LifeLinks, Inc., the largest provider of services to individuals with mental retardation and other forms of developmental disabilities in Greater Lowell, is just one of many nonprofit agencies routinely receiving the volunteer service and support of Bristol-Myers Squibb Medical Imaging’s community-minded employees.
Each year, more than 20 Medical Imaging employees help LifeLinks to overcome the obstacles faced in addressing the expensive repairs needed for a dozen residential homes in the community. Without having to hire outside expertise, they manage to combine their collective home repair skills and complete all needed repairs with thoroughness and quality, giving the nearly 30 developmentally disabled people living in these homes beautiful and safe homes to live in.
The LifeLinks Community Center is a thriving and busy classroom and therapeutic setting where daily 135 community members with the most severe levels of developmental disabilities come for education, therapy and recreation activities. The Center takes a lot of physical abuse and each year needs many small and moderate repairs and painting. Tens of dozens of Medical Imaging employees take the lead each year to make these repairs with love and quality.
Less than 10% of LifeLinks’ annual budget is directed to administrative overhead. For the past five years, the volunteer office work of Medical Imaging employees has helped to free up thousands of dollars in overhead which LifeLinks has been able to put back into improving program services for the disabled.
Each year Medical Imaging has hosted LifeLinks’ Annual Barbecue donning aprons and wielding spatulas, as they cook and serve hot dogs, hamburgers and ice cream to nearly 150 individuals and their families, while other Medical Imaging volunteers coordinate outdoor games and challenges. These good works leave a lasting impression on the people served that Medical Imaging employees are truly their “friends.” This close relationship with people with disabilities has also opened the minds and hearts of Medical Imaging’s volunteers, with many expressing delight in their new friendships and greater awareness of the rich potential of people with disabilities.
In just this past year alone, Medical Imaging volunteers have not only improved the quality of life for community members with developmental disabilities, they have saved LifeLinks 47,500 in maintenance and repair costs and another $3,000 in donated office supplies and clerical help. In the past six years, Medical Imaging’s direct donations such as their Annual Golf Tournament and direct volunteer service have resulted in tens of thousands of dollars for Lifelinks, most of which was in the form of donated time and skills. They have donated an average of 350-400 hours a year, every year directly and indirectly serving the community’s most vulnerable citizens, people with developmental disabilities.
Just a few of the other organizations benefiting from Medical Imaging’s community service are Big Brother Big Sister, YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity, American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Elder Services and Catholic Charities Food Pantry.