Volunteering after Hurricane Harvey: Our Core Values in Action
Editor’s Note: This is the second post in a weekly four-part series highlighting teammates who supported the Village during two hurricanes in 2017.
The eight days I spent volunteering and helping my teammates in Texas after Hurricane Harvey were just as physically hard as they were mentally hard. When I flew to Texas I really didn’t know much other than what my family in Texas told me, the news had showed me, and the pictures had proved to me. I just knew that there was a need and I was ready to help.
We have all scrolled past the numerous amounts of horror stories and the ones that just make you plain sick to your stomach. I wish I could say they are made up and or maybe a little too detailed, but seeing the ones on Facebook don’t compare to hearing the ones that the residents and survivors have and looking over your shoulder to see full validation is a chilling feeling.
My week started off in Houston, until I transferred to Beaumont. It was about a 90 minute drive, but with traffic it took about three hours. I’ll never forget the things I saw.
Mansions down to mobile homes, campers and everything in between, what used to be inside was in their front yard. Everything they owned, everything they worked for, and everything that meant something to them. Gone.
One street could easily have maybe three or four garbage truck loads of rubble laying in their front yard, which grew bigger every day I was there. Along the highway I drove by numerous farms; crops, equipment, livestock, their livelihood; destroyed.
I would have never imagined to drive down the road and see dead horses and cows laying on the side of the highway. It’s hard to describe the feeling of heartbreak and just utter disbelief.
I heard the stories of elderly men and women drowning and being found in their wheelchairs in their homes and I heard the powerful story of the mother, Collette Sulcer, who gave her life to save one of her children, her 3 year old daughter, Jordan. I could go on…
I met my team I was assigned to on a Tuesday. On my way to work I remember just getting myself in game mode. I honestly didn’t know what I was walking into.
That day I met a team that is everything DaVita stands for. Teammates who were affected by Harvey and some who lost everything were at their unit making sure their patients were being dialyzed. Some teammates were showering at the unit and scrubbing up and working. The best part is I wouldn’t have known they were affected if I didn’t ask them myself. I was amazed at the dedication. They even told me that when they had the first unit available they dialyzed patients for a solid 24 hours.
I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed our Core Values shine as bright they did in the short time I was with this team.
This team got up and fulfilled a promise to do the job they were there for – Integrity.
Putting their patients’ needs in front of their own – Service Excellence.
Working together to figure out how and when they can fit more patients in to dialyze – Continuous Improvement.
They took responsibility of their role in the healthcare community in the biggest time of need and showed up and showed out – Accountability.
Doubling their workload and offering open arms to outside teammates – Team.
Despite everything going on in and out of the unit, this team managed to smile, laugh, and make the best of the situation – Fun.
And finally, a combination of all, this team just thought they were doing their jobs. Every day I heard patients tell teammates how thankful they were for them, how just being there made everything better, and how they combined the other six values to make sure they were taken care of – Fulfillment.
The team I met in Beaumont, Texas are true heroes of the Village and Harvey. Working alongside them gave me a better appreciation of my job, and made me proud to be a part of DaVita even more. A true class act and I appreciate the opportunity to be able to play my part in the Village, thank you to everyone who got me there and made it possible.
“ONE for ALL”