The Chinese recognized birthdays as a celebration of surviving another year through life’s struggles. Throughout the world there are different traditions, ideas, and customs used to commemorate the date. The NorthShore Health Center of Chesterton wanted to celebrate their first birthday by inviting their closest partners and the community they care so much about to a fun filled party.
Mother Audrie Safrithis got her invitation from the Growing Kids preschool in Valparaiso. She and her 19 month old son played games and took a tour of the NorthShore building.
“I wanted to know a bit more about [NorthShore] and thought this would be a good place to learn more,” she said. “I already like that they have weekend hours.”
Thanks to a donation from Baby’s R Us NorthShore was able to give party favors to their guests. Tables filled with clothes, boots, and toys were available for perusal. They also had a raffle with other donated items.
“NorthShore offers more than just family healthcare,” said Jeff Smith, the Facility’s Site Director. “Being that we are brand new, people don’t realize that we’re here or what we can do for them. One of the myths that we are trying to dispel is that we only serve the uninsured. No one is turned away. You can come to NorthShore and get your health needs met at a low cost. We will see everyone, and that is what makes us unique.”
Though they offer Wellness Services, help with substance abuse, Cancer treatments, and dozens of other services, NorthShore is well known for its family slant.
“NorthShore has the same mission as us,” said Shannon Sprately, the Senior Program Director for the Duneland YMCA. “They reach out to families that need resources, and support family development. We’re here to let the community know what is going on at the Duneland Y.”
The YMCA was one of many NorthShore partners that attended the birthday bash. Each one has a service they can provide to help nurture a child. Whether it is fundraisers for cancer research or activities for kids to do in the summer, they had every base covered. NorthShore has helped them all in some way and they felt the need to help back.
“We’re here to support the community and to support NorthShore,” said Victoria Jastrzebski, the Preschool Director for the Portage Parks and Recreation Department. “They do visits to our school and we really appreciate that. They teach the children hygiene. Kids learn how to take care of themselves. That to me is important.”
If their long history of good deeds and fun events was not enough to convince the community of their dedication, NorthShore’s birthday celebration should have been. On the anniversary of their opening day they were still only thinking of the people of Chesterton and the untapped resources they could be providing.