Published on November 07, 2019

Genesis 150th Anniversary Service Projects Earn Communitas Award

From flood relief, to a school supplies drive, to free flu shots for elementary school students, Genesis Health System has been “In This Together’’ with the patients and communities it serves.

Genesis efforts to celebrate the organization’s 150th Anniversary in a rewarding, charitable way, have been recognized with a Communitas Award for Excellence in Community Service.

The Communitas Awards is an international effort to recognize the spirit of communitas … people helping people. Based in Dallas, Texas, the Communitas Awards organization said, “winners unselfishly give of themselves and their resources, and are changing the way they do business to benefit their communities.’’

Genesis employees served on a 150th anniversary committee with the overall goal of responding to community needs with projects driven and organized by our 5,000 employees.

Projects were chosen that would encourage employees to serve the region with their time, skills and financial contributions.

One of the most visible and important projects was unexpected and unplanned. There was neither budget, nor a plan, to provide relief when the Quad Cities region experienced historic flooding in spring 2019.

Genesis President and Chief Executive Officer Doug Cropper said he was heartbroken by the sight of the flooding.

“Many of us experienced a helpless feeling as we watched businesses flood, heard about people who temporarily lost their jobs and watched people be uprooted from their homes. Some of those impacted are Genesis employees. But we were not helpless. We could give. Our Genesis employees and medical staff and our generous community-based partners stepped up to help,’’ said Cropper. “Through our joint efforts, we assisted organizations and businesses to get back on their feet.

“We sought to help at a grassroots, community-based level. This was a ‘home team’ effort of neighbors helping neighbors.  We’re very proud of all efforts to help those impacted.’’

A partnership of Genesis Health System, employees and medical staff and the Quad-Cities River Bandits came up with a flood response plan. After several months of fundraising, the partners announced a $100,000 donation to local organizations directly involved in providing flood relief.

The flood relief collaboration between Genesis Health System and the River Bandits received the Ballpark Digest Award for Commitment to Charity.

Other projects to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Genesis Health System included a school supplies drive and Flu-Free Quad Cities, a long-standing initiative to provide elementary school students throughout the region with free seasonal influenza vaccinations.

The school supplies drive was an overwhelming success. Over four consecutive days, Genesis staff volunteered to “Pack the Bus’’ with supplies. Thousands of items were collected and distributed to 10 area school districts.

Donations included 821 spiral notebooks, 689 school glue sticks, 555 boxes of colors, 486 packages of pencils and 80 backpacks.

One of the best rewards for volunteers was a child’s handwritten message with the child’s own donation. The message read: "Have a good school year. Enjoy your supplies. From: a Friend!"

Genesis Flu-Free Quad-Cities is an initiative to protect thousands of elementary school children against seasonal influenza. Initially a pilot project in 2007 with 400 students in three schools, the annual effort has expanded to a reach of nearly 9,000 in more than 70 schools.

Two other 150th anniversary projects included a donation and volunteers to start an urban garden and build a hoop house (greenhouse) in an underserved neighborhood of Davenport and support of the Iowa Mission of Mercy free dental clinic in September.

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