Daily Point of Light # 2690 May 27, 2004

Memorial Healthcare System (MHS) is a public nonprofit healthcare system. MHS is one of the largest employers in South Broward County with over 7,500 employees system wide. MHS serves the needs of the residents of south Broward County regardless of their ability to pay and is committed to providing quality healthcare service to the community.

The company’s employee volunteer program reflects employee pride in serving the community and is aptly called H.E.R.O. – Healthcare Employees Reaching Out. The employee volunteer program has over 1,200 employees registered as volunteers which exceed the national standard of 10% of the workforce.

“Adopt” A Child Back to School, the signature annual project, benefits school age children entering/returning to school. MHS employee volunteers “adopt” a child and provide backpacks filled with new school supplies, clothing and shoes. Through a partnership with Family Central Inc., a nonprofit agency that provides childcare and family support to low-income families, MHS obtains the information of children that are needy in the community. Through this program, MHS is able to assist children from needy families, ensuring that they are equipped with the essential school supplies and clothing to start the school year on equal footing as their classmates.

Since the inception of the “Adopt” A Child Back To School project that began with the formation of the volunteer program, 846 children have been served. Further, a spin-off project is conducted called “Adopt” A Child For The Holidays, again focusing on providing a child in need with a holiday gift. As MHS enters the third year of offering this project, 389 children have been served.

The Habitat for Humanity Build Project allowed 86 volunteers to participate in building homes. MHS’ financial sponsorship of $50,000 to Habitat for Humanity guarantees a family in need a safe haven and a place they can call home. Additionally, MHS volunteers provided services in the area of roofing, shingling, exterior and interior painting.

As a healthcare provider, MHS employees participate in and host several health fairs to educate and provide free services such as back to school physicals and immunizations to at-risk children from families who are either uninsured or underinsured. MHS believes in early education and preventative services, and as such its volunteers are engaged in a project known as “Shots By Two.” This 18-month project allows volunteers to track and maintain contact with babies as they education and remind their mothers of upcoming appointments for their child’s immunization. Since MHS’ involvement with this project started 15 months ago, the first set of babies is ready to “graduate.” 190 babies are currently being service through this project.