Steps to partnering with a health care organization
by Major Carol Lemirand
1. Meet with a health care organization and explore partnership opportunities together.
A health care organization could be any organization working to better the spiritual, physical or mental health (or all three) of individuals. Some Salvation Army programs regularly address all three of these aspects of health.
There are many questions you may want to explore in order to find the best possible partnership for your corps or center. Some of these might include: Dose the purpose of this partnership fit our Christian mission? Is this organization well respected in the community? What goal will it accomplish for them to partner with The Salvation Army? Does the organization recognize and support what we want to accomplish through the partnership?
2. Decide what role each partner will have in hosting the event. (i.e. supplies, timeline, publicity, photography and other needs).
Once a partnership is established I would suggest a minimum of four months planning time. This helped us to have enough time for publicity, find necessary equipment, determine other supplies required and delegate duties.
In our case the health care organization we worked with took the lead for needs, and we offered our contribution of hosting and supplying chairs, tables, refreshments, garbage receptacles and childcare.
3. If hosting at your corps, review the building set up.
You'll want to check for needs such as bathrooms, accommodations for children, flow of traffic, accessibility issues, etc.
4. Recruit Salvation Army volunteers and create Salvation Army information packets.
Since we were just providing the building, etc., the health care organization recruited nurses and doctors, but next year we will ask our young people to help with maintenance-i.e. keeping trash cans empty, picking up leftover water bottles and snacks, and resetting the building after the event.
We created information packets that included the following: our Christian programs, social services, upcoming summer day camp and residential camp. We placed everything in an issue of the War Cry. Next year, we think we'll provide a recyclable bag with The Salvation Army logo on it.
5. Conduct the event
6. Celebrate the accomplishment
At our corps we announced the success of the event on Sunday morning. We also reported to our advisory board, corps council and the Central Connection newsletter staff, who in turn wrote an article. We also sent some pictures to our local newspaper.