for Children. After coordinating with the hospital, the cards were printed with outlines of popular cartoon characters, and we colored in about 100 of them and added handwritten and signed messages to provide encouragement to the children. We also collected coloring books and activity books to present as gifts. By the end, our team was able to prepare two gift bags full of cards and activity books to take to the hospital.
I am very proud of my team for pulling this project together, all the while expressing pure enjoyment at the prospect of placing smiles on children's faces. I've been told by our Florida Hospital for Children contact that the cards have been delivered one by one to the patients and their families. She said, "These cards may seem like a small gesture, but when you put yourself in the shoes of these kids, in the midst of all the chaos, a card from someone who is thinking of you and praying for you is a blessing and a true symbol of hope."
All I can say is, what a great act of kindness and what an incredibly thoughtful team!