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Hospital’s Angel Tree helped co-workers in need

Novant Health Foundation Rowan Medical Center

 SALISBURY – The humbling experience of helping others — and being helped — touched many lives at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center last month.

The Christmas holidays are traditionally a joyful time of year. For many low-income families, thought, holiday gift-giving is an added stress and hardship.

Rick Parker, executive director of Novant Health Foundation Rowan Medical Center, has seen these challenges firsthand. Parker helps administer the foundation’s emergency assistance fund, which provides short-term help to employees facing financial hardships.

“Our emergency assistance fund, which can be used to help team members pay for things like rent and utility bills, was utilized more in 2016 than any other year I know of,” Parker said. “So, going into the holiday season, we knew that there would be a number of families who would be struggling to provide presents for their children.”

To be sure no child went without a gift during the holidays, the foundation worked with the medical center’s senior leaders to organize an “Angel Tree” for Novant Health Rowan Medical Center employees.

While most of the families were adopted by individuals, several were sponsored by Rowan Medical Center departments, including the emergency room, critical care unit and telemetry monitoring unit.

In all, the medical center’s staff assisted 26 families who asked for help, providing presents such as new bicycles, dolls, books, diapers and clothing to 53 children.

“It was a very humbling experience for everyone involved,” Parker said. “One woman I spoke with has three children, and she didn’t know where Christmas was going to come from this year because things were very tight for her financially. So the Angel Tree was literally an answer to her prayers. For us, it was an opportunity to show that the Novant Health family cares about her and all our team members.”

The Novant Health Foundation Rowan Medical Center is a nonprofit organization that works to promote better health for people in Salisbury and Rowan County. To learn more about the foundation and how it is helping transform our community, call 704-210-6880.

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