A head start on school supplies


PALOS HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 2012) “We just wanted to do something to give back to staff,” says Megan Tengerstrom. “They work hard, and we appreciate them.” Megan works for Providence Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center of Palos Heights, and the beginning of a new school year gave her an idea for helping her co-workers.

She organized a raffle for staff members with children aged 3-16. The plan was to raffle off a few sets of free school supplies.

When more than 70 staff entered the raffle, Megan didn’t want to let any of them down. So she began collecting money to buy as many school supplies as possible, so as many people as possible could win. Not only were her co-workers happy to donate – cash as well as school supplies – but the Medical Directors and other doctors who serve Providence made donations as well.

Their generosity, combined with Megan’s savvy shopping, ensured that everyone who entered the raffle was a winner.

“Every week I looked in the sale papers to see who had which items on sale for the cheapest,” says Megan. “Staples, Office Depot, Walmart – I hit them all! And sometimes they would have penny sales, so I could get a LOT of stuff with the money we had collected.”

Megan and her co-workers Chrissy Barbato, Bonnie Heirendt, and Jan Boger spent a few hours dividing up the haul and placing items into a bag for each raffle entry. On the payday before school started, all 70-plus entrants were notified that they had won.

Megan is hoping to repeat the raffle next year, but, she says, “I’ll probably start earlier, so I can hit more of those penny sales!”

Providence Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center of Palos Heights is a Providence Life Services community located at 13259 South Central Avenue in Palos Heights.

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