Giving back during a pandemic: support from afar
This holiday season, perhaps more than ever before, we’ve seen vulnerable populations in need of support physically, emotionally, and financially. We knew our call to action exceeded that of conducting patient testing within the four walls of our laboratory. Our inherent need to create further impact compelled us to end this year on a positive note, by way of giving back to our fellow community members, both near and far.
In response, Acutis’ Social Responsibility Response Committee (SRRC) – a committee dedicated to bettering our communities through socio-economically, culturally, and environmentally-driven ventures – developed its final project for the year, the Acutis SRRC Holiday Initiative. The goal of this initiative was to support our local community members in need during this holiday season, by focusing on two demographic groups in particular: children and the elderly. With these two beneficiary groups in mind, we developed a two-part initiative, focusing on USPS’ Operation Santa and our Letters to Elders program.
Each year, the United States Postal Service (USPS) hosts their annual Operation Santa program, which allows individuals or organizations to “adopt” letters to Santa from children in need across the US to help make their wishes come true. Requests ranged all the way from remote-controlled truck to skateboard to electric toothbrush. Team Acutis adopted letters from three children, and was able to gather and donate a total of twelve wrapped presents, to be delivered before Christmas morning.
Another group who has been impacted particularly hard by the pandemic across the nation is our elderly population. As many residents of elder care organizations were unable to have visits from family as they would in normal times, we wanted to find a way to bring some joy and hope to these residents from a safe distance. The team developed our Letters to Elders program to send cards and letters of encouragement to residents of two organizations: the Betsy Ross Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in upstate New York and Brightview Senior Living in suburban Boston. With a full team effort, we were able to send 228 inspirational cards to the residents of these organizations.
While we were excited about the outcomes of USPS’ Operation Santa and our Letters to Elders program, we were thrilled to able to take our efforts just one step further. Over the two-week duration of our initiative, the team also collected monetary donations to help fund gift and card purchases, as well as wrapping and shipping of the items. Even after taking these costs into account, we were able to raise $500 to donate directly to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
We were humbled by the overwhelming response and support from Acutis team members and their friends and family. Furthermore, we are grateful for the opportunity to partner with organizations such as the USPS, the Betsy Ross Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, and Brightview Senior Living, who enable us to make meaningful connections with our neighbors during such difficult times for all.
To be a part of team Acutis is to be a part of a community, within the walls of the lab, and outside of it. From our dedication to patient care through exceptional service and leading science, to our commitment to volunteerism and support of our community members, we are unwavering in the pursuit to surpass expectations. In these most uncertain times, our commitment remains steadfast.