Several months ago, residents at WCBR all received a letter from Jim Kingsbury that began:
Think with me for a little bit. Who replaces our linens each week with clean ones? Who cleans our abode and prepares many of our meals? Who distributes heavy packages or picks up and delivers our groceries? Who ensures our safety? Who oversees our health and orders yearly flu vaccines? Who maintains plantings around our campus? Who just keeps the place running?
The obvious answer was “WCBR associates.” And yes, this was the beginning of the annual WCBR Associates Christmas Fund, which makes the holiday much brighter for everyone who does all the things listed above, plus much more. Jim Kingsbury chairs the residents’ committee that runs the fund.
A Heartfelt Response
Residents responded generously, and on Dec. 7, more than $459,000 was distributed to associates, which means residents had far exceeded the committee’s target of $375,000. The 289 checks were handed out at an open house in the Rotunda Room, with masks of course.
Note that this has nothing to do with the WCBR Foundation, or the administration of WCBR. It’s entirely run by residents for the associates they appreciate so much. “These are in fact gifts,” says Jim. The committee’s only expense is the checks themselves, meaning that almost every penny given ends up in the hands of associates. This can make a big difference in a family’s holiday.
The gifts can be considerable. The size of each check depends on a couple of variables: longevity, and whether the associate works full- or part-time.
What prompts all this generosity? Gratitude for the tremendous job associates do in making residents’ lives much, much easier. And this is each year’s one big chance to show appreciation so directly. Tipping is not allowed at WCBR, for a very good reason: Residents actually encounter only a small percentage of the workforce that takes care of them, so tipping would be an unfair system.
This way everyone – with the exceptions of the CEO, the CFO, the director of development, and those holding the title of vice president, who are left out by their own request – gets a gift.
The system works to the benefit of all, and is greatly appreciated at this time of year.