Chris Winkel started at Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS) the week before Christmas in 1988. As a young server, Chris remembers being drawn to one resident in particular named Lily. He noticed her face was often forlorn and she appeared to be lonely. Chris felt compelled to help. “I wanted her to know that people noticed and cared about her,” said Chris. He later learned that Lily was dropped off by her family eight years prior and no one had ever come to visit her. “As sad as that was to hear, I saw it as a call to make Lily feel welcome.”
And welcome her he did.
Between meal service and clean up, Chris visited with Lily every day and they became friends. When Lily saw Chris, her eyes lit up and she would motion for him to sit down with her. Sometimes they watched baseball games and other times they just visited with each other. “I often think of Lily and she reminds me that as a PHS employee, I have a choice to make a difference in someone’s life every single day,” said Chris.
A heart for the elderly
Chris’s affinity for the elderly goes back to his childhood memories of his grandparents. “I was essentially raised by my grandparents Herbie and Jo," recalls Chris
“my character and my beliefs, everything that makes up my life, I got from my grandparents.” His close relationship with his grandparents and early experience with Lily helped form the service he provides today as an Engineer Technician. “I realized how important the little things like eye contact, smiling and warm greetings really are,” he said.
Love what you do
According to Chris, there is power in truly loving the work that you do. “I genuinely like coming to work every day and making a difference in people’s lives. If there is one little thing that I can do to make the world a better place, it’s coming to work with a positive attitude and treating people with respect.”
What gives your life purpose?
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