Mary Mitchell has a personal connection with Flint, Michigan, that began when her father emigrated to the U.S. as a small boy from Scotland. When the family moved to Michigan in 1926, the people of Flint welcomed them with open arms.
“When my dad first came to America he was suffering from rickets, a bone disorder that prevented him from walking. The people of Flint helped him get the surgery he needed, and as a result he was able to walk for the rest of his life,” said Mitchell. “The community did a lot for my family, and my dad went on to find his passion in community service.”
Mary remembers the kindness of the Flint neighborhood she grew up in. A place where people look out for one another, everyone is willing to pitch in, and where helping people is a way of life.
Mitchell now lives in Royal Oak with her husband and two sons (one son is currently stationed at Camp Pendelton), but says Flint will always be her home. Her 90-year-old mother lives on the same block in Flint, and her neighbors are still looking out for her.
That’s why Mitchell felt it was important to join the hundreds of employees from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan volunteering with Catholic Charities, the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan and other local agencies to help the Flint community.
She and her colleagues spent an afternoon at Catholic Charities helping distribute water, nutrient-rich foods and other health resources to residents of Flint. On her way home, Mitchell stopped by to check in on her mother.
“When I told my mother about the volunteer work, she said ‘Oh, your dad and Mr. Raslich used to cook soup there.’”
Mary was hardly surprised. Her father had been involved in many Flint organizations and she recalled him not being able to go anywhere without someone stopping and talking to him. Volunteering was not only about doing a service for her community and helping those in need, but also about serving her dad’s memory.
She also was excited about joining her co-workers in the volunteer effort.
“It makes me really proud to work for Blue Cross,” said Mitchell, who has been an employee for 26 years. “I think when people realize that your employer encourages you to give back to the community, it makes an impression that we are part of a company that cares about giving back.”
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are committed to helping the Flint community and our members who are affected. Since February 2016, over 250 Blue Cross volunteers have provided almost 1,000 hours of service in the Flint community.
If you enjoyed this post, you might be interested in reading:
- Beyond the Card: A Day of Service Can Lead to a Lifetime of Passion
- Beyond the Card: Muskegon Residents Trade Volunteer Hours for Dental Treatment
- Cabrini Clinic Volunteer Shares the Importance of Michigan’s Safety Net
Photo credit: jojo nicdao (feature), courtesy images (thumbnails)