On October 14, 2018, 2018 Zot Artz hosted a painting day with CompHealth and YMCA Of Greater Grand Rapids – Mary Free Bed YMCA. Art Stars from all over came out and made their mark in a fantastic mural. We had the chance to interview Sarah W. from CompHealth to reflect on the event.
What does CompHealth do? What is your mission?
“CompHealth is a national leader in healthcare staffing, finding temporary and permanent jobs for healthcare providers around the country. Our Grand Rapids office specifically focuses on rehab staffing for physical, occupational, speech, and respiratory therapists.”
How did you hear about Zot Artz?
“Our group president, Alan McIver, saw an event in Utah a few years ago and he was moved by it. He talked to Dwayne during that event, and found out that Dwayne was from Michigan, and only an hour away from the Grand Rapids office that Alan oversaw. Alan introduced Dwayne to our office and the rest is history.”
Why Zot Artz? What is it about Zot Artz that attracted CompHealth and made you want to sponsor an event? (This was the third event sponsored by CompHealth.)
“CompHealth finds therapists jobs in hospitals, schools, nursing homes and other facilities all over the US that need help with staffing. We take pride in finding quality therapists who help improve the quality of life of patients around the country.
In 2016, we sponsored our first event during ArtPrize. We were blessed with beautiful weather and did an outdoor “flash painting” at the Fifth Third Bank in downtown Grand Rapids. It was a great event and we loved seeing the smiles of the participants, and hearing their parents talk about how awesome they thought the event was.
We decided to try for an even bigger event at ArtPrize 2017 and we teamed up with the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum as the venue. The 95-degree weather that day limited the number of wheelchair users, but we still had a fun day focusing on making art available for all. Hundreds of children, of all abilities, were having a blast participating in creating an enormous work of art.”
What prompted your collaboration with the YMCA?
“This year instead of coinciding with ArtPrize we teamed up with the Mary Free Bed YMCA. We wanted to do something a little different and go for an indoor event with glow paints. Teams from CompHealth have volunteering at the YMCA since they opened in 2016, and we knew that their building was 100% handicapped accessible. This particular YMCA branch is special in that they focus on rehab and making it available for all. The chance to meld our specialty, therapy, with Dwayne’s focus was just a great opportunity.”
Can you describe the collaboration between CompHealth, the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, and Zot Artz?
“The YMCA was amazing to work with and Kraig Schmottlach (Membership
Director at the YMCA) was a key player in making the event possible. Together, Kraig, Dwayne, Marianne, and I did a lot of emailing, and phone calls early on. We brainstormed location for a while and then decided to go look at the building and get a feel for how the event might flow. We found the perfect location, and it made planning the rest of the event much easier. We started planning early (March), so sometimes we might go weeks without talking and then as the event grew closer we were in regular contact again. Marianne and Dwayne were excellent about answering emails quickly and they obviously have a lot of experience planning these events.”
What did you like most about your event?
“I loved seeing the children in wheel chairs have the opportunity to take part in such a unique art activity. Watching them light up and knowing they were having fun meant a lot to all of our employees who helped volunteer at the event.”
What other kinds of community service projects is CompHealth involved in?
I already mentioned that we do Team Volunteering at the Mary Free Bed YMCA. We helped clean the sports fields and outdoor trails, weeded gardens, planted flowers, cleaned indoor facilities, and did a book drive and painted little free library houses.
Another partner that we do a lot with is Family Promise. We recently donated turkeys for Thanksgiving and adopted a family for Christmas. The past few years we have worked with them cleaning, painting, and restoring mobile homes for families who did not have a place to call their own. Our staff also worked together to collect wish list items that the families would need to move into their new homes.
Also, we are very involved with United Way.
- Stuff the Bus- donate school supplies
- Spread the Warmth- winter weather gear collection
- Annual fundraiser that the office looks forward to. This year we raised $11,541 for Heart of Michigan United Way! (This money is used for family stability, youth education, and financial security for those in need)”
How was the Zot Artz painting regifted?
“During the events, we gave cards created at previous events to the participants and observers. We also worked with Dwayne to use some of the art work from the event to create an amazing banner to be displayed at the YMCA.
We also held card making parties at our office and die-cut hundreds of cards that we use throughout the year. We created inserts to describe the event and explain how the cards were created. Our office has been using these for holiday cards for the last three years. We love that we can share these unique pieces of art with all of our clients and providers.”