In late July, several members of the LaFleur Marketing team spent a rain-soaked evening hosting a fun event for seniors living at Samaritas Senior Living of Grand Rapids. As part of our continued desire to make a positive impact in our community, more than half of our employees braved the elements to help put on a classic car show, serve seniors and their families a delicious dinner, and host a concert on site. Unfortunately, a torrential downpour got in the way of that last part, but we had a wonderful time and made some terrific new friends despite the weather.
Keep reading to learn more about our experience and how Samaritas and LaFleur are working to improve our shared communities.
About Samaritas Senior Living
Samaritas is a social ministry that helps all individuals regardless of religion, race, sexual orientation, or ethnicity by providing 70 program initiatives in 40 Michigan cities. These programs include:
- Senior living: Five Samaritas assisted living and independent living communities in Michigan offer nursing, rehabilitation therapy, and memory support in modern and comfortable facilities.
- Foster care: Samaritas is Michigan’s largest private foster care organization. They pair children in need with loving families who can help them grow and develop their potential in a safe environment.
- Family support: Family support services offered by Samaritas include emergency shelters, family preservation, affordable housing, behavioral health, and disability support.
- Building communities: Samaritas runs a support home in Detroit for formerly incarcerated women to transition back into society and their homes. And the Community Center in Saginaw provides a safe place for children and families to visit in the evening — offering warm meals, homework support, and fun extracurricular activities. During the day, the Community Center serves young adults through education and career assistance.
- Home health and disability support: Individuals recovering from an illness, injury, or surgical procedure can receive home care from certified medical professionals with the goal of re-establishing independence and autonomy. Additionally, Samaritas serves people living with disabilities through home care and integration in their group homes.
- Refugee resettlement services: Samaritas is the largest refugee resettlement agency in Michigan and fourth largest in the United States. They help people from countries plagued by war, political unrest, and genocide build new lives in our country through work, education, and community involvement.
Samaritas’ mission is to “Be the rock that starts the ripple,” which means initiating large-scale positive change by developing and nurturing individual relationships. They encourage those they serve to lead purposeful lives through peace, confidence, and worthiness. And they believe their partnerships extend beyond these direct relationships — flooding their communities with meaning and dignity. Their programs and facilities help make Michigan the wonderful place it is, and we were thrilled to be working with them.
An Evening in the Elements
In the early evening of Monday, July 16, several LaFleur team members arrived at the Samaritas Senior Living Center in Grand Rapids. We didn’t know what to expect, but we were ready to help however we could — and to do so with smiles on our faces.
The first order of business was to escort interested residents throughout the parking lot so they could scope out the muscle cars, convertibles, and roadsters. Many of the owners spoke with the residents about their vehicles, which led to a lot of great stories and conversations. After they had a chance to walk through the lot, they were given ballots to vote on their favorites.
Once everyone had a chance to check out the hotrods, it was time for us to serve a delicious dinner to our new friends and their families. The menu included walking tacos (taco ingredients served in a bag of Fritos), elotes, and root beer floats.
By the time we started serving, the rain had already started, so it was quite a trick to get everyone their food without it turning to mush — even with everyone positioned under tents. But we instituted a buddy system using umbrellas to make sure everyone had a hot, fresh meal. The elotes were an especially big hit. (In fact, a certain LaFleur member who will remain nameless might have had three ears.)
Eventually, the steady rain turned into a torrential downpour, which forced us into the main dining area. We helped keep the residents safe and dry as we walked them back into the Senior Center and set up a makeshift buffet for those who hadn’t eaten yet.
Unfortunately, the concert was rained out, but Samaritas has an entire slate of live music every summer, so the residents were treated to some great entertainment the following week.
The residents and support staff at Samaritas Senior Living Center were extremely welcoming, and we appreciated visiting with them during our three hours at their home. We shared some great stories and created a few memories while having a blast in the rain with some of our community’s most treasured and cherished residents.
Community Involvement Is Just One of Our Core Values
So far this year we’ve stepped up our community presence across the board, but we also believe in family, education, and transparency and hold them as core values as well.
Our employees are always encouraged to prioritize their family’s health and happiness because we believe success starts at home. We also empower our team members to continue their education and professional development by attending digital webinars, participating in marketing conferences, and taking additional college courses.
Lastly, our president and founder, Chip LaFleur, understands that a positive work culture leads to better results for our clients. Therefore, we are committed to creating a transparent workplace that emphasizes and celebrates free thought and expression while also establishing comfortable boundaries and a culture of mutual respect.
If you are interested in working with a proven and ethical marketing partner dedicated to giving back to our community, LaFleur is the agency for you. Please give us a call at (888) 222-1512 or complete this brief online form to get started.
And if you’d like to discuss potential community outreach opportunities in West Michigan or wherever you live and work, we would love to learn more, so please reach out today!