Monday, November 16, 2009

LifeBridge Health Has WINGS

LifeBridge Health employees are dedicated to helping others. The latest beneficiary of this is a shelter that provides help to women in need.

My Sister’s Place Women’s Center offers shower and laundry facilities, case management, life skills workshops, parenting classes, GED preparation, breakfast, lunch and dinner. A part of Catholic Charities, it is a beneficiary of the LifeBridge Health Women’s Initiative Next Generation (WINGS) committee.

WINGS members provide dinner for between 50 to 70 women at My Sister’s Place on the first Thursday of each month. The roughly 30 members plan, shop, cook, transport and serve the meal.

“Everyone who participates or volunteers really feels fulfilled,” says LifeBridge Health Vice President Barbara Epke. “My Sister’s Place really helps women take the first step toward regaining their lives. Really, these women could be any of us, and that’s why it feels so good to share our time and talent.”

An employee becomes eligible for WINGS membership for a year by donating a minimum of $1,000 to United Way, but other volunteers in the LifeBridge Health system are always welcome to help out with serving dinner, Barbara says. The WINGS group also purchased new silverware for My Sister’s Place, and some departments have collected toiletries for the women.

The women’s center underwent a facelift a year ago, and is providing a new model of service, says Jill Kusner, relationship associate manager with United Way of Central Maryland. Located at 17 W. Franklin Street, My Sister’s Place is the combined new home of three existing Catholic Charities programs: My Sister’s Place, the Samaritan Center and Families that Work.

"Once people get involved, and see where the money goes, it creates a different mindset,” Jill says. “The women at LifeBridge have their fingers on the pulse to see what’s needed there.”

Mel Lindenmuth, R.N., safety and performance improvement specialist at Levindale, is pleased to be in her second year with WINGS. She runs the shopping component of the meal served at the shelter.

“It’s a way of giving back,” Mel says. “When I look at these women, you know a lot of them are there because of the economy. There’s a good feeling inside you when you help.”

No comments: