Maria* is a single mom of two children and admits, at times, it’s been hard to make ends meet.
“I’ve struggled financially since my divorce several years ago. I never got any meaningful child support and I had to reinvent myself and my career a few times just to keep food on the table,” Maria shared.
Maria has worked for Advocate Health Care for over ten years and feels fortunate to have found a place that makes her feel valued. In her job, she helps to support her fellow Advocate Aurora team members, but it was Maria who found herself in dire need earlier this year with a plumbing emergency at her home. She had to replace all the sewer lines throughout her house.
With her finances already tight, Maria wasn’t sure how she was going to pay her bills. Then she remembered the Team Member Crisis Fund, which offers grants of up to $1,000 for Advocate Aurora team members in desperate need. Even though her budget is tight, Maria has given to the fund over the years, but never thought she would need to apply.
“I was stunned I was approved,” Maria said. “I still had to take money out of my retirement to cover all the costs, but it enabled me to keep paying my mortgage and utilities and alleviated that additional stress.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more than $350,000 has been given to the Team Member Crisis Fund to support our health care employees who have been greatly impacted by the crisis. But there doesn’t have to be a pandemic for team members to get this lifeline.
A team member can apply for the assistance and remain anonymous. The maximum grant amount for one instance of need is up to $1,000. More than 600 applications have been approved for team members in 2020. The dollars in this fund come from generous donations of our board, leaders, the community and our very own colleagues.
“I just want to say thank you to all the people who donated. They aren’t even aware of the impact they’re making in other peoples’ lives,” explained Maria.
Even though Maria’s budget is tight, she has and will continue to support the Team Member Crisis Fund whenever she can, because it rescued her when she needed it most.
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*Name and minor details changed to protect privacy