As an ER Nurse and the Director of the Memorial Hospital ER, Lorrie Sarver, RN saves lives on a routine basis; However, it's what she does outside of work that's getting the attention of her workplace. For many years Sarver has spent her free time making her community a better place to live. Sarver's passion is helping to breathe "new life" into the children of men and women serving in prison.
"These children have been disappointed by other people in their lives and I don't want to be a disappointment to them," said Sarver. "I want to show them that someone cares about them. I want to be the glue that holds them together."
2011, Sarver spearheaded the Angel Tree Project at her church, New Life Church at Jacksonville. She received a list of children's names as well as some suggested gifts based on what the parent in prison picked out using a gift guide. Sarver and her team purchased the gifts and delivered them in the name of their parent during a Christmas celebration.
"Angel Tree is a way to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of prisoners' families," said Sarver. "Through this program we are able to personally touch the lives of children and help them feel loved and cared for during the holiday season."
Sarver said offering hope to these children once a year wasn't enough. After Christmas that year, Sarver began coordinating monthly field trips, including trips to the zoo, cookouts, ice cream outings etc… Sarver also wrote letters to the parents and included pictures of their children. While Sarver was getting this program implemented, she also rearranged her schedule to teach middle-school aged students from broken homes how to excel in school. In 2015 Sarver worked with the Florida Board of Nursing to start a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program for 11th and 12th graders interested in entering the healthcare field.
But Sarver says her mission to give back goes beyond helping children and teens. She says parents in prison need a support system too. On the weekends, Sarver travels to prisons throughout the state through a Prison Fellowship program. Through church services and words of encouragement, Sarver says she tries to restore hope to those affected by crime and incarceration.
Lorrie Sarver and Bradley Talbert holding
The Frist Humanitarian Award.
On June 25th, Sarver will travel to Nashville to receive an award for her humanitarian efforts from HCA, the parent company of Memorial Hospital. The Frist Humanitarian Award, named for one of the company's founders, is the highest honor HCA bestows on its employees. Memorial Hospital President & CEO Bradley S. Talbert will also travel to Nashville for the awards celebration.
"This award honors one exceptional individual in the entire company whose work and life reflects humanitarian values upon which HCA was founded 50 years ago," said Talbert. "The exemplary service and selflessness that Lorrie demonstrates in her life challenges and inspires us all to serve others and live our company's mission of caring for and improving human life."
For more information on Awards of Distinction recipients visit HCATodayBlog.com.