This week, and for the first time ever, GBMC celebrated "Random Acts of Kindness Week.” Our Marketing and Communications, Philanthropy and Human Resources Departments collaborated to bring this initiative to life. The goals were to thank our staff, our patients and their families and our donors for all that they do for the GBMC HealthCare System and to bring smiles to their faces. In addition, we conducted a canned food drive to give back to our community by supporting the Bea Gaddy Family Center. One alarming statistic shows that one out of eight Maryland residents struggle with hunger. The Bea Gaddy Family Center provides food to needy families throughout the greater Baltimore metropolitan area and throughout Maryland.
We didn’t come up with the idea on our own. Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Week, which started on Sunday, Feb. 14, is a national observance to encourage people in spreading kindness with “pay –it forward” actions. At GBMC these actions were spearheaded by the BeKind Brigade, comprised of GBMC staff from various departments, who randomly choose a certain hour on a selected date, to walk around the medical center and conduct random acts of goodwill. Others took initiative by conducting their own acts of kindness. For example, the care manager at our Perry Hall primary care practice, Lisa Anglin, surprised her colleagues with breakfast (pictured above)! What a great way to show her colleagues how much she cared about them.
On Tuesday, we distributed meal vouchers for the cafeteria to staff and patients and families. On Wednesday, we distributed parking vouchers to patients and family members. The patients that I gave vouchers to were stunned to be stopped in the hallway and receive this gift. Each person had a big smile on their face when I walked away.
We kicked off the festivities by distributing KIND bars to employees at GBMC and satellite locations while encouraging them to sign up for the Blood Drive. A total of 100 meal vouchers and on Thursday 100 free coffee vouchers were given to community members and employees.
Please remember that even though RAK week ends this coming Saturday, our canned food drive will continue until Monday, Feb. 29. Please consider dropping off non-perishable food items to one of our various 14 drop-off locations in the main hospital or at all GBMC primary care offices. We often see food drives being held around the holidays, but many of our local families are in need of food year round.
The GBMC staff always rises to the occasion to help people. Imagine how much better our society would be if the culture of “spreading kindness” took place every day, not just here at GBMC, but everywhere. I know that the GBMC family is up to this challenge to embrace showing kindness always.
Thanks to everyone who made this first Random Acts of Kindness Week at GBMC so successful.
Speaking of kindness, I also want to ask that you please join me in helping sexual assault victims in our community, as GBMC will be hosting Walk a Mile in Her Shoes®: The International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence. The one-mile walk event, in which men (wearing heels) and women (wearing tennis shoes), is taking place as a way to educate the community and support our SAFE and domestic violence program. We encourage men and women to register for the event, slated for Saturday, Apr. 16 from 11 AM to 1 PM, by visiting: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/walk-a-mile-in-her-shoes-tickets-20458939238 or if you can’t participate, but, want to financially support a registered participant, please visit: https://www.crowdrise.com/walkamileinhershoes5/fundraiser/