Guest post by DCF Central Office Communications Director Carrie Proudfit.
When Mark MacGregor, owner of Physical Therapy Specialists in Central Florida, reached out to me he had one simple question – who can we help this holiday? My first thought was Jay*, an Orlando resident who was immediately in need of help.
Jay is no stranger to the Adult Protective Services Team in Central Florida. Case managers in the area regularly check on the senior, now in his 80s, who requires the use of a wheel chair for mobility.
This year, the holiday was expected to be especially difficult for Jay after he was served with an eviction notice – effective Dec. 26, the day after Christmas. The home was beyond repair. So with just a short couple of weeks before the move date, adult protection case managers went to work, looking for the best possible living arrangement for the senior. Originally, the plan was for him to move in with a loved one, but when that fell through just days before Christmas, adult protection had to come up with backup plan. The set back was coupled with some of Jay’s ongoing medical needs requiring him to be hospitalized. While adult protective service team members worked on Jay’s basic needs, a complete stranger, with the help of a few little elves, hoped to help make this holiday just a bit brighter for him.
Mark MacGregor and his partners, who own several physical therapy clinics in Central Florida, have made it their mission to help others through their work, but this holiday they wanted to reach a bit beyond the daily job that they do for others. MacGregor and his family, team, as well as patients, decided to forgo the traditional Santa exchanges among the office. This year they were looking to make a difference in the life of another, perhaps someone who hadn’t even asked. Word spread at Physical Therapy Specialists and response from the team as well as patients was amazing.
While DCF’s Orlando Adult Protective Services Team worked to secure new housing for Jay, Physical Therapy Specialists took on those extra little things to make him more comfortable: new socks, new clothes, food, and all the other daily necessities that might require trips to the store, which isn’t so easy for him. In addition to the items, a note, man to man, from Mark MacGregor – expressing thanks for the opportunity to give Jay a hand up, grateful to be in a position to help. PTS is but one example of how many businesses are now incorporating philanthropy into their portfolio.
Today, after being released from the hospital with no possessions other than his hospital gown, the DCF team delivered the gifts from PTS. Now Jay, with a new home and new belongings, feels the promise of a New Year and has hope for the future.
*name changed for privacy reasons.