On October 2nd, everyone passing a conference room in the Aurora Women’s Pavilion could smell roast turkey, mashed potatoes and freshly baked pumpkin pie. Staff eagerly entered the room to celebrate an early Thanksgiving prepared by fellow caregiver Joyce Johnson, Patient Service Representative.
Joyce hosted the meal for her team to help raise funds for Aurora Family Service Family to Family Thanksgiving, which provides 3,100 Milwaukee families with Thanksgiving groceries.
As plates were piled high with warm food and attendees took their seats, a bagpiper made his way around the room to play a blessing song for the meal.
Joyce feels blessed to gather with family and cook each holiday season as she remembers a time when a warm Thanksgiving meal was not always easy to come by. While in her 20’s, she lived on a very limited income and one year, was not able to spend time with family and went without the traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
“This memory will haunt me for the rest of my life,” said Joyce. “I will always make sure my Thanksgiving is filled with family, friends, and those who might not be so lucky to have that.”
Joyce chose to raise money for the Family to Family Thanksgiving program because she wanted to give back to the community in which she lives. She is happy to support a program that promotes togetherness and holiday memories among family and friends.
“I make sure to contact all the wonderful people in my life: co-workers, neighbors, and family to see what their plans are and if they are going to be alone, I invite them to my home,” says Joyce. “There was a Thanksgiving I had the privilege to have 20 friends who had no place to go and we spent it together. That feeling is very gratifying.”
To join Joyce and many Aurora Health Care caregivers and community members in supporting Aurora Family Service’s Family to Family Thanksgiving, go to Aurora.org/Thanksgiving.
Throughout the holidays, celebrations and rituals, such as preparing a home cooked meal, promote strength during tough times. Through your donation of $35, Aurora Family Service provides one family the ingredients they need to prepare a Thanksgiving meal in their home.