When creating a power point presentation for our new members, I did some research from The First 100 Years, a history of WAMMC written by Sue Bruen. This is an excerpt that stood out for me:
“In the Morristown of 1889 there was no hospital and a woman’s place was definitely in the home. Yet it was a woman who, by the bequest of her home, brought Morristown Memorial Hospital into being. This legacy from Miss Myra M.B. Brookfield became the nucleus of the hospital’s working capital. The motive was given by the initiative of Miss S. Augusta Stone and other women associated with her. With the signing of the charter of incorporation in 1892, the hospital’s modest beginning was in a house on Morris Street (now where Burger King is located!), purchased with the funds consisting largely of the Brookfield bequest.
On March 22, 1893 a women’s organization was created to help the Directors of the hospital raise money and do the practical work of the hospital. Only three days later, the women had created an Advisory Board, written by-laws and encouraged 75 other women to join! On October 17, 1893 the practical work of the hospital began.”
We are now a group of over 620 members.
With the upcoming celebration of the hospital’s 125th it is important for us to remember how we started and that even after all this time and all the natural changes within the organization, we are still true to that core of women who started back in 1893. The fact that we are still an all-volunteer organization with a legacy of “contributing with passion,” in whatever form that may take, is truly amazing and speaks to who we are as a group.
As our mission statement reminds us, we truly are a “dynamic group of women who support MMC in advancing the quality of healthcare in our community.” And, of course, our Vision statement encourages us to “enhance the ability of Morristown Medical Center to promote healthier communities by providing a volunteer experience that always engages and inspires our members to ‘contribute with passion.”
WAMMC Accomplishments 2015:
Annual $300,000 contribution to the Foundation Six scholarships for nurses totaling $21,000
Spring fundraiser – The Honey Brunch – made $41,787 which enabled us to purchase the Affirm Breast Biopsy Machine for the Breast Center
Calling All Kids – our TV channel – has created a relationship with Scholastic Books and continues to produce new stories for the children in Goryeb
Contribution of $5.3 million made us the lead donor to the Foundation’s Campaign 360
Continued support to Behavioral Health with a donation of $500,000 to aid their expansion
Our TWIGS donated over $15,000
The Bargain Box Thrift Boutique $370,000 The Gift Shop - $85,000
Moving forward, I would like us to keep these three words in mind: Engage, Enhance, Embrace.
In order for WAMMC to continue being the premier volunteer organization it is known for, we need to be thinking about how to attract and retain new members. What is it about us or what is it that we do that would make someone new want to join and become engaged?
Certainly our most notable fundraiser – Mansion In May – is a great way to encourage people to join. But we still need to work on engaging our members in a more meaningful way into the organization by growing our committees so that when stalwart members move on we still have a strong nucleus left.
How do we improve or enhance the quality of our volunteer experience? One way is for us to always have the courage and creativity to think outside of the box. We need to embrace new concepts, ideas and visions for WAMMC while keeping our core values of community, collaboration, fun, excellence and professionalism in mind. There is a way to try something new – like a weekend in June with two separate fundraising events – where we rely on past knowledge while experimenting with new ideas. I am quite sure that members of WAMMC back in the day were experiencing the same kinds of issues as they worked to keep this organization relevant to their time period yet staying true to their beliefs.
So, all in all, WAMMC is in a wonderful place in time as we move forward into the future thinking about how we can engage, enhance and embrace new members, new ideas and new visions knowing that we have a solid foundation beneath us to continue to “contribute with passion!”