People & Community

Delray Neighborhood Center Supports Hurricane Ian Relief and Recovery

Two people smiling and standing in front of a blue sign

Sam and Cynthia Bar Erez, Humana members in Delray, Florida

The Humana Neighborhood Center in Delray Beach, Fla., is a valuable resource to the community, hosting between 40-70 visitors each day who engage in a collective 180 activities on an average day. Serving the community is what the Center does every day. The days prior to and following Hurricane Ian were no exception.  

“Just before Hurricane Ian touched South Florida, we kept the television set on the news to keep members up-to-date on hurricane coverage,” said Kathleen Spears, Humana Delray Neighborhood Center Coordinator. “We used the assembly of our own facility hurricane preparation bucket as an opportunity to discuss ensuring that members keep their phones charged up and have a flashlight handy.” 

Encouraging members with phone calls
In the days between the Neighborhood Center closing on Oct. 4 and its reopening on Oct. 7, the Delray Center team quickly transitioned their routine outbound call script—normally used to check on members and encourage them to engage with the local Neighborhood Center—to one that checked on members who may have been impacted by the weather. 

“We used the calls as a moment to connect and to provide useful information and resources,” said Kathleen. “We focused our calling on individuals we know to live in the devastated areas. Several members appreciated us reaching out.”  

Ms. Adele Pascar, a Humana member, said, “Kathleen, thank you so much for calling—to hear a friendly voice right now is just what I needed. Thanks for checking on me.”  

Care kits and connection 
Once the facility re-opened, Humana employees provided care kits that included bottles of water, assorted healthy snacks (popcorn, granola bars, applesauce) and a Humana towel and sanitizer. As Humana member Ms. Elaine Marsh received a bag, she said, “This is why I love Humana!” The Center became a place to reconnect as a community after the tragedy. 

The following week, the Center served as a drop off point to receive donations from generous and thoughtful Humana employees and members, such as Sam and Cynthia Bar Erez. Clothing, household items, toys, food, and blankets were delivered to be shared with those in need. 

Soft touch of a smile
As soon as the Delray Neighborhood Center reopened its doors, they had customer service on alert and present to assist as needed while programs were kept going. Initially, an increased number of members came into the center to connect and to regain a sense of normality. By the following Monday, nearly a dozen visitors attended the rescheduled crafts class, perhaps just to get out of the house but also to be around people.  

“From the moment it became apparent Hurricane Ian may touch us to the moment we realized our Humana family was safe, we stayed positive, upbeat, and most of all – in touch,” said Kathleen. “From the high-tech touch of a call to the soft touch of a smile, we stood solidly beside our members. While the majority of people who visited us this past week were not directly impacted, they were emotionally impacted; they were scared and we were here to make them feel safe. We were here to help their lives get back to normal, and of course be in touch with each other!” 

Learn more about Humana’s commitment to serving the health of our communities in our Impact Report.