Wakefield Co-operative Bank employees wore jeans to work last month to benefit patients of Lahey Health’s Kidney Transplant Department, as part of National Donate Life Month in April. The bank’s President & CEO, Jeff Worth, doubled employee donations with a personal contribution out of his own pocket, bringing the total to $376, (which also included generous donations from bank customers).
Every month, bank employees are encouraged to wear denim to work on designated ‘Jeans Days’ in exchange for a donation to a community organization. The idea to hold a Jeans Day for transplant patients came from Cindy Elmore, a Wakefield resident and Teller at Wakefield Co-op Bank, who received a kidney transplant through Lahey in 2015 from an altruistic donor in California after being on dialysis for five years.
“I am so grateful for the care and attention I received through Lahey’s Kidney Transplant Department,” said Elmore. “The doctors, nurses, receptionists, behind-the-scenes staff – everyone – were phenomenal from the moment I registered for the transplant list, all the way to today, four years later. This donation means so much to me, as I know first-hand what it’s like to be a transplant patient.”
“People who receive the gift of life, an organ transplant, are looking for ways to say thank you and inspired to give back,” said Merle Kushner, LICSW, Kidney Transplant Social Worker at Lahey. “We were very grateful to hear from Cindy about Jeans Day and to be identified as April’s recipient of funds, which will be used to meet the needs of transplant recipients. Cindy's positive spirit and desire to help along with the generosity of Wakefield Co-operative Bank’s team are just the things that help sustain people on their transplant journeys.”
Ms. Elmore attended Lahey’s ‘Donate Life Month Reception’ on April 24th to present the Jeans Day donation, which will directly support kidney transplant patients by helping with the cost of medications and travel to and from post-surgery appointments.
“The theme for our Donate Life Reception this year was "Life is a beautiful ride,” Kushner stated. “How that ride goes can depend on who is along for the ride with you and who cheers you on from the side lines. For people who need a transplant, it may be like being in a triathlon; there may be times they feel like they’re back on training wheels and need someone to steady the handlebars.”
In 2018, Wakefield Co-operative Bank’s Jeans Day program resulted in more than $5,600 in community donations to local organizations such as A Healthy Lynnfield, Tall Spire Preschool, Mission of Deeds, PAWS, Lynnfield for Love, Northeast Arc, Reid’s Ride, and more. More than $2,000 has been donated in 2019 to date to organizations such as Kiwanis, Lynnfield Mom’s Group for Sam Halpern, and more.
Pictured above in group photo: Ed Gregory, Jane Coonrod, Donna Donovan, Vicky Alexander, Lois Hayward, Alex Pisciuneri, Kim Bellia, Joyce Yu, Maria Coccimiglio, Patty Poor. Front row: Cindy Elmore, Carol Sacco.
Pictured left to right: Lois Hayward, VP, Chief Technology Officer & Branch Operations; Cindy Elmore, Teller and kidney transplant recipient; Stacey Doll, MPA, Executive Director, Transplantation & Hepatobiliary Services at Lahey Health; Elaine Guaetta, AVP, Branch Manager.