By Maritz on 11/17/23 9:00 AM
The Maritz Caregivers Employee Resource Group (ERG) has been busy during National Family Caregivers Month, to provide important resources to all the caregivers on our team including:
Tips for Embracing Self-Care as a Caregiver
Opportunities to engage while learning about Caregivers through our Word Cloud activity and weekly trivia.
Access to online resources and activities (coloring books, gratitude journals, and more)
A traveling self-care station in our Fenton offices
Caregivers play a vital role in our society. We asked the co-chairs of this group, Gary Schirmacher and Lynn Kuhlmann, to share a bit more about this group’s mission and why they wanted to lead this ERG:
What’s the main purpose of this group?
We support and empower Maritz caregivers by promoting and fostering a safe, positive environment through education, collaboration, advocacy, and celebration. While “caregiver” is traditionally defined as “a family member or paid helper who regularly looks after a child or sick, elderly or disable person,” the Caregivers ERG defines caregiver as “a person who takes care of the important aspects of their family, whether that be parents, children, extended family, pets, neighbors or members of their community.”
Together, we will support Maritz caregivers — and their unique backgrounds and experiences — to foster a stronger sense of belonging and positively impact our extended communities.
What’s happening now?
We are celebrating the 26th Annual National Caregiver’s Month this month and we will also be celebrating National Caregiver Day on February 17, 2024.
What do you most want to accomplish this year? Or next year?
Our goal is to increase awareness about the importance of self-care for our Maritz Caregivers. We are committed to helping provide resources and information to assist the many current and future caregivers we have in our company. We will continue to promote and support our Maritz Caregivers.
Why did you want to become a co-chair of this ERG at Maritz?
Gary: To help others facing challenges that are life changing. My wife, Julie, passed of pancreatic cancer on 11/27/2018. I cared for her for 15 months during her fight against this terrible cancer. Caring for my children after we lost Julie was my top priority. I was a caregiver for my father as well. He passed on 6/6/2017 and I was lucky to have been with him for the five weeks before his death. I’m one of the caregivers for my mom who is in assisted living in Florida. I’ve been able to mentor quite a few new caregivers over the years.
Lynn: I have always been passionate about making a positive impact within the organization. Being a co-chair of this ERG offers me the chance to do this. I also saw this co-chair as an opportunity for personal growth and development. I have been a caregiver on so many different levels, caregiving for children, a family member who was ill and an elderly family member, so I hoped to share my experiences and to also gain knowledge for the caregiving I am currently navigating.
What has been your favorite moment/experience so far?
Gary: Feeling the passion and commitment from our ERG Members. The spirit and willingness to help others is significant. Working with our ERG Team to design and create items that celebrate Caregivers with the moniker of “Keep Calm and Caregiver On.”
Lynn: The ERG has demonstrated strong collaboration and enthusiasm. We have a diverse and talented group of members with varying caregiving backgrounds. The way the team has united to support our Maritz employees in celebrating caregiving and self-care during November has been a standout experience for me.
A big THANK YOU to Lynn, Gary and the entire Caregivers ERG for leading such important efforts for our organization!