In a hospital-wide effort, the employees at Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital brought in more than $14,000 in May to benefit United Way.
Frankie Gallagher, Hazel Hawkins' marketing and public relations director, said the hospital has around 600 employees and noted, “This is the first time we have done anything like this. We’re really proud of the employees and their generosity and for committing to the different organizations in the community.”
The opportunity to take part in local philanthropy was presented by United Way, which uses the funds specifically in San Benito County. United Way supports many community needs but focuses primarily in the areas of youth success in school and life in general, family financial independence and good health for all local residents. Teknova, a local bio-tech company, had a successful employee fundraiser for United Way earlier this year.
Lynn Gomez, vice president of the Human Resources Department for the hospital said, “We had one meeting I set up for departments to send a representative to lead the United Way (fundraiser) in each department.” Nearly 30 employees showed up for a luncheon where they were given an overview of the program and learned about the program’s deadlines. “They left very motivated and the results speak loudly for the wonderful hard work all of them did so willingly,” Gomez said.
The campaign brought in 85 contributors and makes Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital the largest local contributor to United Way of San Benito County to date. Gomez said, “ That is a lot of funding to be granted out to local programs through our wonderful network of nonprofits.”
Their philanthropy went beyond donations, as the hospital now has three or four employees participating in United Way meetings, taking part in committees and staying involved in the last stage, giving out United Way funds.
"This is always a wonderful program," Gomez said. "I am thrilled our Board Chair, Mrs. Mary McCullough, offered me the opportunity to spearhead this committee. We had fun and it was heartwarming to see the results. “Lastly, my pride in this hospital comes from how they so willingly gave back to our community without thought. This community gives to us daily by using our many facilities and this was our way of giving back.”
Gomez thanked the employees who volunteered in United Way’s whole process. “We had a very successful fundraising event for Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital this year. We are so proud of our employees who give so generously back to the community,” she said.
Some of the employees were able to gather at the end of a work shift for an ice cream social, hosted by the hospital. Afterwards, they gathered in the hospital lobby for a group photo, celebrating their accomplishment.