The 2020 Healy $200: Experiencing the Gift of Giving
“For it is in giving that we receive.” ~Saint Francis of Assisi
An annual Healy Group tradition since 2013, has been to give each Healy Group employee a $100 bill with the charge to go help someone or some group with it. There are no questions asked and there is no accountability.
If an employee felt their family needed it, they could certainly keep it. Fortunately, we do hear some amazing stories of how employees creatively care for people around them. It is a wonderful moment in our culture.
This year, Healy Group continued our annual tradition of the Healy $100. Inspired by my client who doubles her tips to help service staff whose incomes have declined with coronavirus restrictions, we did the same with the Healy $100, doubling it to $200.
I am grateful to once again share heartwarming stories from colleagues about their giving experience with the Healy $200 in 2020. These stories are representative of Healy Group's values and remind us how to give unto others as Christ has given to us.
The Healy Spirit
Inspiration for the Healy $100 came from a client who shared that he gave his employees $100 to support causes of their choice. When I shared with other owners that I was thinking about doing something similar at Healy Group, they all supported the idea. This allows the Healy Spirit to move beyond our office into our local and global communities.
It warms my heart to hear these stories and the love that our employees put into choosing how to share their money. They embody the true spirit of Christmas.
Here are a few of their stories:
One employee gifted her Healy $200 to her daughter's high school friend and her husband, whose family is facing enormous medical challenges.
In October, their baby girl was born two-and-half months prematurely and has been in the neonatal intensive care unit at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo since her birth.
Things quickly turned worse for the family when doctors discovered the baby's mother had a volleyball-sized mass on her intestine. The tumor was removed and tests indicated she has Lymphoma. Initial tests indicated it was a Stage 1 Lymphoma, but later tests determined it was Stage 4-B Lymphoma. The baby's father has been working day in and day out as well as driving to Kalamazoo to see his daughter and then to South Bend to see his wife.
“As we all know medical bills are not in the least bit forgiving. For a young couple such as these two, it could be a burden that can last a lifetime,” the employee shared. “It is such a wonderful feeling to be able to do this for them.”
Making it a Great Day for Others
Another colleague initiated a family discussion shortly before Thanksgiving regarding the charities they wanted to give the Healy Hundred to this year. Two organizations came up.
The family thought they would have to choose between the two charities until it was announced that the owners would give each employee the Healy Two Hundred.
“It was such a wonderful surprise that we did not have to choose,” he said, “so we were able to donate to both organizations.”
In fact, the school the family donated to was struggling with how they would be able to give Christmas gifts to their children this year, the employee shared. “They were so happy to hear they can now make some plans,” he said. “We are so blessed to work for such a generous company and share so abundantly.”
On Black Friday another Healy Group employee and her daughters went to Hacienda to eat after shopping. Their waiter was very pleasant and treated them very well.
After asking him if he had time to do another task for them, the waiter responded cheerily that he had plenty of time to take care of their request. He explained business had been slow for a Black Friday, but he was hopeful it would get better. He had transferred from the southside Hacienda after it temporarily closed. Throughout the discussion, he never complained and had a wonderful, positive attitude, my colleague explained.
Recognizing restaurants have been hit hard by COVID and that the job itself is tough, having been a waitress herself at another time in her life, the employee decided what she would do with her Healy Two Hundred. She left the waiter a large tip and an additional stipend with a Merry Christmas note attached.
In turn, her daughters were also inspired to leave larger tips. “The young man was beyond grateful,” she said. “It felt so good to be able to do this, and my daughters enjoyed the feeling too. We all left with smiles on our faces and a fullness in our hearts.”
Likewise, another employee used her Healy Two Hundred to express gratitude to hard-working service workers. She created a basket for delivery drivers! It had snacks and beverages with a thank you note. “They make the holidays easy and are working extra hard right now,” she said, “so we wanted to thank them and hopefully make their long workdays better!”
Caring for Families
In years past, a Healy Group employee used her Healy Hundred to sponsor an “Orphan Thanksgiving.” However, this year COVID concerns made it impossible for her family to host a large gathering in their home.
This year, she used her Healy Two Hundred to help a refugee family that her family currently supports. The mother works full time.
The oldest daughter of that family is expecting her first child in January. She is 20 years old and graduated high school last May. So, the employee gave the soon-to-be mother $100 to help her prepare for the birth of her child.
The next oldest daughter, who is 18 and also graduated high school in May, has taken over the responsibility for the other four children, one of whom was recently diagnosed with diabetes. She makes sure they are fed and prepared for school. She was working part-time at my colleague's church in the preschool, but the preschool has now closed because of COVID. So, the employee gave her the other $100 just to use as she pleases.
Others used their Healy Two Hundred to support the Salvation Army Kroc Center of St. Joseph County Angel Tree program. Each year, Healy Group sponsors an Angel Tree. Employees can choose an angel tag and support a child in the community with an Old Navy or Kohl's gift card to use toward needed clothing items. This year, Healy Group employees supported 32 children in the program. “The need was great this year,” said Paul Szrom, Director of Development, Salvation Army Kroc Center.
Wonderful Little Sparks of Light
“The Healy Hundred creates wonderful little sparks of light from giving,” shared a colleague. “It gives us an opportunity to think about how can we make someone else's world better.”
Or in my own words, just as God was lavishly generous with us when he sent his only son into a broken world to restore it, any generous act of ours is participating in that same generosity. These are opportunities for others to see Christ shine in a very challenging time in the modern world.
When we choose gratitude and thankfulness and then try to make things better for those around us, we all, in our small ways, are making the world a little bit better place.
This holiday season, Healy Group wishes you and your families a Christmas filled with many blessings.
About the Author
Rich Preuss, CLU®, ChFC®, Financial Advisor/Owner
Rich, the President and an Owner of Healy Group, has been a financial advisor for over 37 years. His overarching goal in his work with his clients is to help them connect their money to their values. He believes that his work with his clients isn't just about rates of return, asset allocation, and maximizing wealth; it is about helping them create a better life for those they love and creating a better world.