A note from the fire chief

Aug 16, 2010

Few people know that Amway headquarters are so big that they require a Protection Services department and a dedicated Fire Chief, Mike Larabel. Even fewer people know about all the volunteer work this group does in the local community. Here’s a guest post from Mike about their work at the Renucci Hospitality House. – JH

Protection Services’ commitment to providing superior customer service does not stop at the Main Gate. For the last couple of years, several members of our division have provided meals at the Renucci Hospitality House.  Renucci House was started almost 10 years ago to serve the families of patients at Butterworth and Blodgett Hospitals.

It has been our pleasure to prepare and serve the evening meal for the residents on numerous occasions. It is truly heart warming to see the difference that a simple, home-cooked meal can make to these folks. Many of the families come from Northern Michigan. It is stressful enough to move into unfamiliar space for anywhere from a few days to several months. Through the Corporate Citizenship and Protection Services departments, we are able to offer a little bit of Amway hospitality to these families. 

As we serve the evening meal to these families, we engage them in conversation and are able to make them feel more at home and more relaxed. We have received numerous “thanks” in the form of: “What a great meal, this is just like my mother used to make, you don’t know what this means to us” to thank-you cards that the children have drawn. I am not sure who receives more benefit - them or us. 

Patients of the families are confined to the hospital for everything from scheduled surgical procedures, to premature births, to automobile accidents, to severe medical treatments.  Many of these families are thrust into this situation suddenly and unexpectedly.  I spoke with a young mother whose premature infant was going to be in the Neonatal Unit six months. The wife of a patient who had contracted a lung disease said they had already been there ten weeks and probably would not leave for another three weeks. That’s a long time to be away from home and still have to care for other family members and your residence.

I don’t know if it is true or not, that the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but it sure does help folks staying at the Renucci House. We have served everything from burgers and brats to baked chicken (one of the favorites) to pot roast. The “Terry Celori” mashed potatoes remain one of the favorite dishes. But then, what’s not to like about real potatoes, lots of butter and sour cream.  Many of the residents have indicated that they came to eat because they could smell dinner cooking throughout the facility.

As a result of our activities, other organizations have become involved and have provided breakfast or evening meals, and continue with this calling on a regular basis. 

It is my belief that we are all called to be “servants” for one another. Renucci House is one of the best ways I know of doing just that. We are feeding more than just a body; we are feeding the person, our brother or sister. It is more than just preparing a meal; it is an experience. By serving others, we are living life to the fullest!

Thank you Amway for this marvelous experience!!

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