We all know the saying “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
How rare is it to be able to actually find that though?
The Holland Christian Home is known for its loving community and common faith in Jesus Christ. Many people know it as a wonderful place to retire in their later years, or a “great place to work” as our annual survey says each year. But beyond that, the Holland Christian Home lives up to its name: HOME.
Here at the Home, it’s important to us that our employees feel like the Holland Christian Home is their “home” too! After all, it’s in our name! Creating a safe environment where co workers begin to feel like family is something we strive for. But striving for something and achieving it are two different things. The reason the Home is such a loving environment is because of the people in it. Without our wonderful residents and devoted, caring staff, we could not be the “Home” we strive to be.
The Home consists of amazing, hardworking people that make up a team who work together for the good of its residents, who, in turn, are a gift to the community.
Well known by visitors and residents, Maritza is a friendly face when you walk through the doors of the Home, serving as our Receptionist. She is always willing to help and is loved by both residents and staff alike. But what many don’t realize is the family ties that run deep in the Home.
Maritza’s grandmother was the first from her family to work at the Home. She started in the Housekeeping department in the mid 80’s. In 1988, Maritza’s mother, Lilia Plasencia, began working at the Home as a member of the kitchen staff. When she started, she didn’t know any English. To ensure that Residents received their meals the way they wanted them, she began to learn and memorize the patterns of what the Residents like. Two years ago, at age 67, she retired, but she still remains full time at the Home, still compassionately caring for Residents.
Maritza’s daughters, Emily and Amanda, also work at the Home. Emily works in the kitchen and Amanda works as the Medical Administrative Assistant. Both girls grew up in the Home, since three generations of their family have worked here. Amanda remembers coming to the Home growing up as being “very special to me because it felt like my home too. Everyone knew my family and they knew me. I always felt like I was coming to hang out with a bunch of my uncles and aunts – whether they be residents or the staff. I always felt safe here.” Maritza remembers how her daughter, Emily, would run up to Steve, the Home’s Director of Food Services, and tell him that she wanted to work here one day. Sure enough, as soon as she was old enough, she began working in the kitchen and remains there since, working alongside her grandmother.
Amanda, who serves as the Medical Administrative Assistant, says “Being here now, I feel the same way I always did, only now I have a few more responsibilities in taking care of the staff and the residents the way they have always taken care of me.”
Maritza’s time as an employee of the Home started in 2001 when she took the role of Activities Assistant and ran activities for the residents in the infirmary. She left for 5 years until 2016, when a receptionist position opened up here at the Home. She has remained in that position since, caring for Residents with the same devotion and love that her mother and grandmother showed before her. Maritza described coming back to the Home after being gone for five years as “natural” and like she had “never left”.
For the many generations of Maritza’s family that have worked at the Holland Christian Home, their workplace has been their “second home”, as both Maritza and Amanda described. What a beautiful thing it is to find a place to work that is like a second home! The love and devotion that each of the Home’s employees show to the Residents and each other is truly what makes the Home such a wonderful place to work and live.