For several years, VNA staff members have been quietly working behind the scenes to provide some much-needed extra assistance to their patients. The medical services we provide are generally paid for by commercial insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. But when Christmas-time comes, many of our patients do not have the resources to purchase gifts or make a special meal for their family. That’s why VNA Home Health established its employee-driven Holiday Fund.
Staff members voluntarily contribute money each paycheck toward the Fund. Shortly before Christmas our nurses, rehabilitation specialists, and case workers request gifts for their most needy clients. Utilizing the Holiday Fund money, gift cards to Walmart or Price Chopper are purchased for them. The gift cards are hand-delivered to the surprised and grateful patients.
We were also able to give our patients another special gift this year – a hand-made wreath to decorate their homes for the holiday! Through the Times Union’s “Circles of Caring” competition, a total of 171 holiday wreaths were created and donated to the newspaper. The wreath-makers received awards, and the wreaths were given to Capital Region not-for-profit organizations to distribute. VNA Home Health was one of the fortunate recipients of the wreaths, which were then delivered to patients along with holiday gift cards. Truly, the greatest reward this holiday was in seeing the delight and tears of joy on so many faces.
For many of our staff members, delivering these gifts, and seeing how much it means to the recipients, is one of the highlights of the holiday season. The Holiday Fund and the wreath donations are another way in which VNA Home Health goes above-and-beyond for its patients.