I have been giving a lot of thought lately to how I can give back. I feel so richly blessed, it only seems fair and just to share with others in my family, my workplace, my community and my AAHAM chapter. I am so grateful for what I have, I want to “pay it forward”. That payment might be in the form of a kindness, monetary or even of time. No gift is too small, no kindness not worth the effort.
Our local chapter for several years, has been involved with a charity called the Robert L Teany Foundation. As the story goes, Bob Teany was a very involved father and community member. His young son, Brent, was hit in the head during a Little League baseball game by a line drive, and suffered a terrible head injury. The doctors’ prognosis for Brent was extremely grim, but Bob refused to accept that his child would never walk or talk again. Bob set out to rehab him using gym equipment from the high school in the small town in Florida that they live. He dedicated his entire life to getting his son back on his feet, never accepting the status quo. He was so appreciative of the healthcare workers that helped him in this fight, and never stopped expressing that gratitude.
The story takes a bit of a sad twist however…during this time, the dad, Bob Teany, was suddenly diagnosed with a brain tumor, and soon lost his own battle for life. His appreciation for the healthcare workers and his own determination, however, inspired his friends, co-workers and entire community to continue to invest in the young people in their small town of Okeechobee interested in pursuing their studies in healthcare. For many, many years, there has been a scholarship program in place awarding thousands and thousands of dollars to kids that may otherwise have not had a chance to go to school. Some of the same kids that played baseball with Brent, now work as EMS paramedics, nurses, lab technicians, etc., all because of one man’s determination and legacy.
Our chapter proudly raises money for this foundation every year. In appreciation for all the funds raised, the foundation allows our AAHAM chapter to keep one of the scholarships to be used in the community of an AAHAM member. We usually raffle off the chance to choose a local high school, and this spring a graduating senior from Anclote High School in Holiday Florida, was given the Teany Scholarship on 5/14/14 at the “Night of Excellence” awards ceremony.
The recipient was extremely thrilled, and we feel we may have made a difference in her life, as well as the many lives we have touched over the years with donations to the Okeechobee County School System via the Teany Foundation.
I describe this story just to illustrate how something that may seem insignificant at the time can change the course of history. We help someone in some small way, perhaps that inspires them to help someone else, and so on. You may never know what outcome came from your contribution, kindness or action, but I KNOW you have made a difference.
So my plea to you is to give back….the world will be a better place for it, and so will you. Thank you for all you do - and for all you do for your local AAHAM chapters and communities, for your patients and for your employees. You make a difference everyday.