Every summer the Kalamazoo interns get together for a Volunteer Day! For the past 2 summers I’ve been lucky enough to plan the volunteer event with a team of 9 other intern leaders. You would think that every organization would love to have 79 volunteers for 8 hours of free labor, but it’s actually a challenge to keep that many Stryker minded people (driven, hard workers) busy all day.
For the past 2 years we have gone to Park Place Assisted Living. They are a living home for the low-income elderly. The owner, Dan, refuses to turn anyone away, and often takes in residents who can’t pay their expenses. Because of this great outreach and service they provide, Park Place can only afford a small maintenance staff (our first year they only had 1 person for all 5 buildings!). They were so excited when we asked to come back a second year! We do landscaping, extreme cleaning, and we throw a carnival for the residents; projects that they normally can’t get to throughout the rest of the year. The residents and staff LOVE the work we do! The residents love having visitors, especially because most of the people at Park Place don’t have family nearby. We get to bring energy, life, movement, and fun to the halls of Park Place.
It’s so much fun to get to talk to the residents throughout the day. Bill, the war hero, was very reserved at first, but he brightened up and told all sorts of life stories to us. Carol enjoyed telling us about all her family members and how they were doing in school. And two of the dementia patients entertained us; Dave played the piano while Mary, a former tap dancer, danced around the room with anyone who would join her. It was really funny when another dementia patient Jannie kept making one of our interns, Tyler, change her shoes! He changed them literally every minute…shoes to slippers, slippers to shoes.
Overall it was a great day for everyone! I had fun planting flowers, talking to the residents, and getting to hang out with the other interns outside of work. Stryker is an amazing place to work because we care about people. All people! Employees, customers, hospital patients, and our community. Through events like the Intern Volunteer Day, you see how much Stryker cares.
My name is Hallie Green, and I go to Western Michigan University. This is my second summer, and 3rd internship with Stryker Medical in Kalamazoo. I’m on the marketing team for our Patient Care unit (beds, surfaces, furniture), and I love my team members! They have always been so helpful and have included me in lunches, after-work events, and other fun stuff around the office. (I’m in the second row on the far right of the large group picture).
Western Michigan University
Marketing – Stryker Medical (Kalamazoo, MI)