VITAS Employees Roll Up Their Sleeves to Support San Antonio Community
A January planning meeting among members of the VITAS team in San Antonio created a 2020 calendar for community volunteer initiatives. March was identified as the month for VITAS to sponsor and participate in a community blood drive.
“One of the things I love most about VITAS is that we’re focused on giving back.”
Then COVID-19 struck.
The March event was canceled, but employees’ enthusiasm to help their friends, neighbors, and healthcare partners never waned, says April Moxley, LMSW, San Antonio’s bereavement services manager and a 16-year employee.
In June, she contacted the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center, where representatives relayed an ongoing and dire need for donated blood.
Result: The blood drive was rescheduled for July and limited to VITAS employees because of the pandemic.
Thirty-one employees signed up, and 25 eventually rolled up their sleeves to donate after screening identified them as eligible. The event was held in a basement-level conference room of the VITAS office building, with safety and screening protocols that included donor checks for temperature, blood pressure, and iron levels.
“Everybody was willing to give and happy to participate in an event that supports our community,” says April, who also credits General Manager Joseph Brickner and Volunteer Manager Kasie Broherd for inspiring fellow employees to volunteer. “We work on a daily basis with hospitals in San Antonio, and it was nice to give back in a way that we know will help many.”
Employees who donated blood also received an extra benefit: free COVID antibody testing.
“One of the things I love most about VITAS is that we’re focused on giving back to the community and working with the community to help others,” April says. “It’s something that gives us purpose outside of our daily jobs and responsibilities. Being able to do this at work makes it even more special.”