Kalamazoo Intern’s Take Over Park Place Assisted Living

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).

kalamazoo volunteer day 2

Hallie Green

Western Michigan University

Marketing – Stryker Medical (Kalamazoo, MI)

SSS Interns Community Outreach

This summer I have been asked this question numerous times, “Are you enjoying your internship?” My answer is always the same, “Yes, a little too much!” Why a little too much? Because I am in the tenth week of my internship, with two weeks left to go, and I don’t want to leave! Returning back to textbooks and lecture halls doesn’t feel the same after 12 weeks of challenging and invigorating work in Corporate America.

The reason that I am so invested in this internship is because all of our projects have significance and impact within Stryker. For example, one of my projects is to plan and execute Community Service Month. Stryker’s Sustainability Solutions places emphasis and importance on volunteering and making a difference in the local community. It was my job to facilitate that this summer. To do this I planned 10 volunteer sessions at five deserving organizations during the month of July.  Those organizations were: Feed my Starving Children, St. Mary’s Food Bank, the International Rescue Committee, Project C.U.R.E, and Children’s First Academy.

As we finished the month of July, Stryker’s Sustainability Solutions had 70 employees volunteer, totaling at 206 hours of volunteer work, and this is how we made a difference:

Feed my Starving Children

  • Stryker made 1,710 MannaPack Rice which are packaged in small pouches and sent to Cambodia. This is enough to give a full meal to 10,260 While the formula was designed to save the lives of severely malnourished and starving children, the ingredients also improve the health, growth and physical well-being of children who are no longer in immediate danger of starvation.
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St. Mary’s Food Bank

  • Stryker packed 1,440 emergency food boxes with non-perishable items. This fills up 24 pallets, totaling up to 14,400 pounds of food. This means that Stryker’s work will feed 1,440 families all over Arizona for 2-3 days!

Project C.U.R.E

  • Sorted 4 pallets worth of medical devices which is 10% of a container. The boxes are being sent to DRC, Liberia, Nigeria, Kenya, and Uganda.

International Rescue Committee

  • The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Stryker volunteered at the Job Readiness Training Program. The program housed 30 people from all over the world speaking Arabic, Swahili, Malaysian, Korean, and many other languages. Stryker volunteers broke off into groups by language and each worked with a translator to conduct mock interviews in groups of 3-7. Each participant was asked to discuss their skills, weaknesses, prior work experience, and other typical job interview questions.

Children’s First Academy

  • Every year we have a Stuff the Bus, school supply drive. In the past Stryker has donated a total of $16,456.85 in school supplies. This drive is currently in process, but this year we are trying to collect even more! Children’s First Academy has 100% of their families at the poverty line and a vast majority are homeless. The school provides stability and hope for kids amid a chaotic work of homelessness and hopelessness.

Overall, my experience at Stryker’s Sustainability Solutions has been one that I will never forget. My projects, the people, and the culture combined created a safe environment to learn and develop. I am thankful for Stryker for providing me with this opportunity!

Skylar Corley

Human Resources – Stryker’s Sustainability Solutions (Tempe, AZ)

University of Idaho

Skylar blog