Wake Robin is a grass roots organization. The community is “resident powered” which means residents participate in what Wake Robin does and how it operates. For instance, Maple sugaring was started by a few passionate individuals, and now it is a major part of Wake Robin’s culture.
That same grass roots attitude can be applied to staff as well. From all departments, staff are encouraged to share ideas and practices that reflect Wake Robin’s mission to create a “sustainable dynamic community.”
It’s no wonder then that a brainstorm from an Environmental Services employee blossomed into a full-on parade. A Housekeeper named Carrie hatched a plan to connect with residents. Some services normally provided on a routine basis, like housekeeping, are currently suspended due to Covid-19 precautions. “So, we wanted to find a way to stay to show our support,” Carrie said. “At first it started with wanting to make a banner telling the residents ‘We Miss You.’ Then the idea grew and grew, and it turned into a parade!”
As soon as Carrie shared the idea, many jumped on board to help. Weekly meetings were held to plan logistics, and a date was set. Costumes and props were encouraged, and staff came out in all sorts of colors! A Marketing Associate was amazed how the swift coordination streamlined into a delightful event. She described the procession as “fun, joyful, and community-oriented.”
Staff wanted to reach as many residents as possible, so the parade was mapped out to include the whole campus. Employees from Dining, Environmental Services, Health Services, and Administration gathered at the bottom of Wake Robin Drive to decorate their cars with messages of support and to get into costumes.
There was quite a variety! A staff member from Environmental Services wore colonial garb, a staff member from Administration wore butterfly wings, and a group from Dining Services dressed up as bananas and strawberries! To elevate the parade procession, an amplifier was attached to a car and played upbeat tunes and crowd-pleasers like “Hear Comes the Sun” and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody.”
The audience of residents came prepared, too. Many lined the sidewalks banging pots and pans and waved their hats high in salute.
One resident summed it up perfectly: “An absolute spectacular show of appreciation. The staff was having so much fun creating this and pulling it off for us. We are so lucky to have a staff that is happy and willing to pitch in wherever and whenever, beyond their call of duty. It’s always with a smile, a kind word, and with dignity!”