Karen Biggs, CEO addresses the Menno Place Team at the online Team Appreciation Event, February 17, 2022
KAREN BIGGS, CEO – TRANSCRIPTION:
WELCOME Team members, Family members and Board Members to the 9th ANNUAL TEAM MEMBER APPRECIATION TEA. This year we will be honoring 79 team members who have worked at Menno from 5 to 40 years! This is an accumulation of 970 years of service!
The last time the Menno Place Team gathered together in-person for this Team Appreciation event was on March 10, 2020. We gathered around the amazing charcuterie boards created by the Dining Team to celebrate together in the Menno Hospital Chapel.
It has been 710 days since that last gathering as a team to celebrate the work that you have done during the most difficult times of service to seniors in any of our lives.
There is a saying in German that was recently shared with a member of the Executive team. It fits what we have experienced in these 710 days… the saying is loosely translated, “the length is the burden”.
In the beginning of the pandemic, you were hailed as heroes for working in the frontline of COVID. Pots were banging and blue hearts cropped up all over our Menno Place campus.
These days, society is disconnected from the continued extraordinary work and pressures faced in senior’s care and people are weary of COVID. There are no more pots banging and no more blue hearts taped to our entrance doors.
Christopher Reeve, the actor who played Superman was tragically injured to become paralyzed from the shoulders down. He said this,
“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”
That is you.
You are that hero.
You have faced obstacles in these past 710 days that have changed the course of your lives:
- Fears that have kept you up at night – for yourself, for your families, for your residents and your co-workers
- Vigilance that has required sacrifices we can hardly bear – like not hugging grandchildren and staying apart from your loved ones
- Long hours of work
- Mental strain
- Grief at the loss of beloved residents
- Elation when a COVID test came back negative
- Anger, frustration and complete exhaustion
You have bonded with each other and residents in ways that can never be undone.
As you go through your regular workday in these next days, take a moment to look at each other – to really SEE the others who work beside you.
Tell them, “you are my hero –
I see you and all that you do here –
I’m proud to work beside you.”
Only you – on the frontline know what you’ve really faced together – day in and day out for 710 days.
You are strong together.
You are loving together.
You give more than you ever knew you could give.
You are resilient and you are amazing.
How can we possibly fully thank a team as amazing as the Menno Place team?
It’s with our sincerest expression of appreciation.
Today, we thank you.
I speak for the entire Leadership Team when I say,
You are our heroes.
You are the HEART beat of Menno Place.
We are SO proud of who you are and how you have served with honour.
Thank you for all you do and all you have done to keep yourselves, our residents, and your co-workers safe.
You are ALL the recipients of our recognition for Service with Excellence.
We see you and we are grateful.
Today, we stand at the threshold of hope.
We see the power of vaccination in the lives of our residents and staff.
In spite of the outbreak on Menno Home W2, we can see that the battle with this virus is different with the layers of protection provided by vaccination.
As we look to the future, we stand together knowing that no one can ever take from us the knowledge that we have served with excellence in the face of the unknown, even when “the length is the burden”.
I thank God every day for each and every one of you.
Thank you, Menno Place Team.
We had delicious food trucks on-site for two days to show our appreciation to the amazing Menno Place Team!