Giving Thanks for our Culture of Caring

This is the season for gratitude, caring, and reflection. As president of Lorain County Community College, I’m thankful for the culture of care demonstrated by our faculty, staff, students and the community. Together, we’re focused on building brighter futures.

Each year on Thanksgiving Eve, LCCC’s Office of Student Life hosts a free community Thanksgiving dinner that is open to all who wish to come – and especially to those unable to spend the holiday with friends or family. It’s my hope that this dinner brings together those who may not otherwise have met and enjoyed each other’s company. It’s always heartwarming to see people who arrive as strangers leave as new acquaintances. I’m often reminded that as joyous as the holiday season can be, it can also bring hard times. It’s during those times that our LCCC family comes together to lift up each other and spread our culture of caring.

Just last week I heard an incredible story about a student in LCCC’s nursing program who went the extra mile to improve the spirits of a patient. Christina Bray is completing her clinical rotations at Cleveland Clinic Avon Hospital on her path to become a registered nurse. She met a patient who was struggling after the recent loss of her mother. Christina took the time to talk with her and learned that the patient and her mother shared many special traditions, such as celebrating the first snowfall of the year with hot cocoa and Bing Crosby music.

Christina took those details to heart and when the first snowflakes of the year fell a few days later, she knew what to do. Instead of going straight home after her shift, Christina stayed on the floor and surprised her patient with a warm mug of cocoa and those special songs that brought back so many memories. What a wonderful display of caring and compassion! It speaks volumes about Christina that in the midst of her busy schedule she took the time to sit with her patient, listen to their story, and take action.

It’s those precious moments that make the most impact, and I am so proud of Christina. The caring she showed for her patient is a wonderful example of the quality of instruction that LCCC faculty cultivate to create such empathetic graduates. Dr. Rebecca Starck, president of Cleveland Clinic Avon Hospital, heard about Christina’s good deed and presented her with a special recognition at the hospital.

Nursing student Christina Bray, middle, stands with Dr. Starck and nursing faculty. Christina showed our culture of caring to her patient.
It’s that perspective of what’s important that makes Cleveland Clinic Avon Hospital a wonderful partner to LCCC in so many initiatives. On November 3, the hospital hosted their Avon Hospital & Richard Jacobs Health Center 5K run and 1 mile walk and this year’s beneficiary was LCCC’s Commodore Cupboard  food pantry. Thanks to the generosity of the hospital and the many runners and walkers, I was honored to accept a check for $11,000 on behalf of Commodore Cupboard.

LCCC President Marcia Ballinger holds a giant check with representatives from Commodore Cupboard. The donation spreads our culture of caring.
The donation from Cleveland Clinic Avon Hospital will provide 500,000 meals for our students and community.

Our food pantry is a staple on our campus, providing emergency food to LCCC students and their families. For the many people in our community who are struggling with hunger and food insecurity, the holidays are an especially uncertain time. Through this donation, more than 500,000 meals will be provided to people right here in Lorain County at a time when they need it most.

Taking care of each other is something we do all year round at LCCC, but I am especially thankful for the caring and compassion that happens during the holiday season.

I invite you to take a moment and watch our LCCC video for this Thanksgiving season.